PH is so important in treating the skin. The products I use in my clinic are properly balanced to work effectively on the skin. Over the counter products, even the most expensive ones, are not. Many of my new clients are using products so strong, they are stripping the skin of its natural protection. You do NOT want this. This is a quick explanation of why. Read on.
Did you know that the skin has a thin protective layer covering its surface that is quite acidic? While the cells in our body, and the blood/fluids that bathe the cells, have a more neutral (leaning on alkaline pH), the Acid Mantle on the surface of the skin confers a pH of about 5.5 or less. Why? For the longest time researchers didn’t fully understand this. Now we know! The pH of the skin influences all the epidermal functions and is vital to skin barrier homeostasis. A lower pH enhances the integrity of the Stratum Corneum so it can defend against mechanical stress. A lower pH slows down protease enzymatic activity that breaks down bonds holding surface skin cells together (we want this done naturally, but a high skin pH causes this to be overactive). Even more important is the other set of enzymes that generate the key lipids for the skin barrier membranes and defense system dislike a high pH, and a strong skin permeability barrier will thrive in the acidic environment. Lastly, our skins native immune system will resist infections better as pathogenic microbes can’t thrive in an acidic environment, in turn allowing our skin commensal (good) microbes to flourish. Chronic disruption of this protective barrier/film leads to a host of cutaneous conditions including atopic dermatitis and other inflammatory skin diseases. Keep your skin pH in check!