What is meant by Skin Acidity?

Skin care.

I never really understood what was meant by skin acidity. High school biology taught me that the skin is the first line of defence again infection, and my conclusion was that if your skin is acidic that must be one of the ways it stops the infection entering your body…?

Suddenly I wanted to know everything I could. I opened Google, because who else has all the answers, and typed in: what is meant by skin acidity?

I was right! Skin acidity helps keep bacteria and pathogens from entering the body but there are so many other aspects of it too. So, I have put together a brief summary of what skin acidity means.

When we talk about your skin being acidic we are actually referring to a layer on top of your skin called the acid mantel. This oily layer is made of sebum produced by your sebaceous gland (tiny ducts that lie near hair follicles). The sebum, mixed with your sweat is slightly acidic.

For interest: Hormones as well as an overproduction of sebum can cause these glands to become blocked and that forms a pimple.

Acidity is measured on the pH scale of 1 to 14, the lower numbers becoming more acidic, higher numbers more alkaline and 7 completely neutral. Human skin lies within a pH range of 4 (the same as tomatoes) to 5.5 (black coffee for reference). There are many factors that can change the pH of your skin’s acid mantel. Lifestyle and environment, such as putting on lotion or spending time in the sun, can affect the acidity levels.

Skin's protective mantle is mildly acidic

With so many different things to discuss related to the pH of your skin, we can’t put them all in one post. In future posts we are going to explore how to keep the pH balance of your skin right and, more importantly, find out what acidic skin does to jewellery. Now that you know a little about it maybe you too have a new interest in skin acidity.

References:

Health24. (2018). What is skin pH?. [online] Available at: https://www.health24.com/Medical/Skin/Caring-for-your-skin/What-is-skin-pH-20120721 [Accessed 20 Feb. 2018].

 

 

February 22, 2018 by Hannah Chambers