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How important is your skin's pH?

How important is your skin's pH?
Sensitive skin is a problem! It is characterised by redness, reaction to skin care products, severe acne and breakouts, and ultimately, to premature ageing. What many women don’t realise, is that changes in their skin’s pH may be the major cause.

Something we talk about alot, is that approximately 40% of women suffer from sensitive skin. And that means that many of you ask brands, like us, ‘is this suitable for sensitive skin?’ Most are content with the assurance that the product(s) is ‘gentle,’ and only a few ask why the product is suitable.

Sensitive skin is a problem! It is characterised by redness, reaction to skin care products, severe acne and breakouts, and ultimately, to premature ageing. What many women don’t realise, is that changes in their skin’s pH may be the major cause. pH stands for “potential hydrogen” and is used to describe the acid- alkaline ratio of a substance, which ranges from 0 (the most acidic) to 14 (the most alkaline). As it happens, there is a sweet spot for skin, and that is around 5.5.

Says Dr Travis Badenhorst, President of the NZ Society of Cosmetic Chemists and Scientist at Snowberry skin care: “Change your skin’s pH, which you can do by using the wrong products or eating a badly balanced diet – think junk food – and those changes will soon be evident.For example, a 2010 study in the UK tracked women’s skin over an eight-year period. What that showed was that women whose skin was more alkaline, developed more fine lines and crow’s-feet, and their skin was more prone to sun damage—than those with acidic skin.”

However, while it is less common for skin to be excessively acidic, when it is imbalanced in this way, breakouts occur, and the skin can become red and painful to touch.

“When we say to consumers that they must protect their skin, we are not referring simply to UV protection. A primary goal, every day, is to protect the skin’s lipid barrier and acid mantle. Together, these two components of the skin’s barrier are responsible for keeping in moisture while blocking pollution, toxins, and bacteria. To do this, the acid mantle should be slightly acidic, at a 5.5 pH balance.”

Dr Badenhorst’s advice is that if your skin is sensitive, it is likely the skin’s pH is out of balance, and corrective action is required. “Generally, if your skin feels very oily and is prone to redness and breakouts, it is an indicator of more acidic skin. If it tends to dryness with flaky patches combined with redness, it is probably too alkaline, which may lead to eczema and inflammation – also reducing the skin’s ability to inhibit the enzymes that can destroy collagen and cause wrinkles and sagging.

From a daily skin care perspective, it is critically important to use cleansers that will not disturb the acid mantle or degrade the lipid layer. Unfortunately, there are cleansers and exfoliators that very effectively destroy both the acid mantle and the lipid barrier, and this leaves your skin unable to defend against common irritants. The more they are used, the worse the problem becomes. pH will change, and sensitivity will result. All Snowberry cleansers are formulated not to interfere with the skin’s barrier in any way.” Snowberry has just released its brand new, ‘So Easy Makeup Remover.’ At just $29 for 130ml, this is a very cost-effective product, but most importantly, the makeup remover will not interfere with the skin’s natural pH.

“Choosing skin care should be simple. Essentially, you need a cleanser, a makeup remover, a serum, and a moisturising cream. In the Snowberry range, that means you choose the So Soft Cleanser, or the Gentle Cleanse & Tone.It means choosing the So Easy Makeup Remover, or the Instant Deep Cleanser. It means choosing the New Radiance Face Serum, or the Intensive Renewal Face Serum. And it means choosing the day cream formulated for your skin type – whether combination, normal or dry.That means thatif you have dry skin for example, your choice is the Simply Delicious Moisturiser, or the Nourishing Rich Day Cream.”

Why is there a choice of each type of product? “It’s simply a price decision in the end. You can choose So Soft Cleanser at $29, or the Gentle Cleanse & Tone at $55. Or the Simply Delicious at $55 or the Nourishing Rich Day Cream at $90. The difference is that one product is more luxurious than the other. But both work and both protect the skin in the way good skincare products should.”

Let us know if you have any questions about pH, or any related matter. But here’s to less sensitive, and more radiant skin!

 

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