Our skin is slightly acidic in its natural state, which means that when cosmetic advertisements talk about restoring the skin's natural pH balance they actually mean getting it back to being towards the acidic side.
This is sometimes confusing to people who have learned of pH balance in their science classes, where neutral is, for example, the pH of water, rated between 6 and 8 on the pH scale, while skin's natural levels fall at around 3 or 4 on the pH scale. It can be easy to assume that skin 'needs' to be the same as water, neutral on the pH scale.
Instead, what many skin scientists mean when they talk about restoring the natural pH balance of the skin is that they want to get the skin to that slightly acidic level that is the norm for a great proportion of the population. This is absolutely fine for most people.
However, people with exceptionally sensitive skin who suffer from skin flare-ups and conditions like eczema and acne often find that standard toiletries and cosmetics can make their issues worse. This is for several reasons:
- Firstly, it is hard to find a perfect range of acidity that would suit all skin types, and when manufacturers choose the 'middle ground' as an ideal pH for all skins, often those with more sensitive skin fall outside this range.
- Secondly, introducing acid onto the skin can be drying, stripping out the skin's natural layers of protective oil and leaving it vulnerable to allergens that can trigger rashes, eczema outbreaks and other uncomfortable and unsightly skin conditions.
- Thirdly, some people may have skin that needs a much more precise pH level, one that lies outside the wider range that is broadly accepted as normal by the industry. For these people, using 'normal' skin products can be like using harsh chemicals and abrasive scourers on the skin, potentially resulting in flare-ups, rashes and sensitivities.
- Finally, little is actually known about how conditions like eczema occur. That some foods, fabrics, detergents and soaps, even certain weather conditions can trigger them is reasonably well understood, but one of a pair of identical twins raised in the same environment, eating the same foods can develop eczema while the other does not – the reason for this is unknown. The solution might lie in differences in the skin's natural pH levels, with one twin having the wide 'normal' range of acidity, while the other needs their skin to be within a narrower, outlying range.
Sond are working on providing skin care products that work on a wider range of skin types, especially those with a need for more alkaline in the skin products. Sond skin products use a kinder pH range, moving away from the widely accepted acidic level to a true neutral pH – the effects of which on the skin are the same as plain clean water, kindly and gentle with no harsh skin oil stripping effects. It is now understood that while superficial skin layers are acidic, in fact the deeper layers are pH neutral – several steps towards alkaline from what is considered 'normal' for superficial skin layers. Visit sondskin.co.uk to look through the wide range of Sond skin friendly products to see if your irritated and inflamed skin can benefit from any of the products available.
Using more alkaline products, such as those to be found on the Sond website, can help your sensitive skin in two ways. Firstly, the alkaline pH balance in the products will not trigger flare-ups of your eczema. Eczema takes the form of sore itchy patches of skin that will worsen if they are scratched, picked at, or they continue to be exposed to the same irritants that trigger outbreaks. If the raw patches are particularly large or become deep, attacking through the many layers of the skin, it can scar leaving permanent unsightly blemishes which can cause issues with confidence and leading the sufferer to change the way they dress and behave in order to hide the scars from view.
All skin colours can suffer from eczema, with those with darker skin thought to be more prone to worse outbreaks, and unfortunately, it does not matter how dark or light your skin is: scarring can occur at any time, with bad outbreaks being more likely to leave permanent reminders.
Sond's eczema skincare has three benefits. It soothes the itching of an active outbreak, so the sufferer does not scratch and worsen the lesions. It also works on scar tissue, helping it to recover quickly and thoroughly so blemishes are minimised, if not eradicated altogether. And it swings the skin's pH balance towards alkaline, reducing the acidity that can work against the skin's own natural defences, and bringing pH levels in line with the deepest layers of the skin. Visit the website at sondskin.co.uk for more information and to browse the comprehensive range of skin-friendly products.