Going back to basics by understanding the pH pf skin
One of the most important topics that estheticians learn early in their course of study is how pH relates to the skin. But what makes pH so important? Why is it necessary, and what can we as professionals do to help restore balance to the skin? Let’s dive a little deeper into the science and learn more about why pH is such a crucial component of skin health.
POTENTIAL OF HYDROGEN
In chemistry, the term pH refers to the “potential of hydrogen” and measures the acidity and alkalinity of a solution based on the number of hydrogen ions present. The pH scale is logarithmic and ranges between 1 and 14. Each value represents a change of 10 times the previous value and is based around a neutral midpoint of 7, which is neither acidic nor alkaline.
An acidic solution will have levels of hydrogen ions greater than the amount found in pure water. A basic solution, in contrast, will have a hydrogen ion concentration lower than that of water.
THE ACID MANTLE
We can’t really talk about the pH of skin without mentioning the “acid mantle.” Often referred to as the skin’s “protective barrier” and comprised of mainly of sweat, sebum, lipids, and amino acids, the acid mantle is the protective layer that covers the surface of the stratum corneum and gives the skin a slightly acidic property that falls somewhere between 4.7 and 5.5 on the pH scale.
This acidic environment not only keeps bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens from entering the skin, but it also supports the skin’s microbiome and plays a key role in proper barrier function, hydration, and sebum production.
“Maintaining proper pH balance of the skin is essential to keeping it healthy and strengthening its natural defense against the environment, pollution, bacteria, and other aggressors.’
CONTINUE READING YOUR ARTICLE WITH A LNE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION
Sign in to your account or register