AHAs and BHAs vs skin’s natural pH

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I’m starting to use various acids to help with the desquamation of my skin. I noticed that the pH of the products are much lower than the normal skin pH of 5.5. Is it ok or bad to use products with a lower pH than 5.5? How often should acids be used in the skin such that the skin won’t be compromised?

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Hi dropxofjupiter,

You should never do DIY home chemical peeling. It is dangerous and the products legally available do not have concentrations that are high enough. Thus, it is sub therapeutic but with high irritant potential especially for people with sensitive skin like eczema. There are no beneficial effects of self administering the chemical peel. However, in a clinic setting where the chemical peel setting is administered by an accredited dermatologist, the proper use of these peeling acids is under a controlled time setting. The use of these peeling acids have different purities or mixtures of different acids tailored according to the individual. Only a trained dermatologist is able to decide the optimal mixture used to deliver the best outcome. Remember, safety first and it is never recommended for an individual to perform to self-administer the peel. It can get dangerous if it comes into contact with the eyes. Also, if it is left on your skin for too long without neutralization such as an alkali solution in the clinic setting, it may cause chemical burn. Dermatologist recommended proper cooling measures such as a mask should also be applied.

Dr. Teo Wan Lin

Dermatologist

TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre

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