Some skin problems, like acne, dryness and irritation, are often a result of a pH imbalance. This is actually a reflection of the pH level of the skin’s acid mantle, a thin, protective layer of sweat and sebum that sits on the outermost layer of the skin.
You can help balance your pH level, and ultimately correct these issues, by trying the following:
1. Start with the right cleanser, sticking to mild ones. Most glycolic acids are buffered and offer up the skin-smoothing benefits of an AHA without the irritation and redness that often accompany them. Look for lipid-free formulas that protect skin’s barrier function. If your cleanser stings, it’s probably too acidic for you.
2. Add back lost moisture. With age, oil production begins to taper off. Once the skin is less capable of producing a decent amount of oil, the acid mantle becomes affected. Try a heavy moisturizer that creates a barrier, or oil if your skin is extremely dry.
3. Drink lots of water. Water is naturally alkaline, and adding in lemon or lime helps to create an even more alkaline environment internally. Steer clear of sodas, which are very acidic; plus, overexposing the body to sugar increases glycation and speeds up the aging process.
4. Limit skin’s exposure to water. The acid mantle itself acts like a repellent of sorts, since water can loosen the skin’s outermost layers, making it more susceptible to damage and dehydration. Always bathe in tepid water and restrict your showers to five minutes.