Have you ever wondered what the actual pH level of your skin is, say when compared with your cleanser or moisturiser? And why does this even matter? Well, as it turns out, it matters quite a lot.
In fact, it is vital for the integrity of the skin’s microbiome and its homeostasis that the pH remains at a level of approximately 5.5. Therefore, using a cleanser that is either too acidic (below 5) or too alkaline (above 6) can be detrimental to the condition and health of the skin. And don’t even get us started on toners! In fact, most toners completely strip the skin of its natural pH balance. Toners were originally introduced to lower the pH on the skin after cleansing with a bar of soap (which are too alkaline). Nowadays, with pH correct cleansers, the need for toners (especially those containing alcohol) has diminished.
DID YOU KNOW? pH directly regulates the epidermal permeability barrier (in other words, the barrier preventing bad bacteria and viruses and other just plain nasty elements from entering the skin).
What you use on your face to cleanse and moisturise is important to keep the pH level in the correct place, but did you know there are many environmental factors that can affect the pH level of our skin too. These include:
- Acne (yes, affected pH levels can contribute to acne, but acne itself, with its varying levels of inflammation and oils, can in turn affect the pH level of the skin).
- Sweat (yes, our own sweat, as it contains certain toxins, minerals, and salt).
- Air pollution.
- Tap water (interestingly though, rainwater has approximately the same pH levels as our skin, but you should still be cautious in cities where the air may be layered with pollution, pesticides, and other contaminants).
- Antibacterial products, including sanitizers, soaps, and gels.
- Washing the face too often.
- A change in seasons, which brings with it changes in humidity levels in the environment.
- Cosmetics (and the ingredients in them).
- Toners (as we already mentioned), as well as the incorrect cleanser or moisturiser.
- Detergents, especially those containing sulphate.
- Your skin’s moisture and sebum levels.
- Too much sun or UV exposure.
What are some of the most common mistakes that are made when it comes to pH levels and skincare? Well, some of you may have seen our post about lemons and the skin.
In the past, holistic beauty blogs have suggested using lemon on the skin as a sort of toner. But lemon has a pH of between 2.0 and 2.5, which is much lower than the pH of our skin. The high level of citric acid is also irritating to the skin, plus its phototoxic (i.e., the toxicity level and abrasive effects to the skin are aggravated by exposure to sunlight).
As our Instagram post recently stated, the only correct way to use lemon on your skin is...
Step 1: DON’T.
Step 2: Put the lemon DOWN.
Step 3: Repeat after me … “lemon does NOT belong on my face.”
Step 4: Stick to pH-friendly cleansers and moisturizers.
Step 5: DON’T FORGET YOUR GF2
Step 6: Go use that lemon to make a vitamin C-rich lemonade, to support your skin and wellness from the inside instead.
What are some of the other “natural” skincare hacks that will do damage to your skin’s pH? Bicarbonate of Soda is not an acid, it is the opposite. It is alkaline, thereby it has a high pH level (8.3). Now while this may be great for acid reflux, it is NOT the way to go when it comes to your skin.
Using it as a wash or a scrub will increase the skin’s pH, and can thus damage the skin’s protective barrier, the microbiome, and even cause problems such as dryness, acne, and excessive oil production.
And don’t even get us STARTED on bar soaps!
Unfortunately, the number of skin hacks and products out there that are either too alkaline or too acidic out-number the ones that are at the recommended pH level for our skin. Rest assured that our formulations, being made from hypochlorous acid (HOCl) – your body’s own immune molecule scientifically reproduced - are by their very nature at the perfect pH level for the skin, to maintain its health and protect the biome.
Try our GF2 formulations – your skin’s Miracle Molecule – today to get your best-ever skin. For any further questions regarding the skin rejuvenation effects of GF2, feel free to contact us.