Monthly Archives: April 2018
We all spend a lot of time seeking balance in our lives: work-life balance, a balanced diet, a healthy bank account balance. But most of us never realize that we also need balance when it comes to our skin care. Specifically, we need skin care products and treatments that are pH balanced to maintain the health and normal function of our skin.
To start, what is skin pH?
First, let’s get a quick refresher on our long-ago science classes! The pH scale measures how acidic, neutral, or alkaline a substance is. A pH of 0 is extremely acidic, and 14 is extremely alkaline. Healthy skin has a pH of about 4.6-5.6, which is slightly acidic—about the same as black coffee, tomatoes, and bananas. This comes from what’s called the “acid mantle”, a thin protective layer that’s part of the skin’s natural barrier functions, made up of a mix of sebum with lactic and amino acids produced by sweat.
Now let's talk about how to improve our skin's pH
Too often, when we think we’re taking care of our skin, we’re actually disrupting the acid mantle and leaving our skin open to dryness, breakouts, or even flare-ups of conditions like eczema or rosacea. It’s hardly our fault; skin pH was something we were probably never taught about, and we’re encouraged to do things like wash our hands regularly with soap. It’s a good hygiene habit, but ordinary hand soap has a pH of 10 or 11—very alkaline!
So, what if you have a skin condition like eczema?
Likewise, eczema patients are often encouraged to take baths using a diluted bleach solution. But bleach ranks a whopping 13 on the pH scale, the same as oven cleaner and just one step below liquid drain cleaner. Considering that eczema patients usually have a skin pH around 6 or 7 to begin with, you can see that bleach baths are only going to add to the problem.
If you suffer from eczema, Dr. Cheryl Lee Eberting, M.D., founder of CherylLeeMD Sensitive Skin Care, recommends using a dilution of vinegar (particularly apple cider vinegar) instead of bleach to treat symptoms and support the acidity of the skin barrier.
You can also view our selection of CherylLeeMD products for skin care that is carefully pH balanced, non-toxic, and free of the 88 most common allergens found in skin care.
So what is keratosis pilaris and why does it have the nickname "chicken skin"! Keratosis Pilaris is a skin condition caused by the build up of keratin, a protein in the body that protects the skin. When keratin is not naturally exfoliated, it can form a hard plug that clogs hair follicles and creates inflamed bumps on the skin. Learn the best skin products to use to prevent or clear up chicken skin. These 5 easy skin care steps will bring back your confidence and get you showing off your beautiful skin again.
1. Gently exfoliateThe keyword here is, “gently". If you use an exfoliator that is too rough or abrasive you can worsen keratosis pilaris, inflaming the bumps, making them more noticeable. Loofahs are great for exfoliation but make sure to soak them before using.
2. Find the right products for you
Look for products with glycolic, salicylic, or lactic acid to help smooth the area and break down the buildup of excess keratin. We recommend Obagi KèraPhine Body Smoothing Lotion for keratosis pilaris. This product contains 15% glycolic acid.
3. Try vitamins & supplementsTake a daily fish oil supplement. A diet rich in omega-3's can aide the skin in shedding dead skin cells, preventing them from sticking in hair follicles.
4. Prescription retinoidsAs if Tretinoin (Retin-A) wasn't amazing enough for its effectiveness on acne and aging skin, you can also use it to treat keratosis pilaris! This vitamin A derivative increases the cell turnover rate which flattens out those annoying bumps. Tretinoin is available in 3 prescription strengths
5. Moisturize!Keratosis pilaris is caused by dry skin, it’s more noticeable in the winter months when the weather is drier. Use a good moisturizer that won’t clog your pores. Again, Obagi's Keraphine lotion, specially formulated for rough skin is the clear winner. This lotion is specially formulated to treat keratosis pilaris. It contains alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that exfoliates dead skin cells, smoothing bumpy skin patches.
Your reward? Sleeveless shirts!Finish the Summer wearing sleeveless shirts without feeling self-conscious.Check out our products for Chicken skin/Keratosis Pilaris.