Skin's pH plays an role in skin condition and pH plays an important role for proper skin function.
Many essential functions of the skin occur at a lower pH.
Our skin is naturally between pH of 4-6.
Our skin is capable of buffering pH through production
of fatty acids (sebum), natural moisturizing factors
(epidermis) and other amino acids.
The more acidic pH prevents bacteria overgrowth
and allows optimal function of enzymes for making
intercellular lipids like ceramides, and for proper desquamation.
Elevated pH from aging, cleansing,
and certain skin conditions such as acne and
eczema leads to breakdown of skin barrier
and further contributing to skin inflammation.
Schematic structure of epidermal barrier with its morphological and functional elements.
Skin pH is key to skin's protective barrier
It neutralises alkaline-based aggressors (such as harsh surfactants), inhibits the growth of bacteria and restores and maintains the optimal acid environment in which skin's natural flora can thrive.
Skin pH can be divided into two parts: the outside and inside skin pH.
The former applies to the skin surface and the latter to the pH-profile across the epidermis.
The inside and outside skin pH is addressed, as well as its importance and influence on skin barrier function.
The acidic pH is supposed to inhibit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms and keep the skin microflora in balance.
Key to restoring skin barrier is using gentle cleansers close to skin's natural pH, and moisturizers containing lower pH.
Internally: Age, genetics, gender, sweat, sebum, and anatomic location all contribute.
Externally: Cleansers and topicals used have the strongest influence.