Has anyone ever told you that a product is “pH balanced?” Or you’ve (hopefully) seen it written on your cleanser and thought it sounds good but never actually knew what it meant? Let’s discuss what pH means, why it’s good to have a balanced pH and how you can know if your pH is out of balance.
What is Skin pH?
When referring to the skins pH there is a thing that is called the pH Scale (see below) 1 being completely Acidic, 7 being Neutral and 14 being completely Alkaline. Our skin’s pH level sits at 4.5-5.5 which is slightly Acidic.
Why is pH so important?
Every day, our bodies fight bacteria and infections (the bad guys) not only inside of our bodies but externally. The first line of defence is your skin, therefore in order to fight the bad guys the pH of your skin must be balanced. A balanced pH for your skin will generally sit at 4.5 – 5.5 on the pH scale (above).
When someone refers to your skins barrier, they are talking about the surface layer of our skin (this is called the Acid Mantle) and its main role is to aid in protection. The Acid mantle is made up of Sebum (oil/free fatty acids) which is released from your sebaceous gland in your hair follicle or pore. This then mixes with lactic and amino acids from your bodies sweat which then creates your skins pH level which is also known as your skins barrier.
How do I know my skins pH is balanced and my barrier is intact?
To ensure your skin protects itself it’s important to take care of your skins Acid Mantle or as you now know it as your skins BARRIER. An impaired barrier can be the root cause of MANY skin conditions such as dermatitis, eczema and rosacea. In some cases, simply repairing the barrier can result in a reduction of severity in skin these conditions. Many external and internal factors can affect our skins barrier function such as incorrect product usage, poor diet and lifestyle choices, smoking, pollutants in the air, some medications and sun exposure. If your skin becomes too alkaline or acidic the barrier is disturbed and you can experience redness, inflammation, dry or rough skin.
Products to use to maintain your skins barrier/pH
If you are one to use skin cleaning products such a bar of soap or basic cleanser from the chemist they tend to be too alkaline for your skin and strip away natural oils and can cause havoc for your skins barrier. If your skin is damaged from using an Alkaline wash, bacteria is more likely to breed in your skin and cause acne or breakouts as your skin is meant to be slightly acidic in order to fight off bacteria.
Using a cosmeceutical cleanser that has been specifically prescribed for your skin is extremely important to ensure you’re not causing damage to your skins barrier.
We at VC Dermal offer cosmeceutical cleansers from Lira Clinical that are pH balanced and designed to treat a wide range of skin conditions from acne to pigmentation and everything in between.
Moisturizers & Serums
Using a moisturizer and serum are crucial in keeping hydration in your skin, maintaining your skins barrier and aiding in protection. Using a moisturizer that is packed full of antioxidants is extremely important. Antioxidants protect your skin and preventing and reducing free radial damage. Free radical damage assaults your skin and damages healthy cells.
Some amazing and effective antioxidants that Lira Clinical utilizes are: Gooseberry, BV-OSC (Vitamin C), Co-Q10, Vitamin E, Green tea, Licorice Extract.
Not only do Antioxidants protect your skin from free radical damage but so does Sunscreen. This is your holy grail product to skincare and this is why your therapist will ALWAYS tell you – you need to be wearing sunscreen rain, hail or shine (yes, even during winter… as there is still UV outside and yes even when your indoors as we have windows)… BUT I will save the sunscreen talk for another blog 😛
Like other skincare products not all SPF’s are created equally. Zinc Oxide (a physical sunscreen) is the most ideal form to use and our favourite. Zinc Oxide completely reflects the suns rays away from your skin whereas a chemical sunscreen absorbs those rays into the skin but metabolises them into non-damaging wavelengths.
Have you ever applied a sunscreen/SPF and it stings and burns and you react? Most likely this is a chemical sunscreen. Switch it out for the Lira Zinc SPF and you can thank me later 🙂
Yours in beauty,