Is Your Routine Altering Your Skin's pH?
By Sydney Boryga
April 25, 2018
Yesterday we covered exactly what pH means, how it affects the health and look of our skin, and the healthy pH range our skin should be in at all times. Let's take a look at how your routine might be affecting your skin's pH.
Have you ever used a foaming cleanser or soap on your face and felt that tight, squeaky clean feeling on your skin afterwards? You may think that your skin has been thoroughly cleansed, and that's true. But that also means you just disrupted your skin’s pH! Products like foaming cleansers and traditional bar soaps tend to be too harsh for our faces because they strip away our skin’s natural moisture. If your products contain high-foaming agents such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), it might be time to ditch them.
Here are some things to look out for in your cleansing routine:
- First off, SLS. This cleaning agent is quite strong and while it strips the skin of dirt and impurities, it also takes away the skin's natural oils--which are necessary for protection. It's found in cleansers, body washes, and other types of cleaners.
- Alcohols found in many beauty products--like cleansers, toners and makeup wipes-- are also quite irritating on the skin. They're used to lighten the weight of products and help other ingredients perform better, but completely dry out the skin. Isopropyl and ethyl alcohols are two to look out for. Try oil cleansing and a toner like witch hazel or rosewater! They're much gentler on the skin.
- If you're super into fragrant products, try ones that use essential oils ( remember you can never use pure essential oil directly on the skin, it is way too strong), rather than synthetic fragrances made of chemicals. When you see "fragrance" on the ingredient list of a product, beware--it can represent a number of various chemicals. "Fragrance" is not regulated by the FDA which means a lot of companies are using poisonous substances to create their "fragrance". These chemicals really dry out the skin and break down the protective barrier. *This is the reason why we are "fragrance-free"
Sun Exposure + Weather
For my beach and nature babies, too much sun can damage and remove our acid mantle (remember, that’s our skin’s thin protective layer), which can lead to rashes, dry skin, acne, and irreversible aging. When UV rays enter our skin, these rays upset the growth and appearance of skin, and over time, affect the elasticity.
Be sure to always grab an SPF before heading out for the day, even if it's cloudy! The sun's rays are super strong, even with overcast.
Changing seasons also have a large effect on the skin, and as they change, so should your skincare routine.
- During the mild and colder months, the air is a bit dryer and sucks the moisture out of your skin. This is when you should opt for rich moisturizers with a bit more weight to them to make sure your skin can withstand the cold temperatures. Avocado Oil is a great choice.
- Humidifiers keep the air in your home moist, and are great for a number of reasons, including keeping your skin nice and hydrated. Put one in the room you spend the most time in and enjoy balanced and hydrated skin.
- When its warm out, the skin is more likely to produce higher levels of oil (which can lead to breakouts). Check out how to combat excessive sebum production and keep your skin balanced: Tips and Tricks for Oily Skin.
Lack of exercise, smoking, and a poor lifestyle/diet can also disrupt our skin’s balance. These factors will build up acidity in our body, and reflect on our skin, which likes to remain at a pH of 5.5. Building up too much acid is not beneficial to the skin's appearance nor performance. (It also encourages disease)
- Other aspects of your lifestyle (that you may not have control over) can affect the skin's pH, like hormonal changes. Whether you're going through puberty, taking a form of birth control, pregnant or going through menopause, the state of your skin will alter.
- This is nothing to worry about, it's completely normal for you to notice a change in your skin at different stages in life. All we can do is roll with the punches.
All in all, what you consume, activities you do, and products you use all affect the look and feel of your skin. Try to remove any harmful habits from your life for your skin's sake, as well as for your mind and body. We want to maintain overall wellness, you know?!
Friday we let you know some key ways to restore your skin's pH, so don't fret! Stay tuned!
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***Deep Detox features hibiscus, which has been found to balance the skin's pH levels.
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**This is a customizable mask, and we recommend including coffee because it helps combat UV damage. Perfect for protecting the acid mantle layer on the skin we talked about yesterday!
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