While sounding a bit like the title for a twisted superhero movie, pH balance and the Acid Mantle is actually an intimate relationship story inside our skin barrier that goes a long way in determining our skin health.
We can look at pH and the pH scale the same way we look at air temperature and using thermostats in our homes. As the air temperature moves outside a livable range, let's say above 100 or below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, it will damage the people trying to live there over time. The thermostat measures and helps us to manage that temperature to keep it in a healthy range.
Instead of being a temperature though, pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline our skin is at any time and the pH scale is like the thermostat because it gives us a range we can look at where conditions are healthy or damaging. Unlike a modern self-regulating thermostat, however, skin pH requires that we pay attention and manually adjust our pH into the healthy range from day to day. Here's a summary of how it works:
- The pH scale ranges from 0 - 14 with 0 being the most acidic, 14 being the most alkaline, and 7 being neutral;
- Our skin is healthiest when it is slightly acidic (4.8 - 6);
- Everything that comes into contact with our skin affects its pH, including air and water; and
- When our skin pH is outside the healthy range, skin damage sets in:
- Skin that is too acidic tends to be too oily and acne-prone; and
- Skin that is too alkaline tends to look dry, dull and prematurely lined.
When we keep our pH in the sweet spot of around 5.5, it supports overall skin barrier health and the acid mantle, in particular.
The Acid Mantle
Within our skin barrier network, the acid mantle is a thin, film-like layer composed of oils produced by our body, sweat and dead skin cells. A healthy acid mantle protects our skin from bacteria, moisture loss and environmental irritants.
Our skin pH has a direct impact on our acid mantle's health and its ability to deal with body oil production and dead cell maintenance. If our skin becomes too acidic, the acid mantle becomes too oily, trapping environmental irritants and failing to prevent bacterial penetration and infection. If our skin becomes too alkaline, the acid mantle loses its ability to retain moisture and a healthy skin cell barrier, which again, lets in all the wrong elements for our health.
The VU Perspective
All VU products are formulated at the right pH for optimal skin health. Because pH and the acid mantle work hand-in-hand to protect our skin from outside damage and moisture loss, we have solutions to keep these intimate friends in peak form:
Cleansing away environmental irritants .
- We want to remove excess and dirty skin oils while also removing all environmental irritants from skin; and
- We strongly recommend double cleansing with a blended cleansing oil (VU Cleansing Oil is coming in Autumn 2019) and a non-sulfate cleanser for thorough and gentle cleansing.
- Toning to re-balance pH.
- We want to use a mid to lower range pH toner that balances while not drying out the skin; and
- We recommend a portable balancing mist for on-the-go refreshing along with a multi-tasking, balancing toner for home use .
- Exfoliating to keep the acid mantle healthy.
- We want to remove the excess dead skin cells so that our barrier doesn't become clogged; and
- We recommend using gentle exfoliants, whether physical or chemical, to keep the skin barrier healthiest.
Make our cleansers
a part of your daily regimen. Find your optimum regimen with our Seasonal Regimen Finder to keep your skin its healthiest no matter where you are and any seasonal issues you are facing.