Alkaline versus Acidic: Which is more natural and effective?
Models and celebrities have gushed about life changing experiences when switching to an alkaline diet. But is that really good for us? Is there science behind it?
To have us all on the same playing field, let me start with a bit about pH. A pH below 7 is considered acidic while a pH above 7 is considered alkaline. Our body does an amazing job controlling internal pH, and, while an alkaline diet may sound good, not all of our body thrives in a high pH or alkaline environment. More on that in a moment, but first let’s talk about diet…
There is some research indicating a correlation between the pH of the foods we eat and our health, but it’s not crystal clear exactly how much of the foods we eat should be alkaline versus acidic. However, the research does continue to show that a plant-based diet and eating more vegetables is good for our health. Since vegetables are the most alkaline foods, I believe that is why the “alkaline diet” has worked well for many people.
So, this is what I tell my patients: don’t worry about testing your urine pH or extreme limitation of acidic foods. Some acidic foods are healthy foods such as citrus and other fruit, but it’s the processed and high sugar foods that you want to avoid. Let’s return to nature for true balance… eat more plant-based foods and only animal protein that is of the highest quality (grass fed, organic, free-range) and in moderation.
Now, back to the organ that the research shows does best with an acidic environment… It’s actually your skin! Your largest organ (skin) has a natural pH level of about 4 to 4.5 on its exterior. This mild acidity helps your skin stay hydrated and healthy, and what you put on your skin (even water) greatly impacts your skin’s pH.
Keeping your skin at its ideal pH level by using mildly acidic skin care products helps protect your skin’s microbiome. The skin microbiome is the delicate balance of microorganisms that live on your skin. There are close to 1 trillion bacteria that reside on your epidermis and hair follicles. These microorganisms help protect your skin from inflammation, acne, and premature aging.
Even water has a pH of 7, which is too alkaline for the skin. After water touches your skin, I suggest rebalancing the pH to a mildly acidic level using high-quality skincare products. When you use skincare products, such as cleansers, toners, serums, and moisturizers, that have a higher pH (around 5.5 and higher), then it can dry out your skin and make it more prone to infections, outbreaks, and premature aging. I suggest checking the labels or asking the manufacturers.
Not all natural skincare products are made with mild acidity in mind, so it is important to look closely and ask questions. I was determined to create skincare products that embrace this science, and this, along with wanting a pure skincare line, is what led me to start The Spa Dr. skincare line. After all, when your skin is clear and glowing, confidence follows and that’s when the true natural beauty shines through.