Our body and skin require a balance between alkaline and acidity for our acid mantle – the barrier that keeps moisture in and germs and toxins out. Anything over seven is considered alkaline. Skin that falls on this end of the scale tends to be drier and more prone to wrinkles, while skin that’s too acidic can appear red, irritated and itchy. Slightly acidic, around 5.5, is epidermal heaven. But there are ways you can naturally balance out the pH of your skin at home.
Combine a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice in ½ cup of water; apply it to your skin like you would a normal toner. This toner lemon will restore skin’s pH balance as well as kill bacteria on the surface of the skin. The citric acid will also fight fine lines, wrinkles and acne.
Anti-oxidants and sunscreen
Topical antioxidants (vitamins A, C, E, and green tea) are important in maintaining the acid mantle in two ways. First, they fortify the cells so they can function optimally and second, they protect the cells from environmental stresses and oxidation. The daily use of sunscreen defends the acid mantle by shielding the skin cells from sun damage and increasing the skin’s ability to protect itself.
Mix one part ACV in eight parts water and spray it all over your body before you take a shower and wash off, you can also use it like a normal toner on your face. It has antibacterial properties that fight skin infections and clean out pores. It also balances the pH levels on the scalp to fight dandruff and remove product buildup from hair follicles.
It’s immensely important to stay hydrated and eat an alkaline diet that relies heavily on antioxidant rich foods like leafy green vegetables (kale, spinach, avocado, broccoli, asparagus and bell peppers), low sugar fruits (like apples, lemons, bananas, berries, pomegranate and watermelon), nuts (walnuts, almonds and chestnuts are best), grains (quinoa, steel cut oatmeal, amaranth), and seeds (such as chia, flax, pumpkin and sunflower). Try avoiding acid-forming categories like sugar, dairy, red meat, processed grains, yeast, alcohol, and caffeine.
Choosing the right kind of skincare
As we age, the amount of oil or sebum naturally produced by our skin decreases, influencing the acid mantle and its ability to protect the skin. Using effective moisturizers helps rebuild this important barrier. Oils that work particularly well with the skin’s natural oil secretions include jojoba, coconut, argan and olive oils. When shopping for skincare, look for products with active ingredients to help balance out your skin. Stick to cleansers that use chemical exfoliants, such as alpha, beta, or polyhydroxy acids. They can more evenly and safely remove dead skin cells than physical exfoliants like beads, washcloths, and scrubs. Avoid ingredients like Propylene Glycol, Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA), and Monoethanolamine (MEA).
Avoid soap bars and shift to mild face and body washes to maintain the pH of your skin. Look for products that don’t contain soap or detergents as they can erode the skin barrier.