by Dawn Michelle of MinimalistBeauty
I’ve used many, many cosmetic products over the years. Being in the retail beauty business, I had the opportunity to try many products for free and received full-size cosmetics for free. Regardless of the cosmetic brand, the best products overall were pH balanced and, for health purposes, organic and chemical-free.
Once we decide that we are no longer going to use chemical-laden beauty products, we may look at what’s in our kitchen to truly keep it natural and also to keep the cost of our beauty regimen much lower than it was before. We do our online research to see what others are using, and if you’re like me you may even buy books to learn about herbs and natural beauty care. If you want to get consistent results with whatever you are using or making, the most empowering way to do this is to understand pH balance and to purchase pH testing strips.
The Problem with Many Skin Care Products
The skin is a miraculous organ that lets us know when it is experiencing imbalance or other issues. Instead of looking at diet, water intake, stress levels, and prescription medicines, many of us turn to big-selling skin care companies that may not be pH balanced, and in turn dry the skin out with high pH soap and chemical ingredients as well as overly acidic ingredients. You may at first see an improvement in your skin, then over time either notice that the product is no longer working, or that if you don’t religiously use the product your skin is an absolute mess. So what just happened?
When the skin’s natural pH levels are compromised, it no longer has its innate defenses from pollution, fungi and other bacteria. This is also when you are more likely to experience acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, rosacea, and skin aging. Skin care products that are too acidic or too alkaline can throw the skin out of wack. When skin remains within its natural pH zone of 4.5-5.5, it is able to heal itself very well.
If you are using store-bought skin care products or making them yourself, it is important that each and every product be within this healthy skin pH range. You will then be working with your skin versus against it, improving your skin’s overall health and appearance. Other factors that can also help are drinking lots of purified or alkaline water, eating alkaline foods, and taking supplements balanced in omega fatty acids.
The Problem with Many Hair Care Products
The healthy pH of hair is between 4 and 7, a much broader range to work with than skin. If you use a hair product that is higher in pH than a 7 and you do not follow up with an acidic mixture like aloe vera juice, a tea/herbal rinse, or a diluted apple cider vinegar rinse, your hair will probably not be happy.
Many hair care products have so many synthetic ingredients that it is ridiculous! We rate the product based on how our hair feels, not having any idea that our hair feeling soft and smooth may only be because the product that we use coated our hair strands with synthetic fillers. If you have used anything that chemically alters the hair, your hair literally won’t survive without the chemical fillers since the hair dye, perm, relaxer, etc., has created tiny holes in the hair’s cuticle. The synthetic fillers keep your hair “feeling” healthy.
Shampoos and other hair washes that have a high pH over 7 can make our hair initially feel soft, but then dry out the hair by leaving the hair cuticle too open and susceptible to the natural elements in the air. I learned this lesson the hard way with natural shampoo bars last year. Following with an acidic hair rinse would have counteracted the problem I dealt with which was extreme dryness and breakage.
I believe not opening the hair cuticle with high pH products will in turn give you the best overall results. Using an acidic mixture no lower that the pH of 4 can keep your hair shiny, strong and in beautiful condition. You will most likely experience a dry, itchy scalp, dandruff, scalp eczema, psoriasis and brittle hair strands with high pH shampoos and conditioners otherwise. Instead of turning to another high pH product, store bought or natural, keeping the pH between 4 and 7 is your best bet.
pH Testing Strips
Finding out the pH of each of your beauty products can help you really understand how to maintain a consistent skin and hair care regimen that works. You can find Macherey-Nagel pH Testing Strips here. With every product that I now make or try out, I test the pH to have a better understanding of the results I will get for skin and hair care. It also gives me a better idea if the product that I’m making will give consistent results. Even testing products that I used in the past gives me a clearer understanding of why they worked, and why I did or didn’t like them. Maintaining a beauty regimen with a balanced pH can overall give the best beauty results.
Minimalist Beauty-simple organic beauty with style “Peace, beauty, and creativity blossom from simplicity.”
Are you mindful of pH? What are your favorite pH balanced products for hair and skin?