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A magic number: your skin’s pH level

Today’s post is a refresher course in luminous skin and its relationship with a certain special magical number. Confused? Don’t be. We’re going to dive back into our junior high chemistry class memory banks and talk about pH levels, specifically where it applies to your skin. A recent study in British Journal of Dermatology revealed the cold hard fact that when a guy or gal’s skin is too alkaline (pH balance was too high), they were more likely to develop fine lines and crows feet than if their pH level was balanced (their skin was acidic). *gasp!

Dry patches, acne, oiliness and redness can all be signs that your skin’s pH level is out of whack and the barrier that protects you from exposure to the elements is damaged. Excessive scrubbing, overly hot showers and harsh chemical cleansers can all be culprits as to how your skin and it’s finicky pH level got out of whack — and don’t get us started on environmental factors — but does it really matter how? Let’s focus on getting it back on track.

The magic number when it comes to the perfect pH level for your skin is 5.5 — ever-so-slightly acidic to optimize the skin to seal in hydration and protect you from pollution, environmental irritants and free radicals. The trick, it seems, to getting your skin back on track to beautiful is to be nice to it (aka. correcting it’s pH level.)

Yes, that means temporarily cutting back on some of the more hardcore treatments you’re currently using. Cutting back on the vigorous exfoliating, washing with harsh chemical cleansers and extreme water temperatures or excessive drying techniques is a good start. Consider tucking your exfoliants, serums and other topicals neatly into a drawer, and choose a cleanser that’s gentle and free of surfactant, so you’re not stripping your skin’s acid mantle and causing your pH level to shoot through the roof. Using balanced products will help to heal your skin in a few weeks, after which you can return to your beloved and more targeted products — which, btw, won’t even penetrate the outer layer of your skin is your pH level is out of whack.

It’s science really. Balanced skin is beautiful skin — moisturized, glowy and receptive to the hard-working ingredients in your other skincare products. Consider it a back-to-basics approach. Your welcome.

 

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