pH-optimized skincare and why it matters
Nisha Ganapathy, Group Product Manager, Dabur International
While most of us focus on exploring different kinds of skincare routines that work best for our skin types, it is imperative to know that a healthy skin has a lot more to do with internal skin health than just visibly flawless skin. Nourishment and cleansing may have taken the lead in skincare, but it is also important to spare a thought for the pH balance of skin.
Skin is the largest organ of our body and an exceptionally delicate one. While it does have a natural acidic layer that helps in maintaining healthy skin, frequently disturbing it with skincare products that do not comply with the skin’s pH balance can harm and worsen skin health. The world over, dermatologists believe that the pH balance of the skin is normal at 4.7, and maintaining this index is important for the overall well-being of the skin. This being said, you will be shocked to know the number of products we use in our daily lives that can set the skins pH quotient off. From hair removal creams, soaps and sanitizers to even the strong cleansers and beauty products that are loaded with sulphates (trust me! there are many), all of which directly affect the pH balance of our skin leading to common skin issues such as dry flaky skin, redness and inflammation or even more severe conditions such as eczema and acne.
Why pH balance is important for skincare?
Thankfully, our skin is blessed with an acid mantle – a layer that’s made of amino acids, lactic acids, and sebum to protect the deeper layers from environmental impact. However, to not disturb this balance we need to choose the right beauty care products as too alkaline can make the skin flaky and red. Also, if they happen to result in too acidic then you expose your skin to problems like breakouts, acne, and eczema. All in all, it is a tight rope to walk.
Realization is key to choosing the right products for pH balanced skin
Does the skin feel dry and stretched after a wash or leave-on face mask? Well, that is the most obvious sign of a disturbed pH balance. Dryness, itchiness and skin irritation are common tells that the skin pH has been disturbed and is off balance. Though a sizeable number of skincare brands have committed themselves to skincare that nourishes from within, there is no harm in testing whether they are worth the hype. The needs of modern-day skincare are diverse and the dressing cabinet is abuzz with a variety of toners, cleansers, and quick fixes such as hair removal creams. Failing to choose them wisely can rip the skin of essential oils as well as disturb pH balance and the results won’t be pretty! Easier said than done but the key is to find products that work for your skin – ones that maintain the pH balance and also do not disturb the acidic mantle of the skin. Brands such as Fem known for their Hair Removal Cream understands the importance of maintaining the skin’s pH balance and provide a pH balancing lotion with their products.
Here’s how you can do it?
Choose non-soapy cleansers: Generally, soaps do have an alkaline base and cause damage to the skin. Dermatologists recommend a non-soapy formula that’s more pH balanced towards the skin’s natural acid mantle. Cleansers with natural ingredients offer optimum cleansing benefits without drying. Also, frequent washing of the face should be avoided as it can rip the skin of moisture. Skincare should consider the need more than routine.
Natural ingredients offer tender care: Skin superfoods like Avocado, Turmeric, and Pomegranate have now been formulated to skin’s benefit by renowned skincare brands. With a range of beauty products like moisturizing creams and lotions, it is easy to maintain skin’s pH balance. Some of the other natural ingredients to consider when it comes to healthy pH balance are Aloe Vera and healthy oils like almond and sandalwood as they have traditionally been used as beauty enhancers since ancient times.
Always complete your skincare routine: Just like cleansing and exfoliating are followed up by toners, always sum up your cream-based hair-removal ritual with pH-balanced lotions. There are brands that offer an inclusive combo-pack of hair removal cream and a pH-balanced lotion that works best as it offers both, hygiene and care.
Adhering to the pH scale isn’t just a beauty fancy but a basic skincare need. If it hasn’t been on your checklist then swapping chemical-loaded arsenal with pH-friendly products should be the least you can do for healthy skin.