Environmental stressors, pollutants, makeup and even soap, can cause imbalance and disruption in the skin’s pH balance. A natural pH level is a balance between your skin’s level of acidity and alkaline. When your skin’s PH level is too alkaline, your skin becomes dry and sensitive leading to skin conditions like eczema. Dry skin slows down the rate of skin cell turnover which leads to the overproduction of excess sebum, resulting in clogged pores, blackheads, and breakouts for acne-prone skin. So how can you cure your dry skin?
1. Change your face cleanser
Some facial cleansers will strip the skin of its neutral pH balance, which causes your oil glands to overproduce excess oil to try to rebalance your skin’s pH. When your skin is in this condition, it can trap excess sebum within skin cells which leads to clogged pores and breakouts. The disruption of your skin’s protective barrier also makes it difficult for your skin to retain moisture, which then causes newly produced sebum to sit on the surface making skin appear oilier. A healthy amount of sebum production is a crucial element in your skin’s barrier because it keeps skin protected and hydrated. Certain soaps and products leave your skin vulnerable to fungal and bacterial infections. Therefore, when choosing facial soap, it is essential to select cleansers labeled as “pH balancing.”
TL;DR: Oily skin = you need a cleanser that doesn’t strip all the good oil from your face
2. Protect your skin
Our skin’s surface protective layer also referred to as the acid mantle, is made up of a balanced mixture of sebum and sweat. However, internal and external factors can interfere with this delicate balance of the skin’s acid mantle ph level. As our skin ages, it becomes more acidic in response to lifestyle and environmental factors. Over time, harsh skin care products, sun damage, air pollution, and smog are some of the causes that impact our skin’s ability to function at a healthy pH, causing our skin to age. It’s important to always wear 30+ sunscreen on your face, neck, chest, and hands even if you’re only going to be in the sun for 10 minutes a day. Couple this with a daily dose of antioxidants and your skin will be well protected.
3. Change your diet
Dietary changes also play an important factor in skin’s pH balance. It’s essential that our diets be less acidic and more alkaline. The ideal diet would consist of more alkalizing foods such as leafy greens and vegetables, as well as more citrus fruits, tomatoes, and carrots, foods that become alkaline-forming to your body.
4. Moisturize daily
As skin ages, the amount of oil and sebum production produced decreases, which causes the skin’s acid mantle barrier to lessen its ability to protect your skin. This lack of hydration leads to dry dull and damaged skin. Be sure to apply a fragrance-free moisturizer morning and night to restore and protect your skin’s natural barrier. As a part of this, stay away from harsh products (like those that contain alcohol) because they strip away your skin’s moisture.
5. Apply antioxidants
Topical antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, E and green tea are important in maintaining the acid mantle in two ways. They fortify cells so that they can function optimally, and secondly, they protect skin cells from environmental oxidation and free radicals. Vitamin C brightens the skin while preventing future damage. Lastly and most importantly, the daily use of a physical full, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and above defends skin’s pH level by shielding the skin cells from harmful UV rays and photodamage.
When your skin’s protective lipids strip away from your skin’s surface barrier, your skin becomes prey to bacteria, the harmful effects of UV rays, and harsh ingredients. It is crucial to analyze the types of skin-care products you use, and how often you are cleansing, exfoliating, and hydrating your skin. The goal is to ensure that your skin can protect itself from damaging factors that cause inflammation of the skin, leading to premature signs of aging and acne breakouts. Therefore the use of appropriate skin care products that include specific pH balancing properties can help restore skin’s pH levels back to a more natural state.