Why Are pH Balanced Skin Care Products so Important?

The term pH (power of hydrogen) refers to how acidic or alkaline a substance is. The pH scale ranges from 1-14. A pH of 7.0 is considered neutral (water is neutral) and anything over a pH of 7.0 is alkaline.

Healthy skin has a slightly acidic pH in the range of 4.5-6.0. This is referred to as the acid mantle. The acid mantle is a film on the surface of the skin consisting of sweat, sebum, and amino acids. The acid mantle has a critical purpose; natural acidity protects against bacteria, fungus, and pollutants.

The acid mantle can also be negatively affected by stress and hormonal changes, causing it to break down and making the skin's pH more alkaline.

When the skin becomes too alkaline, it not only becomes dry and irritated, but also also loses its ability to fight off bacteria which can lead to blemishes and breakouts (pH imbalance may be a major contributing factor in acne).

Try to avoid products that are too alkaline. Most commercial cleansers are very alkaline, with a pH of 8.0 or more (particularly foaming cleansers). Most soaps have a pH of 9.0 - 11.

Conversely, using products that are overly acidic (such as strong glycolic peels) may also damage the pH of the skin, causing excessive redness, dryness, irritation and vulnerability to the sun. Using gentle exfoliating products such as our exfoliating gel mask will effectively help to slough off dead skin cells without damaging your skin.

Always choose skin care products that have a pH close to that of your own skin (AHA products must have a lower pH in order to exfoliate). This will help ensure that the products you are using do not disrupt the skin's protective acid mantle.

Avoid potentially toxic ingredients which are used as pH adjusters. Triethanolamine (TEA) is commonly used in many commercial products for this purpose. It may be contaminated with nitrosamines which have been associated with cancer.

All products in the La Vie Celeste skin care collection are pH balanced to ensure the optimum health of your skin.

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