Acid Vs Alkaline: Correct cleansing
pH is a scale: a lower number means a substance is more acidic and a higher number means more alkaline.
The skin surface has a thin oily film with an acidic pH of 4 to5. This is due to the protective "acid mantle" made of lactic acid from sweat and from production by normal skin bacteria.
If skin is over cleansed with soaps (which are usually alkaline with a pH around 9 to 10) this layer gets stripped and makes you prone to skin infections.
Thus gentle cleansers are formulated to be "pH balanced" and thus not strip the necessary acid mantle while cleaning skin.
How to maintain natural skin acidity AND keep clean and moisturised?
Use acidic pH-balanced skin care products and avoid harsh soaps
Moisturise regularly with a slightly acidic moisturiser
Avoid excessive sun exposure
It is better to use skin care products that are formulated with a slightly acidic pH to promote skin health and acid mantle. Whenever possible, this is between 4.0 and 4.5 to match the pH range of skin.
Applying products with such pH values changes the surface of your skin toward the healthy pH range, promoting growth of normal bacterial flora and a protective acid mantle, thus keeping skin healthy.
Thus acids are nothing to be afraid of. The word acid often scares people but hopefully this post will clear that up. In our next post we'll talk about acid peels, which treat a number of skin concerns and imperfections.
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