Why the pH of your skin matters - keep your skin healthy... and acidic.
When we were searching for something to calm by babies eczema i was told that baking soda in the bath would be good... beneficial... and calming.
But I want to let you know why this is bad advice for some people...
Your skin has very fine, slightly acidic film (skin sebum and the sweat on your skin) on the surface called the acid mantle which protects the body from germs and bacteria and likes to sit at around PH 5.5.
If your skin becomes too alkaline instead of acidic, that protective mantle will not work, follicles will dilate which will increase the permeability of the skin which can then become more vulnerable to microorganisms, fungi and irritants.
So when our babies eczema became worse and the skin cracked and bled, we ended up hurting her skin further in the process of these baking soda baths.
Unfortunately baking soda is highly alkaline and will destroy the acid mantle with its pH of 8.2. For the most part you can put stuff on it that is higher or lower in ph than 5.5 and it will re-stabilise itself, but for some people with more sensitive skin, or young skin it might not, and you might need to balance it with something naturally slightly acidic like coconut oil.
I read so often that baking soda is is great for neutralising the acids on your skin. But I cant understand why anyone would want to do this and run the risk of knocking the acid mantle out of balance, which can lead to inflammation, dermatitis and atopic skin diseases.
Are people maybe mixing up what pH your insides (blood and tissue) like to be perhaps? which yep, is slightly alkaline.
The PH (acidity scale) of your body is a weird thing, each and every part seems to sit at a different level!
In fact your insides alone have a few different scales alone....
Saliva - 6.5–7.4
Sits at around 6.5–7.4,
The stomachs digestive tract - 1.5 to 7.0
Can be anything from 1.5 to 7.0, depending on the stage of digestion.
Human blood and tissue - 7.35–7.45
Has a narrow pH window of about 7.35–7.45 (slightly alkaline).
The vagina - 3.8 - 4.2
Do you know what PH level your vagina is happiest at? It likes to be acidic like your skin. In fact, even more acidic than your skin! Around 3.8 - 4.2.
So as a woman if you bathe in baking soda regularly you run the risk of infections like bacterial vaginosis and yeast infections.
The skin - 5.5
For the most part the skin is pretty robust and will return itself back to its preferred pH level and there are things that you can add to your bath to combat the alkalinity such as vinegar, cream of tartar or even lemon juice to the bath.
You can also rinse off the alkaline bath water in the shower followed by a cream or oil that is slightly acidic like coconut oil.
So, check the ph of the things you are putting on your skin especially if you are getting sensitive or itchy skin.
When you keep your acid mantle healthy you will find your skin will be softer, more plump...
...and you may even see a reduction in wrinkles!