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The best skin care products are acidic
This is what a group of researchers did, in an old age home in Osnabruck, Germany. The team, enrolled 20 seriously old, oldies, ranging in age from 80-97 years, into their study.
None of these oldies had a diagnosis of a skin disease………….
But they were old, and so, they did have dry skin.
NOTE : This is not uncommon in old folks, nothing works as well, when you’re eighty something. In fact, stats suggest 77 % of oldies, living in nursing homes, suffer from xerosis, this is the medical term for, dry flaky skin. In and of itself, dry scaly rough skin in not a pathology, but it does increase the odds of problems.
No soaps or lotions
Step one in the study…………. they CONFISCATED all skin care products.
Before you lay a charge of elder abuse.
This was so that they could ensure their oldies, only used the test products they provided.
They were given oil-in-water cream and lotion, plus a synthetic detergent (soap), to use on their skin.
A tale of two soaps
The products they provided came in two “flavours”.
The ingredients were identical, but the pH was different.
One set of products, was pretty conventional, clocking in at a pH of 6. The other, had been especially formulated, to clock in at a pH of 4.
Yes, that is pretty acidic.
And at first glance, might seem somewhat disturbing.
Washing old people IN ACID.
How could this be healthy ?
Mother Nature likes it acidic
Well it turned out to be the better option………… the reason, Mother Nature arranges things in such a way, as to keep the skin in an acidic range. Click here to learn more about our “acid” mantle.
And when nature is honoured……….skin thrives.
Well, this is what the team found….
Skin health measured
The team measured the residents skin condition at the start of the study and then again, 7 weeks later, following twice daily use, of the two products, by the residents themselves, as well, as by their caregivers.
They used several measures, to assess skin health, starting off, with the….
The eyeball test
Okay, it is not called the eyeball test, but it is the test that “we” would use, to decide, the state of our skin’s health.
We’d look for the presence and severity of
This is what the dermatologists in the study did, at four different spots on the body, they eyeballed the state of the skin, recording if the problems were there and to what extent.
They tallied everything up to give a DASI score i.e. the dry-skin area and severity index.
DASI was pH independent
They found increased use of skin care products, did make a difference……………
All the old people’s skin looked a bit better.
It turned, out the pH of the product, was irrelevant.
So, what’s the fuss ?
Well, there is more to skin health, than looks……………….
The skin is providing a barrier, to protect the body from the outside environment, threats include,
- Infectious agents
- Noxious chemicals
- Inclement weather
- Knocks and abrasions
So, does the pH of the skin care products, you use, impact how well your skin works ?
Skin barrier function
To test this, the team performed a little tape stripping….
Stripping ? Sounds painful.
Well it is not quite as sore, as pulling a plaster off, but it is rather upsetting, for your corneocytes, this is the name given to the outermost layer of cells on your skin.
In tape stripping – a piece of tape is applied to the skin, over and over again, each application pulls some cells off. The more robust the outer layer, the more “strippings” it can endure.
And it was here, that the pH of the skin care products, made a difference….
Recovering from trauma
Now there is no doubt about it, tape stripping is an ordeal…..but it’s what skin is made for.
PROTECTION IS ME !
You’re meant to be able to bounce back from “skin attacks”, so the team assessed, how resilient the oldies skin was, from the tape stripping “attack”.
And once more, the low pH products, were superior.
The take home message……….
Put acid on your skin
Judge your skin products, not by their fragrance or appearance, nor by the place in which they are sold, but by their pH.
The more acidic, the better.
So how do most products on the market stack up ?
Is it acidic ?
Well this is a collection of the creams and soaps, my family is using.
The colour indicates the pH.
The ideal products should be orange.
None of the products “we’re” using are “right”……..
Clearly some of the products, particularly the alkali one’s, must be putting a lot of strain, on the stratium corneum. Eish ! The only way to know, what’s happening to your stratium corneum…..
Is to test what you are using.
You should be able to get your hands on pH test trips at a pharmacy or pet shop, that sells tropical fish supplies.
And, use the results to choose what you put on your skin.
NOTE : Getting the pH “right” is probably more important in the extremes of age, both very little kids and seriously old oldies, are going to be more vulnerable, to the effects of skin pH disturbances.
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