pH Balance of Skin: Could It Be Wreaking Havoc On Your Complexion?

By now, you’ve likely noticed the effect of the seasons—heat, cold, dryness, humidity—have on your complexion. But what you may not know is that these climate changes throw our skin into a tantrum state by affecting the pH balance of skin and skin functions in general, which results in everything from acne to external aging. Here’s what you need to know about Pour Moi Skincare, the first climate smart skincare line, and how it will help to keep your pH in check.

Understanding the pH Factor and the pH Balance of Skin

Known as “potential hydrogen”— pH is used to describe the acid-alkaline balance of a substance, which ranges from 1 (the most acidic) to 14 (the most alkaline). Because the health of our bodies (and our skin) is directly linked to maintaining the right balance between acidity and alkalinity; throw off the equilibrium and you’ll most certainly know about it, thanks to a barrage of signs including wrinkles, inflammation, and acne. To work its best, the acid mantle should be slightly acidic, at a 5.5 pH balance, which is an ideal pH balance of skin. Microorganisms found in pollution, find it difficult to grow and thrive under acidic conditions, so the skin is protected. But if skin becomes too acidic, skin responds with redness, inflammations and cracks.

When it’s too alkaline, skin becomes dry and sensitive; you may even get eczema. You may also experience inflammation and the skin is unable to inhibit matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), the enzymes that destroy collagen and cause external aging like wrinkles and sagging.

Why the pH Balance of Skin Gets Out of Whack

When we’re born, our skin is the most neutral that it will ever be. It’s in its most perfect state. But, like many things, our body’s natural alkaline reserve (which balances out acidity) declines with age, largely because of climate and environmental factors like sun damage, smoke and air pollution. Since the 1980s satellite images have shown that there has been an enlarging hole in the stratospheric (or good ozone) in the Southern Hemisphere due to these environmental and climate conditions. This hole changes from day to day and causes higher dosages of UVB as well as UVA to hit the earth’s surface. The higher levels of UV radiation are very damaging to the skin, throwing it out of its perfect balance, breaking down its acid mantle, making it more alkaline and, eventually drier and more easily damaged.

According to a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, women with an alkaline stratum corneum (the skin’s outermost layer) developed more fine lines and crow’s feet than those with acidic skin after being studied for an 8-year period. Because of the climate and environmental aggressors, the skin’s protective barrier wasn’t able to be, well, protective. As a result, they were more prone to sun damage, which caused premature wrinkling and spots. Ironically, it’s sun damage that often throws skin into an alkaline state, so if not addressed, this can become a never-ending cycle in which sun damage causes the alkaline state, which in turn makes the skin vulnerable to even more sun damage. Which is why using Pour Moi, the only skincare line that makes products that are tailormade to addressing the harsh weather conditions and environmental stressors, is the only option to keep skin in optimal pH balance.

Getting the pH Balance of Skin Under Control

Think of your skin’s barrier like the paint that’s on the outside of your house: When it’s constantly being beaten down by the climate year-round (think ultraviolet rays, the heat of the sun, frigid cold, or the parched, dry heat you find indoors if you live in a cold climate), it starts to break down. It splinters, gets crusty and causes the house to lose some of its insulation from the elements. “People with chronically dry skin not only have more wrinkles and a crepey appearance, but they get colder easier, and it gets worse as you age because you keep chipping away at the balance of that acid mantle and protective lipid barrier,” explains Jeannette Graf, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

Just like a special sealant or regular paint touch-ups would fix that problem, so does replenishing your skin’s protective barrier with Pour Moi climate smart skincare that gives skin constant moisture, no matter what your skin type. Consider this little-known-secret about your climate: It is likely responsible for slowing down your skin’s natural exfoliating mechanisms, which further contributes to unbalanced ph levels and moisture loss. As we get older, the hydration level within our outer layer of skin dries out, and the enzymes that rely on that moisture to release the dead skin are too parched to do their job. Air pollution, heated, dry indoor air, and uv radiation slows down cell renewal, causing skin to look duller and drier… and that pesky dead skin can throw our skin into an alkaline state. The only course of action? Get rid of it. “When people ask me how many days a week they should balance their skin, I tell them, however many days a week you want your skin to look good,” says Graf.  To do, use The Hydrating Balancer twice a day to keep pH balance of skin levels, help remove excess dirt, oil and makeup after cleansing. It also helps to prep your skin for the products that follow to sink in faster and deeper for optimal benefits. Next, smooth one drop of Pour Moi Serum over your face and neck. Choose the White Serum if your skin is oily, combination or normal, or the Black Serum for dry skin. Finally, skip moisturizer and the result will be dry, thin, tight, older-looking skin – translation don’t do it! Be sure to apply the Pour Moi Day Cream that fits your climate conditions as the third and final step of your skincare ritual.

Keeping your skin balanced and moisturized are the dream team to healthy glowing skin. And finding the right climate smart skincare products are the key to getting and maintaining a perfectly balanced complexion. Poor me? No, Pour Moi.

Karina Giglio
About the Author: Karina Giglio is a lifestyle, beauty and health writer whose work has appeared in numerous national publications including Women's Health, Washingtonian, Ladies Home Journal, OK!, Allure, Fitness, Marie Claire, Bride's and The New York Post. She was a regular contributor to makeup.com, and her articles and blog posts can be found on prevention.com, dailyglow.com, yahoo.com and huffingtonpost.com. Karina has worked on staff at Cosmopolitan and YM, as well as being a part of the original launch team for Sephora.com.