Our skin reflects our physical and even mental health, which is why external treatments and topical products don’t always solve all our skin problems. Junk food, stress, lack of exercise, lack of sleep … the way we live shows up on our faces, doesn’t it? Health and beauty are interdependent, and so if you really want beautiful skin, you have to work from the inside out.

Why pH balance affects your skin

When a dermatologist looks for the possible reasons for skin problems, pH balance should be a top consideration. While talk of acid-alkaline balance has become trendy in recent years, there is solid science establishing the connection between pH balance and overall health.

Biochemist and Nobel Prize winner Dr. Otto Warburg, for example, found that the root causes of cancer are oxygen deficiency and the acidic state of the human body. He discovered that cancer cells are anaerobic and can’t survive in the presence of high oxygen levels and in an alkaline state.

Research also shows that an acidic pH level and a lack of oxygen allow parasites, bad bacteria, viruses, candida and toxins to flourish, putting extra burden on the body—and diminishing our natural beauty.

Our body’s pH gets out of balance when our lives are out of balance. Too much acidity causes inflammation and prevents the skin from functioning as a natural anti-inflammatory barrier. Thus the skin tends to develop lesions and sores, resulting in the formation of skin eruptions like pimples and rashes at the surface level.

The importance of eating for beauty

Diet plays a vital role in maintaining proper pH in all fluids and cells throughout the body. Unfortunately, the typical American diet consists primarily of acid-forming foods like meat, dairy, processed sugars and refined grains, as well as genetically modified organisms. This kind of diet creates an unhealthy acidic pH level, which interrupts all cellular activities and functions.

When the tissues and organs are overloaded by acidity, the transportation of oxygen is strangled, which means that the cells can’t breathe properly. If your body remains in an acidic state for a long period of time, it will not only result in serious health problems such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, but it will also drastically accelerate aging and aggravate your skin.

How to return to an alkaline state—and become more beautiful

Since most people tend to have an acidic pH level, teaching them how to return to a more

alkaline state is a major piece of the healing puzzle.

Our ideal pH is slightly alkaline—7.35. Anything less than 7 is considered acidic, and anything greater than 7 is considered alkaline. You can test your pH regularly by using a piece of litmus paper to gauge your saliva or urine first thing in the morning, before eating or drinking.

There are many good books and online resources that can help you learn more about maintaining acid-alkaline balance. TheAlkalineDiet.org is a great starting point.

To get your body on the right track faster, I recommend beginning your day with fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper diluted in a full glass of water. Also, before bedtime, try drinking a cup of decaffeinated green tea mixed with 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of raw honey.

By factoring pH balance into my approach to skin treatments and making lifestyle recommendations such as adopting an alkaline diet, intestinal cleansing or daily exercise (especially walking, outdoor activities and yoga), I have repeatedly seen my clients’ skin, bodies and minds rebuild and balance on their own, even in cases where the condition was considered “incurable.” I have found that addressing an overly acidic system is fundamental to bringing the whole body back to vitality—and absolutely key to restoring beauty, youth and well-being.