Why is it important to have a balanced pH?

pH and your skin

It’s a little-known fact that unbalanced pH levels trigger acne and can cause existing breakouts to last longer. When this balance is disturbed, the body’s acidity rises, immunity is lowered, and acne bacteria thrive. Did you know that people who say “a poor diet can cause acne” are actually referring to the harmful effects of acidic pH?

What is the Science Behind pH Levels?

The letters stand for the pH abbreviation “potential hydrogen”, or the measure of hydrogen ions in a solution. In this case, the “solution” is your blood and your pH is the amount of oxygen that is in it. For optimal health and skin condition, the pH should stay balanced in the range of 7.0 to 7.5.

A pH that lands in higher numbers in the table below (from 7.0 to 9.5) is considered alkaline and is rich in oxygen. A value between 6.5 and 4.5 is acidic and low in oxygen. For optimal health, human blood should remain at a level between 7.0 and 7.5. As soon as it falls below this value, the body is plagued by diseases. Above the 8.5 level, cells become too oxygenated and begin to die.

Why is it important to have a balanced pH?

Bacteria, viruses, and cancer feed on acid, which is a by-product of sugar. When your body is severely acidic, it is more likely to succumb to illness and bacterial overload. This includes an overload of acne bacteria! Those who are commonly affected by colds, flu, and bronchitis often have poor eating habits and an exceptionally acidic pH. High pH also contributes to inflammation, which means that healing takes longer when the body encounters a foreign pathogen.

What foods help create optimal pH?

Example 1 – Bad diet = high acidity

For example, suppose a person eats the following diet every day for a week: pancakes, sweetened coffee, grilled cheese, soda, spaghetti, sourdough bread, and beer. By the end of the week, her pH would likely be around 5.0-5.5 (very acidic). You would be very prone to illness and acne breakouts. Processed foods, refined white starches, alcohol, and refined sugars cause high levels of acidity in the blood. This in turn leads to body-wide inflammation.

Example 2 – Healthy Diet = Low Acidity

Now take another person who eats this diet every day for a week: scrambled eggs, fresh strawberries, lemon water, Caesar salad, carrot sticks, iced tea, and a broccoli chicken breast. Since this person incorporated non-acidic foods like vegetables and fruits and also avoided sugary drinks, their pH would be significantly more alkaline, likely in the 6.0 to 7.0 range. Your immune system would be strong and you would be far less prone to breakouts.

Exactly how does pH affect my skin?

The p.Acnes bacteria feed on any acid in the body. When your body is consistently acidic, it is basically creating food for all types of bacteria to thrive. The p.Acnes bacteria are no exception as they also feed on acid. If the body is overly acidic, a small breakout can become large and inflamed, and it can take several weeks to heal.

Just as the skin stays breakout free when oxygen can penetrate the pores, so the body stays in balance when its blood levels are at the correct oxygen levels and pH 7.0 to 7.5. Unfortunately, most people have a lot more acidic blood and end up in the 5.0 range, which is way too acidic to keep inflammation at bay.

If you are prone to acne and oily skin, it is best to stick to a diet that is largely sugar and carbohydrate free, with plenty of fresh vegetables. After a few weeks, you will find that your pH is nearing the target of 7.0 and breakouts are far less common. If you break out occasionally, it will heal quickly. When you add more green foods to your diet and drink fresh lemon water several times a day, you can do wonders for removing toxins from your body. The alkalizing effects of these foods have anti-inflammatory effects – both internally and externally.

How do I know when my pH has reached 7.0?

When alkalinization is optimal, you will see improved energy levels, clearer skin, faster healing, fewer indigestion, improved memory, and improved immunity.

Using pH balance test strips can also help track your progress on a daily or weekly basis. They can be used to quickly test with saliva or urine and accurately determine the current pH of your system.

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