If you’re a seasoned skin care fanatic or remember your high-school chemistry class, you’re probably familiar with the concept of pH. But what does pH actually mean? Why is it important in skin care? And how can it be optimized for the health of your skin? Read on for refresher on the power of pH!
What is pH?
pH is a logarithmic scale that goes from 0-14 and indicates the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. The letters p and H refer to “potential of hydrogen” as the number of hydrogen ions in a substance impacts how it reacts with other compounds. A basic substance accepts hydrogen ions while acids donate them.
Why does pH matter for my skin?
Humans have an average facial pH of 4.7 which is actually acidic. Applying products too far outside of the natural range of skin can cause ion flux. Using a product that is too acidic or too basic can disrupt the acid mantle, the protective pH barrier, and can cause rashes, irritation, dryness or even fungal or bacterial infections.
Always choose products formulated for facial skin and be mindful of skin care DIYs involving harsh pH ingredients like highly acid lemon juice or basic baking soda. Look for skin care products with pH levels within the range of 4-7.
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