Last week my mom was diagnosed with a small spot of skin cancer on her nose. When she told me I had a short silent moment of total freak-out. Then she interrupted my inner-dialogue with a question about her skin care products, and I was happy that I could at least help to steer her in the right direction. I went into robot mode, apparently feeling somewhat empowered by being able to help in some small way. In 3 months my mom goes back to the doctors where they will scrape that nasty little bugger off. Between now and then, there’s a lot of things she can do to help her skin.
We put cancer-causing crap on our skin. All the time.
I threw together a quick dry face wash that she could use for the interim.
Recipe for homemade sensitive/ damaged skin cleanser here
While I was beating oats into oblivion with my mortar and pestle, she chatted about bringing her acidic body into alkalinity.
It was then I wondered – possibly for the first time ever – What is the pH of skin?
(Turns out it is naturally somewhat acidic, usually between 5 and 6.) If you need a refresher on pH like most of us, 1 is very acidic, 7 is neutral and 14 is extremely alkaline. The dry face wash I had just passed her had powdered milk in it, and I began to worry about lactic acid. Would it be too acidic for her damaged skin? Could it harm her? What about the animal proteins in the milk? I mean, ack, we hear about so many different things that can harm us. Sometimes being healthy feels like choosing the best of the worst. In the end, milk (a consumable) won over the parabens and other cosmetics bad-boys that her skin care products contained, and I handed over a dry face wash.
A plethora of internet websites tell me that the skin has a natural acid mantle, and that it does its job best when it sits at a pH of about 5.5. Milk sits at about 6.7, so my worries about it being too acidic? Not an issue at all.