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Why pH is important -- skin, products, acids, etc.


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#1 LionQueen

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 12:49 PM

Many thanks to Mumblesorusjen for posting this article in the Acne Research forum .... and to Lorrie for suggesting that we spread the news. biggrin.gif



The pH (power of hydrogen) factor is a term most of us have heard but which few understand the significance of as it relates to skin care. Calculated on a scale of one to 14, pH refers to the levels of acid or alkaline in a substance. Below seven is acidic, above is alkaline, and seven – the approximate optimum level for the body – is neutral. However, skin has a different pH and to avoid and treat dry skin, it is important to choose skin care treatment products that have the proper pH balance.

The pH of normal skin ranges from 4 to 6.5, which is slightly acidic. This acidic environment is referred to as the skin’s ‘acid mantle’. It contains a number of different acids including lactic acid, amino acids and free fatty acids. One of the major functions of the acid mantle is to protect the skin and body from the absorption of bacteria. As bacteria cannot survive in an acidic environment, maintaining the correct level of acidity is vital.

If the acid mantle is disrupted, the skin also becomes more susceptible to damage. Although acid and alkaline are on opposite ends of the spectrum, either disrupts the pH and either can cause dry skin.

Alkaline stronger than pH 8 is very irritating to the skin and, unfortunately, the majority of skin care treatment products and household cleansers are far too alkaline. Most skin care soaps have a pH factor of 9 to 11 and many household cleansers range between 10 and 12. Oven cleaners come in around pH 13, which is why using rubber gloves is recommended.

When the acid mantle is disrupted by using skin care treatment that is too alkaline, it takes about 14 hours for the skin to get back to normal. However, by that time we’ve usually used the products again so, in fact, the damage never really gets repaired. The result is apparently permanent dry skin.

Fortunately, the condition is not actually permanent and you can start improving it by reading product labels. Often a label will state the pH or describe the product as ‘pH balanced’ which is supposed to denote a pH that approximates that of the skin – although, to be certain, I would look for the number, not just the ‘pH balanced’ designation. Look for skin care products that are between pH 4 and 7 and you will be on your way to preventing and treating dry skin.


[article from http://www.theopenpr...=press&id=16033]
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#2 Mandy Ann

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 02:38 PM

great info smile.gif

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#3 LionQueen

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 04:18 PM

from the SkinBiology website:


Skin pH and the Acid Mantle

"Skin pH" is a chemist's term meaning "Potential of Hydrogen" and is used to measure the degree of acidity or alkalinity in the outer layers of the skin. It is measured on a scale ranging from 0 to 14 where the center of the scale, at 7, is neutrality (neither acid nor alkaline). A reading below 7 indicates that the substance being measured is acidic and above 7 is alkaline.

The acid mantle, the combination of sebum (oil) and perspiration, on the skin's surface protects the skin and renders the skin less vulnerable to damage and attack by environmental factors such as sun and wind and less prone to dehydration. Normal skin pH is somewhat acid and in the range of 4.2 to 5.6. It varies from one part of the body to another and, in general, the pH of a man's skin is lower (more acidic) than that of a woman's. The acid mantle inhibits the growth of foreign bacteria and fungi and the skin remains healthier, and has fewer blemishes. Acne, allergies and other skin problems become more severe when the skin become more alkaline.

The pH system works in 10-fold multiples and each pH unit represents a 10-fold difference in alkalinity. For example, a soap with a pH of 10.5 has 10-times the alkalinity of a soap of pH 9.5. "Mild" soaps are often alkaline (pH 9.5-11), and remove the natural acid protection as well as extracting protective lipids (fats) from the skin. Irritated and eczematous skins tend to have a more alkaline pH, and washing with soap can increase this alkaline state and make the skin even more vulnerable to irritation and infection.

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#4 almost pretty

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 04:47 PM

QUOTE(LionQueen @ Mar 16 2007, 06:18 PM) View Post
from the SkinBiology website:


Skin pH and the Acid Mantle

"Skin pH" is a chemist's term meaning "Potential of Hydrogen" and is used to measure the degree of acidity or alkalinity in the outer layers of the skin. It is measured on a scale ranging from 0 to 14 where the center of the scale, at 7, is neutrality (neither acid nor alkaline). A reading below 7 indicates that the substance being measured is acidic and above 7 is alkaline.

The acid mantle, the combination of sebum (oil) and perspiration, on the skin's surface protects the skin and renders the skin less vulnerable to damage and attack by environmental factors such as sun and wind and less prone to dehydration. Normal skin pH is somewhat acid and in the range of 4.2 to 5.6. It varies from one part of the body to another and, in general, the pH of a man's skin is lower (more acidic) than that of a woman's. The acid mantle inhibits the growth of foreign bacteria and fungi and the skin remains healthier, and has fewer blemishes. Acne, allergies and other skin problems become more severe when the skin become more alkaline.

The pH system works in 10-fold multiples and each pH unit represents a 10-fold difference in alkalinity. For example, a soap with a pH of 10.5 has 10-times the alkalinity of a soap of pH 9.5. "Mild" soaps are often alkaline (pH 9.5-11), and remove the natural acid protection as well as extracting protective lipids (fats) from the skin. Irritated and eczematous skins tend to have a more alkaline pH, and washing with soap can increase this alkaline state and make the skin even more vulnerable to irritation and infection.


the soap i use has a ph of 10- i guess i should be concerned. i was using a ph balanced soap before i started gmr however i broke out more then than i do now.
My Favs:
Acne Treatment- sulfur products (joesoef 10% sulfur soap)
Hyperpigmentation Treatment- Licorice ( mario badescu whitening mask)
Texture/Shallow Scarring Treatment- topical vitamin E (mario badescu vitamin e cream)
Gentle cleanser- boscia purifying cleansing gel
Moisturizer- cerave lotion



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#5 LionQueen

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 05:23 PM

QUOTE(brown skin @ Mar 18 2007, 02:47 PM) View Post
the soap i use has a ph of 10- i guess i should be concerned. i was using a ph balanced soap before i started gmr however i broke out more then than i do now.


If you plan to keep using this soap, a pH-balancing toner of some kind would probably be a good idea.
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#6 Mandy Ann

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 05:25 PM

Lionqueen, isn't a good PH balanced toner apple cider vinegar?

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#7 LionQueen

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 05:34 PM

Lots of people swear by it, certainly. I have no personal experience with ACV, but I don't think it would hurt.

To be on the safe side, I think a 50% ACV/50% water solution would be the way to go ....
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#8 Lorrie

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 01:03 AM

Thank you for the info Lionqueen. I wondered how Ph factored into skin care. I just looked at several of the products I use and I cant find where it says the Ph level on any of them. Where would I find it at? or can I only tell if I go buy test strips? I know Paula's Choice products come highly recommended because they are properly Ph balanced but I doubt most companys would want you to know the Ph level of their products. Thanks again. Lorrie
Morning
Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash
Full fat finger of 2.5% BP


Evening
Purpose Cleanser
Jessfoliation
Paula's Choice 2% BHA Lotion (3-26-07)
Full fat finger of 2.5% BP all over but heaviest along jawline (switched to Dans BP 4-16-07)
Generic Cetaphil Moisturizer(heavy layer)

#9 LionQueen

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Posted 19 March 2007 - 10:19 AM


You can contact the company and ask. If they won't tell you, don't buy their products.
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#10 Lorrie

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 01:07 PM

Thank you LionQueen!
Morning
Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash
Full fat finger of 2.5% BP


Evening
Purpose Cleanser
Jessfoliation
Paula's Choice 2% BHA Lotion (3-26-07)
Full fat finger of 2.5% BP all over but heaviest along jawline (switched to Dans BP 4-16-07)
Generic Cetaphil Moisturizer(heavy layer)

#11 Ariventa

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 02:53 PM

QUOTE(LionQueen @ Mar 19 2007, 10:19 AM) View Post
You can contact the company and ask. If they won't tell you, don't buy their products.


I second that. IN general, I won't buy any products that don't make information reasily available. Even having to contact a company to find out BASIC information about a product in a bit much in my opinion. Any worthwhile product will not have anything to hide.

#12 jenn221

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Posted 20 March 2007 - 03:04 PM

Isn't it true that the skin on your face has a different pH level than for instance, the skin on your arms? I thought that was why you shouldn't use regular soap on your face but it is ok for the rest of your body.
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#13 Guest_Pieces Mended_*

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 09:43 PM

Great info! Thanks for posting it =)

#14 NdnRomeo

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Posted 24 March 2007 - 11:41 PM

I have a question:

Products like milk of magnesia have a high pH, very alkaline in nature. When you say "permanently dry skin" do you mean that it's dry in the sense that it won't produce sebum? Because that is what happens, but I can always compensate by moisturizing, which makes it feel moisturizes, just without the sebum.

Also, what risk does it bring in terms of bacteria... internally being susceptible to viruses since the skin weakens? Or bacteria relating to acne?

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People always think the key to fighting acne is to avoid foods, but in actually it's usually what they're NOT eating that's causing it to happen. It made no sense to start with omitting the small things that MAY cause acne for SOME people. Start with the basics of nutrition. You're a human, not an accumulation of minor problems from every person! Not everyone reacts to the same foods. Not everyone has issues with wheat and such foods. Start with the basics of good nutrition and THEN see what happens, omit foods once you feel something is not working, but don't base a diet off of what to avoid, that will make you malnourished and very depressed when you have nothing left to eat! It is true that some people have issues with some foods, but remember, try it for yourself first :)

Get to the root of the problem, because acne has a relentless and endless arsenal on the surface and it is sadistic.

Testosterone is a steroid hormone from the androgen group. Omega 3 fatty acids can also help to keep the production of androgens under control. Androgens are hormones that influence sebum production and are particularly active during adolescence, which is possibly why many teenagers suffer from acne. Androgen excess may provoke or aggravate acne by inducing seborrhea (sebum). In women, androgen disorders are frequently suspected when acne is accompanied by hirsutism or irregularities of the menstrual cycle. In men, however, acne may be the only sign of androgen excess.


#15 kingpin343

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 01:42 PM

Surely it doesnt matter about bacteria on the skin, it's not like the bacteria crawls into pores and blocks them

I think the usefullness of topical methods is purely to help shed skin cells (exfoliate) and help the sebum get out easily
In my opinion the only way for the majority of acne sufferers to be 100% clear is to:

Reduce overall sebum production by diet.

Feeding your skin and sebum glands the nutrients it needs to produce healthy oil instead of sticky pore-clogging oil.

Feeding your skin the nutrients that regulates and normalizes the shedding of skin cells.

Stop putting chemicals on your face such as peroxide

#16 Brandy

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Posted 07 April 2007 - 01:57 PM

You can buy pH test strips and test any product you have, if you're interested.





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#17 cleardream

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 07:08 PM

great info LQ, many thanks for posting! i'm concerned now about my Canus soap. eusa_think.gif

does anyone know whether jojoba oil is supposed to be pH balancing?

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#18 Lexica

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 10:17 AM

QUOTE(kingpin343 @ Apr 7 2007, 12:42 PM) View Post
Surely it doesnt matter about bacteria on the skin, it's not like the bacteria crawls into pores and blocks them


This isn't accurate - skin bacteria definitely causes acne, as well as other problems.

I went to the doctor just last week about a badly inflamed pimple I had, not on my face, chest, or back (the usual places). She said it was probably due to shaving: "Shaving causes microscopic breaks in the skin, too small to see, but large enough for the Staph that's always present on our skin to get in and cause infection." She recommended applying a thin layer of Neosporin or other antibiotic ointment after shaving to try to prevent this from happening again.

#19 lovepinkkx17

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Posted 02 June 2007 - 04:50 PM

where can you find the pH level?? i looked all over the bottle for it.

i looked on the bottom and i found the number 5 engraved into the bottle but i'm not sure if thats just liek a barcode identification number or something.

#20 this-love-is-sirius

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Posted 17 June 2007 - 04:25 PM

What about pH's in the 3s. Like I know some of Paula's Choice BHA treatments have like 3.2 or 3.4 pH balances. Is this good? Bad?