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Marion Simms, owner of SkinSense Wellness Spa in Los Angeles, explains the role pH-balancing and probiotics have on healthy skin, and how you can work with clients to ensure that they can take advantage of these benefits before, during and after your services.
When consulting with clients on their visits to your spa, lifestyle should take up a big part of your initial conversation, particularly what clients are eating on a daily basis. It is no secret that consuming a blend of fresh fruits, vegetables and clean proteins, plus drinking the right amount of water, does translate into clear and vibrant skin most of the time. However, two additional recommendations you can make to your clients to keep their skin youthful and healthy are to try and keep their overall food intake as alkaline as possible and to take regular courses of probiotics.
In the skin care business, it is not unusual to talk about the pH of a product. The letters "pH" stand for potential hydrogen, as hydrogen is the element that controls the levels of either alkalinity or acidity in a formulation. Acidic products range from 0–6.9 and are often used to exfoliate or peel the skin; alkaline products range from 7.1–14 and can be used in cleansers or to neutralize acidity and, very often, moisturizers are formulated to be neutral (a pH of 7) to bring the skin back into balance. Too much acidity or alkalinity is irritating for the skin, so the pH should always be carefully calibrated.
More recently, the principle of pH-balancing has been applied to the body. This holistic approach is based on the belief that the foundation of a strong digestion is built on a simple eating system that maintains an ideal acid/alkaline (pH) balance in the body. How is that done? The suggested pH-ratio would be a diet of two-thirds alkaline and one-third acid-forming foods. This takes some adjustment. So, to take a step in the right direction, let’s outline a few alkaline foods that can be incorporated in greater quantities, and some acidic foods that can be eliminated. Raw, green, leafy vegetables, such as chard, kale and spinach are all excellent at maintaining a more alkaline system. So are avocados, celery, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, coconuts, cherries, grapefruits, lemons and watermelons. Obviously, exercise and relaxation are essential and, as already mentioned, drinking the right amount of water. Men need more water than women on a daily basis, but if you eat plenty of the aforementioned vegetables and two or three fresh fruits a day, you can fill half of your required fluid quota. A healthy way to start and end each day, for example, would be with a cup of warm water flavored with half of a fresh lemon.
Foods you can recommend for clients to minimize or avoid are white flour, red meat, processed food, coffee, too much alcohol and artificial sweeteners. These create a lot of acidity in the body. Too much acidity triggers eczema, acne, cysts, rosacea and wrinkles; so all of these conditions may be greatly improved by a diet that contains alkaline-rich foods.