What is common between the sun, facial soap, detergent and hard water?
They clean and nourish? Yes. But. There’s a BUT here- an overexposure to them can have a long lasting impact on your skin. And NOT necessarily in a way you would like.
We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to balance the pH of your skin that takes care of the delicate protective outer layer called the acid mantle. When your skin’s pH is balanced, it assumes the role of a warrior for the protection of your skin, saving it against germs, combating pollutants, zits and acne causing bacteria. When the skin’s pH is balanced, your skin will not be an oil well and neither will it be dry or flaky. It also functions well as an absorber of antioxidants when the pH is maintained.
When something is so critical to you, we think you deserve to know more deeply about it. And so we decided to dedicate a series of articles on how you can protect this fragile layer by using the knowledge of Ayurveda from the east combined with the practical understanding of antioxidants and actives found in the west.
How You Damage The Skin pH
1.Wash your face too much
There IS such a thing as over cleansing. When you use a facial cleanser, unless it is pH balanced, it is likely to destroy the protective sheath of your skin overtime. You do not want that to happen since the acid mantle is there to serve few very critical functions which are
- to protect your skin from pollution and bacteria to stick
- secrete enzymes that curtail excess secretion of oily and sticky sebum from the skin’s sebaceous gland, a gland that lies beneath your skin.
- Boost immunity of skin cells.
This is a fairly neat indicator of a good facial cleanser.
An ideal facial cleanser must do its job well of removing the dirt, excess oil and unclogging pores, but without skewing the pH balance of the skin or thinning the acid mantle. For example, Shankara’s Hydrating Facial Cleanser is one of the gentlest facial cleansing blends you will find when it comes to skin care. Ultra-soothing chamomile, lavender, neem, and calendula combine in this luxurious hydrating cleanser that leaves skin feeling soft and supple but never greasy.
- Gentle, soothing and non-irritating cleanser for dry skin
- Protects the natural acid mantle
- Gently and effectively removes make-up
- Leaves skin feeling moist and silky
2. Use of soaps and detergents
Do you remember back in the days when there WERE no facial cleansers distinct from body washes? All you would find in the bath cabinet would be a bar soap. That’s it. Just a bar soap for your face and body. Sometimes, old habits die hard. But here is the thing. The overuse of soaps and detergents may have damaged your skin’s natural protection, leaving it open and vulnerable to attack from allergens and pollutants from the environment.
A study published by the pediatrics department of University of Vienna, School of Medicine, Austria concluded that cleansing agents like soaps and detergents significantly influences and increases the pH of the skin surface even in infants, as it does for adults (proved in previous studies).
“The increase of the skin pH irritates the physiological protective ‘acid mantle’,” the study says, “changes the composition of the cutaneous bacterial flora and the activity of enzymes in the upper epidermis, which have an acid pH optimum. The dissolution of fat from the skin surface may influence the hydration status leading to a dry and squamous skin.” To put it simply, the use or overuse of detergents and soaps destroy the microbial growth favorable for the skin’s softness and health and it exposes the skin cells to irritants from outside.
3.Use of tap water which is hard
The Vienna study mentions that even the use of tap water can influence the skin’s pH. When your tap water is hard water, it poses a challenge to your skin. Hard water happens to be highly alkaline that raises the skin’s pH level. Also, you must know that bad bacteria as opposed to the good ones, thrive in high alkalinity. They generally cannot tolerate acidic medium, which is how the acid mantle of your skin manages to protect the skin from bacterial infections while keeping it supple. To make sure, your skin is still taken care of, it is important to buy skin care brands that are natural, pH balanced and makeup for the alkalinity in the water.
4. Too much of the sun
Doctors do recommend intake of natural vitamin D from the early morning sun. In fact, not enough of good sunlight has been touted as the reason for general fatigue and low bone density in people above the age of 30, both men and women. But when it comes to your skin, you have to weigh in here. Too much exposure to sun light can damage the acid mantle, make it more alkaline, and prone to dullness, skin disease and pigmentation. If you happen to have a job where you may be out in the sun lot more than you’d desire, you can focus on products that replenish the acid mantle of the skin, nourish it and protect it like Shankara’s Daily Repair Treatment range. Something like Shankara’s Daily Repair Body Mist can come in handy, you know! A spray body moisturizer to nourish, calm, and hydrate.
Repairing daily damage to the skin has never been easier than with a moisturizing body spray that is designed to naturally renew, calm, nourish, hydrate, and protect. The nutrient-rich spray is full of antioxidants and is designed to naturally support skin renewal and rejuvenation.
- Supports natural skin repair
- Hydrating and moisturizing
- Soothing and calming
- Rich in nutrients and antioxidants
5.Highly acidic diet
Now, you must know, for the skin, a pH of 4-5.5 is ideal, which is bending towards more acidic but for the body in general, the pH must be anywhere between 7.35 and 7.45, which is way more towards the alkaline side. The worst thing you can do for your skin is, give it beauty care products that increase its pH. But for your body, your diet needs to be alkaline. Alkaline foods have just the right amount of vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants that you need for a glowing effulgent skin.