I know, right? I’ve been trying to figure this out too. I’ve looked up information on several websites, but all I’ve found is stuff like, “It magically makes your tan better” or “apply this before your spray tan for great results”, but it never goes into why or how.
To go into what a PH Balancer does, you have to first learn about your skin.
There is a layer of your skin called the “Acid Mantle”, which is basically a shield on the top of your skin that prevents all the crud that surrounds us every day from destroying our skin. So because of this our skin has an acidity level of about 4.5-5 (1 being most Acidic like battery acid, 7 being neutral, and 14 being an Alkaline like toothpaste).
Quick note: Alkaline means that it is not acidic (don’t feel bad I had to look it up too).
So what does a PH Balancer do?
Supposedly, a PH Balancer is sprayed on your skin to make it more acidic so that an alkaline solution doesn’t turn you orange as easily—the issue here of course is: anything that goes on your skin before a spray tan can actually prevent the tan from setting as well as it could. It would be like putting on foundation, but then applying a clay face masque.
So why would a spray tan company be trying to convince you to purchase products that could actually hurt your tan?
Now, I’m not saying that they are trying to intentionally harm your spray tan–they might not even realize that they are sabotaging themselves!
Worse still, if you are using a solution that needs a PH Balancer, then the solution is alkaline and can dramatically damage your skin (see the Doctor Oz article below).
How can using a PH Balancer affect my skin?
I urge you to follow this link and read for yourself, but I have also included the most relevant piece of the article.
PH and Skin Care
The epidermis is protected by an external layer of tightly knit cells arranged like shingles on a roof. Any disruption to the acid mantle, elevating overall skin pH, interferes with this protective barrier, wrenching cells away from each other and results in dehydration, roughness, irritation and noticeable flaking. Skin is left defenseless and susceptible to further environmental damage.
A rise in pH plays mayhem with our natural infection prevention, further increasing the risk of infection. Once the pH exceeds 6.5, bacterial invasion increases dramatically, a loss of normal skin integrity results and a variety of skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis and irritant contact dermatitis flare.”
Basically, any product that fidgets with your PH levels could end up being bad for your skin. Now, I really doubt that if you use a PH Balancer that your skin will erupt into an acne storm or will start flaking really fast, but it is definitely something to be aware of if you start noticing more rough patches or drier-than-usual skin.
So what’s the final verdict?
Instead of a PH Balancer, just get a spray tan solution that is ready to go without needing any “magical unicorn spray” which doesn’t even do anything anyways.
Instead of a company that’s trying to tell you how much you “need” their product: do your research, ask questions, and find a company that gives you the information and lets you make your own decision.