Skin Health and…Acid?

Most of the human body is alkaline rather than acidic, and with good reason. Because most water on Earth is alkaline, that is the environment preferred by living organisms on our planet. Unfortunately for us larger organisms, alkalinity is also the preferred environment for most bacteria, both good bacteria and bad bacteria.

Chemists measure alkalinity and acidity on the “pH scale,” which goes from zero (most acidic) to fourteen (most alkaline). Seven, the halfway point, is neutral, neither acidic or alkaline. The easiest way to tell if a substance is acidic or alkaline is to stick a piece of litmus paper in it (the word “litmus” means “colored moss,” even though the active chemical originally came from lichen). Vinegar, which is acidic, will turn litmus paper purple while baking soda dissolved in water will turn it blue. If you don’t have litmus paper, a leaf from a purple cabbage, with the overlying waxy membrane scraped away, will also turn blue in an alkaline solution.

The acid mantle protection barrier

Because acidic pH levels, below seven, tend to retard bacterial growth, the parts of the human body most prone to bacterial invasion are slightly acidic in pH, rather than alkaline. This is true of saliva and of the skin’s surface. A healthy skin surface will have a pH between 5.5 and 6.5. The most acidic portion of your skin, one of the body’s primary defenses against bacterial invasion, is the called the “acid mantle protection barrier.” Since the acid mantle depends on skin moisture to maintain its pH, it is extremely important to your body’s bacterial defense that your skin contains adequate water.

“Good water” versus “Bad water”

Why is mineral content and pH important? Most people do not realize that absolutely pure water, containing ONLY hydrogen and oxygen, is NOT natural. This “distilled water” must be artificially manufactured. While distilled water has many important uses, it is essentially dead, has a neutral pH, and is not particularly good for you. It is the dissolved minerals, present in every natural water on Earth, which transform the sterile combination of hydrogen and oxygen into a living, life sustaining, bio-active organic compound.

The ideal skin water

Because most tap water is alkaline, it is not beneficial to the acid mantle and is not readily absorbed into skin. Although alkaline water can temporarily bloat and waterlog skin, it does not chemically unite with the acidic water bound up in the skin’s internal tissue in the dermis and epidermis. Instead, alkaline water simply evaporates back out within minutes, taking some of the skin’s internal, acidic, semi-bound moisture with it. When alkaline tap water dries on the skin, after a bath for example, it leaves a dehydrating residue that can actually pull water out of the skin. We towel off after a bath or shower because we instinctively know that tap water leaves an uncomfortable, dehydrating film.

Cosmetics, lotions and topical medications intended for application to the skin’s surface are required by United States law to be “pH-balanced,” which means they are required to have a pH similar to the skin’s pH. However, a dried film of alkaline residue between the lotion and your skin can adversely effect both the pH of the application and the pH of the skin’s acid mantle underneath.

Skin-compatible moisture

One way to moisturize skin is by drinking alkaline tap water and waiting for your body to convert it to acidic water and feed it to your skin from the inside out. Your skin obtains much of its water in this manner but the process takes hours and your body gives many other organs precedence over skin.

The fastest and most reliable way to add water to dehydrated skin and improve skin health and acid mantle functioning, is to mist your skin with water that has a skin-compatible pH.

Nature’s Mist® all-natural skin moisturizing water, from Bio-Logic Aqua Technologies Biomedical Research, is the only product meeting the dual requirements of skin-compatible pH (6.48) and fine mist application. In a clinical study where one side of the face of several test subjects was misted four times daily with Nature’s Mist® and the other side was misted with alkaline tap water in a Nature’s Mist® bottle, the skin’s basal moisture content, on average, increased after thirty days on the Nature’s Mist® side and actually decreased on the tap water side. Nature’s Mist® applied after bathing and before applying cosmetics, lotions or topical medications; neutralizes alkaline residue,”fixes” the skin’s pH to enhance skin beauty and health, improves faded cosmetic color, and aids absorption of topical medications).

Daily skin care

If Nature’s Mist® is unavailable (it can be ordered here), be sure to drink plenty of water, take long steamy baths or showers, shower quickly after your bath, dry your skin thoroughly after bathing or washing (pat, don’t rub), and apply a skin lotion immediately after bathing. See “Tip of the Month” for a morning skin cleansing program.

In Nature’s Mist®, skin moisturizing water, Sharon Kleyne has discovered a “pure”, mild, natural, pH-correct water that does not leave a dehydrating residue on skin. Her research has documented that this unique water, bottled as it emerges from a natural spring in Oregon, is the ideal natural moisturizer for the human skin.

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