The pH of your skin care products is just as important as the ingredients in them. The pH will determine how your skin is affected by the product overall. The pH measures the level of acidity or alkalinity of a substance. The range starts from 0 to 14, where 0 is completely acidic while the highest level of 14 is alkaline. 7, is the midpoint and considered neutral. Water is typically at a level 7 neutral.
The human skin by nature is slightly acidic, with an average pH or 5.5 meaning that anything higher has an alkaline effect on the skin and anything lower has an acidic effect. Skin is slightly acidic because it helps mitigate bacteria and fungal growth. The acid mantle is the name of this acidic layer of the skin made of oil that acts as a barrier. Sometimes there are imbalances in the pH of the skin which can be due to a variety of factors, including pollution, dietary problems, hormones or improperly balanced skin care products. The end result that the skin becomes venerable and irritations or inflammations can occur, such as acne.
The best way to assure that your skin products are not adversely affecting the skin is to actually measure the pH of the product by using a little pH strip (these are available online or in health food stores). When covered in the product the strip will change color to indicate the pH. If your regular skin care products are close to 5.5 then the product is a perfect match for maintaining the same pH of your skin and will not impeed the natural protective functions of the skin.
If your regular skin care products are significantly higher or lower than the pH of the skin then there is cause for concern. A highly acidic skin care product makes the skin more prone to acne and other irritations. Neutrogena and other so-called acne-fighting solutions are highly acidic which seriously raises to the validity of their products claims. On the flip side, if skin care products are too alkaline, the skin is left dry and without its protective oils.
Knowing or testing the pH of skin care products is truly one of the best ways to determine how the product is treating your skin overall. Many skin problems can be cured by adjusting to products with a balanced pH level.