The Impact of pH on Human Skin

Young woman cleaning face without make-up

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Potential Hydrogen, commonly referred to as pH, is the measure of acidity or alkalinity of a substance.  It ranges from zero to 14.  The natural pH of human skin is 5.5 and this means the skin is slightly acidic.  You may ask, why is this important and is this necessary to know?

When the pH of the skin is disturbed by products or anything that interferes with the natural balance of the skin, this results in stress that can lead to various forms of inflammation, dryness, dehydration, or other conditions.  Bacteria can grow at an uncontrolled rate which could lead to symptoms that are difficult to control such as cystic acne or the opposite, which could be excessively dry skin.  It is important that clients understand their skin type and what products or conditions irritate and inflame their skin. When applying skin care products, the skin should not show prolonged signs of rejection, as evidenced through pain or inflammation.

When using multiple product lines, delivery systems of ingredients may be different and this could compromise the skin’s pH.  Therefore, it is practical to stay within a product line unless there is confidence about how different brands interact.  After cleansing, to ensure products penetrate skin properly, ampoules or serums should be applied first because they have the lowest viscosity. This is followed by lotions and toners.  A pH balanced toner hydrates the skin and balances or lowers pH. The final item applied should be creams.

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