Have you been formulating products with pure ingredients with little or no results?
Yes! we've all being there!
Lately I've been researching on product pH, skin and hair pH an the effect on the skin andn here is a summary.
The human skin produces a fine slighty acidic film which acts as a barrier to bacteria, viruses and other potential contaminant that might penetrate the skin. This acidic film is calles Acid Mantle.
Generally, the acid mantle has a pH of 4.7 - 5.9(ph of 7 is neutral, above 7 is alkaline and below 7 is acidic). Whe the skin ph level falls out of this range, there is an increased risk of dry and damaged skin. There might also be an increase in bacterial and infection due to the skin's inability to fight back.
When formulating skin care products, pH range should be between 4.7 - 6 except for soap which is usualy alkaline. In soapmaking, the alkaline nature is compensated for by superfatting(I never understood superfatting but now I do) but it is still adviced to use a toner to balance the skin pH after cleansing.
The human hair is acidic; virgin hair has a lower acidic pH while damaged hair has a higher pH range. A hair strand is covered in hydrophobic fatty acids that prevent water from entering the hair shaft. When you use an alkaline shampoo, it can damge the hydrophobic layer of the hair allowing water to enter the strand. The hair cuticle consists of overlapping scales, when hair strands swell with too much water, the scales lift up and this can cause tangling. All of this causes an increase in friction which can lead to damaged hair.
As the pH of hair increases, it becomes more lipophobic(fat hating) and less hydrphobic making it more difficult to moisturze or condition the hhair with oils and other oil soluble ingredients. When using alkaline hair shampoo, be sure to follow up with a conditioning treatment that will close up the hair shafts.
When making skin and hair products, it is important to check product pH with a pH strip or a pH meter.
If you product is too alkaline, add a little citric acid, glycolic acid or AHAs - they are low in pH and can this will help balance out your alkaline product. If your product is too acidic, try baking soda( sodium hyroxide workd well however it scares me!).
When adjusting product pH, add the acidic or alkaline ingredient by 0.05% to 0.1%. After adding the ingredient, test the product pH if you need to add more, do so at 0.05% increments.
I'm new to this as well so please keep me informed on how your 'pH adjusted product' works!