We often receive consultations about the difference between cosmetic products with neutral, acidic or alkaline pH; ask about whether it is better to use one type of product or another type and even if there is a difference depending on the type of skin. Answering this question is not so easy, you not only have to take two different types of products but also two different points of view before taking a decision.
To address these fundamental questions we will compare the different points of view:
Conventional medicine advocates a neutral pH skin care as it does not affect the skin’s protective acid layer, which is a thin film formed by fat, sweat, and keratinocytes. Neutral pH ensures that the skin stays healthy. Instead, alternative medicine recommends alkaline products because it does not consider the skin to have an acid mantle. These are the different points of view that exist.
Neutral pH Skin Care
The skin has a slightly acidic pH. This discovery took place more than a century ago. The pH of healthy skin has an average value of 5.5 (water has a neutral pH of 7) Depending on age, sex, skin area, etc., the figure is different. The environment created is called acid mantle.
The term neutral pH in skin care does not refer to water, in terms of being neither acidic nor alkaline but neutrality of the skin. Therefore the products adapt to the pH value of the skin and are slightly acidic. The philosophy behind these products is to change as little as possible the acidity of the skin during washing so that its protective function is maintained.
A normal soap has a pH of 9, the higher this figure, the drier the skin. In the past, it was believed that the acidic mantle of the skin was restored in about an hour. There are current studies that show that the skin takes much longer to regenerate, making it sensitive for much longer.
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Alkaline body products start from the false premise that acids are harmful to the body. However the body is able to neutralize the imbalances, this happens daily with a normal diet. Acids are also excreted through the skin, this function is also important to maintain the acid mantle and inhibit the reproduction of fungi and bacteria. Wanting to neutralize acids with alkalis, in general, is not a good idea, as there are areas of the body that need acidity, so it can damage some functions rather than benefit them.
Basic Skin Care
Until the seventies, there were only alkaline products for skin care. For this reason, there are decades of experience in the cleaning and protection of the skin with this type of products. At present allergic reactions and skin damaged by the use of products with neutral pH are increasing. The damaged skin is attacked by fungi and bacteria, so the motto in body care must be no doubt Alkaline care instead of acidic load. A slightly alkaline pH of 7.4 does not dry the skin and is ideal for daily body care.
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Products with neutral pH destroy the skin’s natural regulation function. The so-called acid mantle does not exist and is an invention of the cosmetic industry for advertising purposes. The skin is rather low pH because the body, being loaded with acid is not able to excrete it and uses the skin for it. For this reason, using acidic products is not good.
If alkaline products are used, there is a reaction with the acids and neutralized. In this way, the release of acids and waste products is stimulated. If you take a one hour bath in an environment with a pH of 8.5 the water will absorb the acids emitted by the body. If products with neutral pH are used, the natural fat of the skin is lost. In this way, the sebaceous glands alter their natural function. The alkaline cosmetic products, however, stimulate the functioning of these glands.