What Is P.H.? PH is short for “Potential of Hydrogen.” It is a measurement of Hydrogen Ions.

Hydrogen, as you all know, is a major building block of all organisms and since our skin is made up of 70% water it requires us to have a more acidic skin PH in order to retain more hydrogen. When acidic, hydrogen is released, and when alkaline, hydrogen is removed. In fact, most body functions only occur at certain levels of acidity or alkalinity, so one minor change in PH can throw off the body. Most organs function best at neutral or slightly alkaline at almost a PH 8. Skin, on the other hand functions best at an acidic PH between a 4.5-6.

The PH scale developed by Danish scientist Sorensen in 1909 ranges from 0-14 with 7 being neutral. When we are born we have neutral skin of PH 7 which quickly becomes more acidic to protect us as children from harmful irritants as well as bacteria, but unfortunately with age our skin tends to become more alkaline. It’s the alkalinity that allows for more foreign bacteria, irritation, erythema(redness), acne, and in general compromised skin.

It is important to restore the skin to its healthy normal PH by using products that do not cause the skin to become more alkaline. Most over the counter cleansers and soaps are alkaline with a PH of 9-11. Using these products, not only change the PH of the skin but they also break down the skin’s natural protecting barrier also called the “Acid Mantle”, a combination of sebum and perspiration. In turn these over the counter cleansers allow for foreign bacteria to invade the skin. They also strip the skin of its natural hydrating lipids (fats) causing the skin to become dehydrated and wrinkled, and ultimately rid of the good bacteria (Staphylococcus epidermis) on the skin required for its healthy function as well.

Also, the more damaged or compromised the skin typically the more alkaline it is. So using an alkaline cleanser will only cause increased irritation especially in the case of Eczema or Rosacea.

Make sure that the cleanser you are using is acidic, nothing higher than a PH of 6. An acidic cleanser will remove the debris without altering the skin’s PH. When a cleanser is acidic with a PH less than 4, you will feel it much like glycolic or salicylic washes. However, most cleansers are formulated to an acidic
level of PH 4-5.5 in which you will not feel at all. Before long you will notice an improvement in the appearance of your skin as it will be more balanced and healthy.

Luckily for men their skin tends to be more acidic than women, another reason why men tend to have fewer issues with break-outs. Unfortunately for everyone, the environment is a lot harsher than it once was with more pollutants and free radicals, so it is very important to maintain a good skin barrier. After all, this is the body’s first defense against disease.