For sure, you've heard about pH at some point in your life. It's measured in different foods, the water we drink, chemical solutions, and our body. pH is a measurement of how acidic or alkaline a solution is. Its scale ranges from 1 to 14, with one indicating the most acidic level, fourteen being the most alkaline, and seven being considered "neutral".
BUT WHAT DOES PH HAVE TO DO WITH OUR SKIN?
First, we need to understand a little about the skin anatomy.
The skin is the largest organ in our body and, when healthy, is its best and first defense, essential to our health and well-being. It is composed of three primary layers: epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis.
It's the outer layer, the one we see and touch. Its most crucial role is to act as a protective barrier between our bodies and the outside world, and its pH is one of its main defense mechanisms.
This layer is covered by an emulsion of water, lipids – valuable fatty compounds that keep the cutis smooth and radiant – and other substances that are maintained by the secretions of the sweat and sebaceous glands, which act as a barrier against bacteria and fungus.
It's known as the acid mantle and, when healthy, gives the skin a slightly acidic pH, between 4,5 and 6,0, the ideal environment for the skin flora to thrive, keeping it smooth and strong, to self-regenerate, neutralize aggressors and inhibit the growth of bacterias and fungus.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE PH BECOMES ALKALINE?
When the skin's pH is alkaline, its natural balance is disturbed, the acid mantle is unable to synthesize its necessary substances, and the skin loses water, becoming dry and losing its function as a protection barrier.
Products with different pH than in the skin overload the capacity of natural neutralization, causing damage to its structure and harming the protective barrier.
The imbalance can be responsible for much that happens to your skin, from breakouts to fine lines. When the most superficial layer suffers an unwanted loss of oiliness, the skin becomes too alkaline and turns drier, rigid, and more likely to crease. When it's too acidic, it becomes extremely sensitive and even more oily, part of a rebound effect when there is increased sebum production due to the lack of hydration.
That's why it is so important to know your skin and understand its pH to choose the perfect cosmetics that meet its needs. Regardless of your skin type, it needs hydration, not only to replace what it lost due to environmental factors. Paying attention and caring for your skin keeps everything in the right place, and that includes a watchful eye on shower temperature, diet, and the big cliché: drink a lot of water!