Ever wondered what your skin technician means when she talks about balancing the pH levels in your skin? Read on to find out…
Our skin has a thin, protective layer on its surface, referred to as the acid mantle. When it’s healthy it does an amazing job of protecting our skin including secreting enzymes to break down excess sebum in the skin and helping to keep skin soft and supple. It also helps to maintain the skin’s pH – which stands for ‘potential hydrogen’ and is used to describe the acid-alkaline ratio of a substance.
The pH scale measures from 0-14, with 0 being acidic (think lemon juice in the eye), 7 being neutral (the pH of water) and 14 being the most alkaline (something akin to bleach). When your skin is in its happy place, it’s pH will be resting comfortably somewhere between 4.2 and 5.5… so it’s actually acidic.
Whilst the acid mantle is an effective form of protection helping fight infection and environmental stresses, it can be easily disturbed if your pH level becomes too alkaline or too acidic. A quick sign to let you know that it’s out of balance is when your skin feels tight or dry.
Tap water – the harder the water, the higher the pH – extended sun exposure and a diet high in acidic foods (sugar, processed foods, sodas and other sweetened beverages) as well as soaps and detergents and over washing, can all disturb the balance of your pH levels.
A healthy skin pH keeps bacteria and viruses out but also helps to lock hydration in. If your skin starts to look dry or red, if it becomes more sensitive or you notice an increase in breakouts, you may be using a product too strong for your skin or you may be applying it too often. The easiest way to keep your skin’s pH balanced is to use products that don’t mess the pH around…
- Most cleansers, including bars and detergent soaps, contain sodium laureth sulfate (SLS) with pH levels way above 10 – see above as to where it sits on the pH scale – making it too alkaline for the skin; skin that is too alkaline can be more susceptible to acne because a certain level of acidity is needed to inhibit bacterial growth on the skin. Products that are too alkaline can also strip away your natural oils causing dryness and irritation. With a light and airy texture,the mildly acidic Charlie Locks Cleansing Lotion with Rose and Immortelle is SLS-free and surprisingly effective at removing make-up.
- Toning is an important step in the cleansing process because it not only removes all the stuff left behind on your skin after washing, such as makeup, excess oils, impurities, dead skin cells, even residue left from your cleanser, but toning also helps to restore your skin’s pH balance. Charlie Locks Gentle Tonic with Rosewater is both calming and balancing; it’s antibacterial properties help to reduce redness and boost the luminosity of your skin.
- As we age, the amount of oil or sebum naturally produced by our skin decreases, influencing the acid mantle and its ability to protect the skin. Using effective moisturizers helps rebuild this important barrier. The intensely rich Moisture Complex with Rose, Immortelle and Hyaluronic Acid from the Charlie Locks professional skin care range combines the superb hydration properties of Rose and Immortelle with the smoothing qualities of hyaluronic acid, making it perfect for mature skins.
All products available for purchase at The Treatment Room by Luminosity.