Chemistry class probably taught you (or is about to teach you) all about the pH scale. Remember the strips that would change colors after you dip them? If not, to refresh your memory, the litmus paper strips would change color and determine where on the pH scale of 1-14 the liquid fell. 1-6 means acidic, 7 is neutral, and anything above 7 would be alkaline.
Well, the pH scale just doesn’t apply liquids in chemistry class or science projects. Did you know that pH also applies to your hair and skin? That said, let's take a closer look at the importance of pH as it relates to our skin.
What Is Your Skin’s pH Level?
Experts will tell you the skin comes in at 5.5 on the pH scale. Remember, anything less than 7 is acidic, and this means the skin's pH level is on the acidic side. In fact, what's called an "acid mantle" covers the skin and helps maintain the skin's pH, keep in moisture, and ward off infection. When the skin's pH is off, harmful bacteria could rapidly reproduce and trigger inflammation and other skin conditions, like zits, eczema, and rosacea. Also, a weak acid mantle makes the skin drier and more prone to fine lines and wrinkles. And who has time for that? Since skin (our largest organ) is so delicate, it thrives better in an ideal environment, one with the proper pH balance. Therefore, using skincare products with low pH is best.
What's the Ideal pH of Skincare Products?
pH has a lot to do with skincare. The different products you use, like cleansers and moisturizers, affect your skin as much as your diet and skin routine. Your morning and nightly skincare routine should help your skin not hurt it butcan if it accidentally interrupts the skin's natural pH and acid mantle. When that happens, the skin's ability to protect itself from environmental stressors weakens, and that leads to increased dryness, irritation, and redness. If not chosen properly, your skincare products could hurt your skin or, worse, be the source of some skin issues. Therefore, it serves your skin well to use products that have the right pH level for your skin. Products like those fromPrep U use all-natural ingredients and are specially formulated to be pH-balanced.
Specifically, since the skin has a pH of 5.5, products with the same pH or lower (down to 4.5) are ideal. Slightly acidic by far beats slightly alkaline to create the best back-to-school complexion. To make sure your skincare product works well and comes in around 5.5 on the pH scale, look for skincare brands that, likePrep U, use wording like 'pH balanced' or 'balances skin pH.'
If your product is not from Prep U or does not state that it is pH-balanced, then head to your local drugstore or Amazon to buy litmus strips and test the pH levels yourself, just like in Chemistry class. Who says that high school never teaches you anything?!