Help: My Skin’s Too Acidic! What’s Happening and What to do About It
(Learn more about skin stages and take our free survey here)
Do you suffer from frequent outbreaks across your skin or are you struggling to keep acne at bay? Is your skin quick to react, becoming red and inflamed? Do you think your skin is producing too much sebum? There’s a lot going on behind the scenes, so what’s the cause? It sounds like there’s too much acidity in your skin and you’re in Skin Stage 5.
A short science lesson
Sure, you’ve heard about pH levels in relation to liquids but you might be surprised to learn that the skin has a pH balance, too. So what is pH in skin? pH stands for potential of hydrogen - how many free hydrogen ions are found in a substance. The pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Substances with a pH of less than 7 are considered acidic and those with a pH above 7 are considered alkaline. The skin strives to maintain a balance of acidity and alkalinity to protect the body from the elements, germs and toxins. This balance also helps the skin stay hydrated. When the skin’s pH level is unbalanced, issues can crop up.
Saying that, the pH in your skin is constantly fluctuating depending on your quality of sleep, diet, skincare routine and the environment you live in, yet research suggests that the optimum pH level for skin is around 5. In this state, the skin is mildly acidic, which is ideal. But don’t worry; there’s no need to measure your skin’s pH to check it’s healthy. You know your skin and you’ll be able to tell if you think something’s not quite right. When skin is overly-acidic (with a pH level of 3 and below), the lipid layer struggles to function; leaving skin prone to skin conditions such as eczema and acne.
What to do about high acidity in the skin
Understanding the cause of too much acidity in your skin can be difficult as various factors can disrupt the balance. Hormones, poor diet including consuming too much alcohol and sugar, lifestyle choices, aggressive cleansers and using too many products all play a role in overly acidic skin.
One simple way to tackle high skin acidity is to cut back on booze and sugary food. Feeding your body with good food is a wonderful way to nurture your skin’s natural defences and keep you glowing from the inside, out. If you’re looking for inspiration on what to eat for clear skin, check out the best foods to eat for healthy skin.
Sadly, not much can be done about hormone disruptions but if you feel like a hormone imbalance is the cause of your skin troubles, keep a log of how your skin changes over the month. Speak with your doctor if you think something fishy is going on with your hormones, they may investigate further and be able to suggest some tailored solutions. Sometimes, what we think is caused by a hormone imbalance is actually caused by a change in eating behaviour or lifestyle - and skin problems can be triggered by a dramatic shift in temperature, too - so considered these when keeping a log of your skin fluctuations.
If you think aggressive cleansers are to blame, swap these from your skincare routine and opt for a luxuriously gentle cleanser, such as Divine Duo Be Mine cleanser. This non-foaming bi-phase cleanser uses the power of wild-harvested rosewater and organic jojoba oil to remove all dirt, debris and makeup. Watch out for adding yet another product to your 20-product-strong routine; using too many products can disrupt the skin’s pH as different products have different levels of alkalinity or acidity. Strip back your skincare, focusing on a few natural, luxuriously gentle products and create a skincare routine that suits you.
When acne and breakouts are causing you concern, you need a face cream with high-quality, natural ingredients, targeted to prevent breakouts and aid healing. Enter: Skin Shrooms face cream. Harnessing the magical power of turkey tail, poria and wild changa, this hand-blended face cream controls sebum production, putting nasty outbreaks at bay. The added power of frankincense and grapefruit also helps prevent further outbreaks and aids the skin’s natural healing process. A truly magical way to heal and re-balance unhappy skin.
Not sure if acidity is your skin problem and curious about other skin stages? Take our free Skin Skincare Survey and learn how to achieve your skincare goals.