Balance. We spend a lot of time trying to achieve that in our lifestyles, such as finding that right combination of work and family. Balance may be the key to a healthy and happy life, but it is also the key to healthy and happy skin. Specifically, maintaining a balanced pH level can play a big role in keeping your skin from letting you down and leaving you with wrinkles, acne, inflammation, sensitivity, and other unwanted and unattractive skin problems.
What is pH Level?
There’s a good chance that you have heard the term “pH level” before. There’s an equally good chance you have no idea what that means or why it should matter to you and your skin.
pH stands for “potential hydrogen” and is used to describe the acid-alkaline ratio of a substance. The pH level refers to the level of acid in your body. On one side of the pH spectrum is acidity, measured at 0, while the other end is alkalinity, measured at 14. Alkalinity describes the ability of water to neutralize acidic substances.
Balancing your pH level means hitting that sweet spot between alkalinity and acidity.
Why Does Having a Balanced pH Level Matter to Your Skin?
Our skin has a natural barrier known as the “acid mantle.” This barrier works in both directions – it keeps essential lipids and moisture in while also keeping toxins, germs and pollutants out.
The acid mantle works optimally when it has a slightly acidic level, at a 5.5 pH balance. When your skin is too alkaline, it can become dry and sensitive. This in turn can lead to eczema, inflammation, wrinkles and sagging. On the other end of the scale, skin that’s too acidic can appear red, irritated and itchy and be more prone to breakouts.
How Do You Balance Your pH Level?
It isn’t difficult for most folks to get their pH level in balance with some simple lifestyle adjustments. Here are three steps you can take to keep your pH level in that desired 5.5 range:
- Avoid harsh soaps. Harsh soaps can have an excessive alkaline pH and dry out your skin. Try using neutral or slightly acidic soaps with alpha or beta hydroxy acid instead.
- Install a water softener. Hard water from your faucet or showerhead can have a high mineral composition containing heavy metals like iron, copper, zinc, and nickel which can unbalance your pH level and cause irritation, inflammation and itchiness. Consider installing a water softener in your home to avoid these damage-inducing elements.
- Avoid acid-producing food. Foods like meat, poultry, cheese and dairy, white bread, caffeine and processed foods are highly acidic and can throw your pH levels out of whack. Conversely, kale, cayenne pepper, garlic, carrots, cabbage, and apple cider vinegar are more alkaline foods that can keep things in balance.
Dr. Mariano Busso: Your Partner in Healthy Skin
An expert in all things skincare and aesthetics, Dr. Mariano Busso has coached physicians all over the country on his innovative techniques and quality of care. Call our Miami offices today at 305-857-0144 to schedule your consultation and learn more about how we can partner with you for better skin and an increased sense of confidence and well-being.