For most people, “leading a balanced life” is the recurring theme of each New Year. The concept of “maintaining the right balance” is just as important to your body as it is to the work, emotional, spiritual and social aspects of your life. So, both this week and next week we’ll debunk the elusive term “pH balance” – What does it mean? Why is it important? Why should it influence your skin and hair care regime?
Let’s get started…
What does the term “pH” mean?
The term “pH” is one that probably conjures up memories from chemistry class in high school. For those fortunate to have not taken up chemistry in high school, “pH” stands for Potential Hydrogen and is a measure of the acidity of a solution. This measure of acidity is represented by the numbers one to fourteen on a scale – with numbers below seven denoting acidic solutions and numbers above seven representing non-acidic solutions. The below shows the pH values of some common solutions:
Solutions such as pure water, milk and blood that are neither acidic nor basic (non-acidic) are known as “neutral substances”.
Why does my skin and hair’s “pH” level matter?
A golden rule about your body’s pH balance is that “your skin and hair are at their best when their pHs are balanced”!
In the context of your body, a balanced pH does not necessarily refer to a neutral pH level - we’ll cover this in a second.
Is my skin balanced?
The balanced state of your skin is when it is slightly acidic. This is because, your skin’s sweat with sebum produced in your oil glands form a layer on the surface of your skin called an acidic mantle. The ideal pH of your skin’s mantle is around 4.5 to 5.5 and serves as a protective layer by combating bacteria, fungi and other pollutants.
Disrupting your skin’s mantle makes your skin more susceptible to bacterial infections and affects your skin’s natural regenerative and repair mechanisms. So, when your skin is balanced an slightly acidic, it better absorbs antioxidants and other anti-aging ingredients and wards off acne and wrinkles easier.
What about my hair?
Similar to your skin, your hair is also covered by an acidic mantle and is at its healthiest with a pH of 4.5 to 5.5. Your hair’s mantle helps maintain a healthy scalp and an adequate moisture balance within your hair.
Very importantly your hair’s mantle is also responsible for sealing your hair’s cuticles. Sealed cuticles reduce dryness and frizz and make your hair smoother and shinier. So, when it comes to your hair, acidic products seal your cuticles while basic (non-acidic) products such as shampoo open them up.
With that said, we’ll call it a day on today’s “tutorial”. Next week we’ll let you in on our recommended products to use for balancing the pH level of your hair and skin. Also, we’ll share some practical tips on how to effectively incorporate pH balancing into your daily skin and hair care regime.
Until then, have an awesome week!