Sunday, September 25, 2011Cosmetics glossary

pH

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The term pH comes for Hydrogen potential, and is written pH. It defines whether a water-based product is acidic or basic.

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Pure water at 25°C (77°F) is the reference of a pH equal to 7: this figure is the neutral pH.
A figure lower than 7 corresponds to an acidic product, a figure higher than 7 is a basic product.

A skin in good health has a slightly acidic figure, 6 to 6.5 maximum. This is a way for the hydrolipidic film to protect naturally the skin against the development of bacteria, which we are constantly in contact with.
This means of defence comes slowly: a baby’s skin pH is close to 7. The balance is gotten at puberty, the figure being ca 5.5. A more alkaline pH may lead to problems or skin diseases.

Cosmetic products (except for very specific applications such as liniments ) must have a pH, which does not modify the balance of the hydrolipidic film . To give them this ability, their formula often comprises specific ingredients: buffering agents .

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