Striking that (pH) Balance
It’s a party over here this month at Shop Good. We’re finding balance by saying ‘yes’ to the fun, while keeping our health and wellness in mind, too! This balancing act can be a tricky one, but when we land that sweet sweet middle ground, omg does it feel good!
But what does finding that highly-coveted #balance got to do with the skin? Just about everything, in our books! The health of the skin and its ability to ward off bacteria, protect you from environmental stressors and achieve that dewy summer glow is oftentimes determined by the skin’s pH level.
More than just a marketing term, pH balance is a big fat deal when it comes to reaching our #skingoals. On a scale of 1-14, with 1 being the most acidic to 14 being the most alkaline, a pH of 5.5 on the skin’s surface is the ideal. (aha, the more you know!) But how do we strike that balance? And what about when that balance is thrown off? (enter overly dry, oily, inflamed or acne-prone skin…)
A quick lesson in science:
pH stands for “potential hydrogen” and depicts the ratio of acid vs alkaline in any substance. On our skin’s surface sits a protective layer called the “acid mantle”. It consists of sebum (free fatty acids) and when mixed with amino acids and lactic acids from sweat, it creates the skin’s pH.
Our skin has a thin, protective layer on its surface, referred to as the acid mantle. This acid mantle is made up of sebum (free fatty acids) excreted from the skin’s sebaceous glands, which mixes with lactic and amino acids from sweat to create the skin’s pH, which ideally should be slightly acidic – at about that 5.5 mark.
What happens when it’s out of balance:
Throw this balance off, via excess sugar, stress, chemically-laden or drying products or over-exfoliation, your skin won’t be happy. (Yes, the skin’s pH can be thrown off by both external and internal factors – diet is important here!)
Too alkaline? Your skin may appear dry, sensitive and inflamed and may see premature aging. Too Acidic? You may see aggravated breakouts, oily skin, redness, inflammation and even can be painful to touch.
What can I do to keep my skin balanced on the reg:
Luckily, there are ways to balance the skin’s pH and we’ll walk you through five of our favorite (and realistic) ways.
1. Cleanse wisely. Avoid cleansers that are harsh and stripping to the skin’s mantle. Most traditional cosmetic bar-soaps and face wash are overly alkaline at an 8-10 pH, leaving your skin feeling tight and dry and can strip the skin of its natural oils. Botnia’s Daily Face Wash is an ideal gentle cleanser for a balancing routine, leaving your skin feeling fresh without drying or stripping your skin. The juxtaposition of Willow Tree Bark (a natural exfoliator) and Hyaluronic Acid cleanses bacteria away but immediately repopulates the water content, keeping skin balanced and happy.
2. Forgo that hot water. Washing your face or body with hot water (that’s anything warmer than lukewarm) strips your skin’s protective mantle, while also depleting your moisture levels. Test that water and think before your rinse!
3. Stop scrubbing so much. We know, that glow right after a freshly-exfoliated face can be to-die-for. But over-exfoliation, especially when using harsh, sharp or gritty physical exfoliators can damage the skin’s moisture barrier and never give the skin a chance to repair itself or rebalance the pH levels. Opt for gentle physical exfoliators and use sparingly in your skincare regimen. Our newest favorite? Our Province Apothecary Daily Facial Glow Brush for it’s soft bristles and it’s ability to activate your lymphatic system. We also love our Wyld Skincare Konjac Sponges for their cloud-like softness when wet. Simply buff your cleanser into the skin using the sponge in gentle circular motions.
4. Treat by your skin type. Our skin experts at Shop Good can help you select products with ingredients that will help you re-balance your bio-individual skin type. It’s important to select your skincare wisely!
For oily skin:
Jojoba oil (found in Replenishing Facial Oil) – This might seem counterproductive but since it closely mimics the sebum naturally produced by our skin, it will “trick” sebaceous glands into producing less oil.
Sulfur (found in Fix Zit Mask) – helps regularly pull out oil and sebum trapped in pores – also such a great antibacterial agent!
For dry skin:
Botanical hyaluronic acid (Hydrating Serum + Gentle Hydration Mask) for a huge dose of hydration that penetrates deeply into the skin!
Colloidal Oatmeal (found in Kale Yeah + Flower Powder Masks) – have saccharides that help bind moisture to the skin.
5. Treat your skin: Getting a facial on a frequent basis (our holistic esthetician likes to recommend an average of 6 weeks between each facial for optimal results) encourages the skin to return to homeostasis. Whether you’re dealing with acne, overly dry or overly oily skin, our on-site holistic esthetician is trained to live mix your entire facial ingredients customized to what your skin is in need of. Raw, organic ingredients like Rosehip Seed Oil, Collodial Oats, Sulfur and Kale can be used in many varied combinations to target where your skin is at and bring it back into balance. You can book here to work on rebalancing your skin with our skincare experts!
Being cognizant of this #BALANCINGACT in your skincare routine will allow your skin to reach the balance its always dreamed of! Our Shop Good team is always here to help you identify where you are at with your skin and get you where you want to be / #skingoals.
Now, the hard part is deciding to go to that 5:30pm boot camp or meet the girls for drinks. Here’s to finding your balance, whatever that may look like!
*Feature Image by Clara of @holistichuman