totally supports the natural functions of the skin with mildly acidic pH (4.5 - 5.0) formulas that help maintain natural protection against bacterial growth and irritation. Acid balanced formulas decrease sensitivity, constrict the follicles, tighten and firm the skin and have an antibacterial effect. Other benefits include: keep skin clear of debris, encourage new skin cells, stimulate new collagen to thicken the skin and maintain its health and beauty long term.
What is pH and why is it important?
The acid mantle helps your skin to remain healthier with fewer blemishes. This natural acidity protects your skin from the elements (wind and pollution) and neutralizes bad bacteria and irritation. Many contaminants that enter the skin, such as chemicals from the atmosphere and harmful bacteria, are alkaline in nature (i.e., they have a pH of higher than 7). UV rays, pollution, topical products with a high pH and everyday stress breaks down the acid mantle and if your skin's acid mantle is disrupted or loses its acidity, it becomes prone to damage and infection. The loss of the skin's acid mantle is one of the side-effects of washing the skin with soaps or detergents of moderate or high pH (alkaline).
Once your skin's naturally occurring hydrolipidic layer has been neutralized by the use of these irritants, the skin will lose its first line of defense against infection. In fact, it takes the most resilient skin two hours to recuperate from the negative impure effects of a typical daily shower. Helping neutralize these harmful contaminants is part of the body's own defense system. Maintaining the skin's pH at the proper level is vital to protecting it from harmful bacteria which can lead to acne, infection, irritation and aging which become more severe as the skin becomes more alkaline.
A disturbed skin barrier can hasten aging
The aging process of our skin naturally instigates biochemical changes in collagen and elastin. The rate of loss of skin firmness and elasticity differs from individual to individual depending on genetics, overall health, diet, sun exposure, skin care regime, or lack thereof, and other factors. As our skin becomes drier, it also becomes less elastic. The underlying fatty tissue begins to diminish resulting in the skin beginning to sag. Skin is less supple and wrinkles begin to form. At this stage the skin is more easily injured, heals more slowly and tends to dry out more quickly.
Age and alkaline cleansing both have a negative effect on the acid mantle. When alkaline products are applied, the skin's natural buffering system will in time return it to its normal acidic state. However, by the age of 40 and above, the daily renewal of oil and moisture rapidly begins to decrease and can take up to 8 hours for skin to regain its acidity.
This demonstrates that daily cleansing with alkaline products can alter the skin's natural protective capabilities. All soaps by their nature are alkaline and as such are in opposition to the skin's natural chemistry. It is therefore essential that skincare products be formulated to emulate the NMF (Natural Moisturizing Factor) and reproduce as close as possible the natural functions of the skin. To do this the skin needs to get to its natural pH balance.
A disturbed skin barrier may trigger acne
It is equally important to maintain a natural pH no greater than 5.5 for anyone who is prone to acne or other skin problems.
Propionibacterium acnes are a bacterium that normally live on the skin and is found in all persons regardless of the presence or absence of acne. However, in individuals prone to acne, the number of P. acnes bacteria will be slightly greater. Since the growth of this bacterium is very much dependent on the pH value of the skin, it is of utmost importance that your skin’s pH does not exceed 5.5 as a slight shift towards the alkaline pH would provide a better environment in which it can thrive.
Repairing the skin's barrier
Repairing the skin's barrier with correctly pH balanced formulas will help treat a variety of skin conditions. Incorporating key nutrients in your diet such as essential fatty acids can also benefit the skin as nutrient deficiencies can weaken its ability to repair and rebuild itself. Seek immediate professional advice from a dermatologist and nutritionist if your skin barrier is greatly disturbed as this will be a key factor in getting your skin back on track faster.
if you have a disturbed skin barrier and you are using new products and ingredients, always do a skin patch test
first and if you are unsure, always check with your dermatologist first.