This is probably the best anti-aging advice I ever got, and I’m not exaggerating! You’re not going to believe how simple and obvious it is. And I’m certain it will improve your skin and health. First, please don’t get mad at me – I’ve got to give you a little bit of info so you don’t get lost. (For those of you who know this, please feel free to skip ahead to “Live Blood Cell Analysis.” Don’t worry, it doesn’t get gory.)

Let’s talk body pH for a second without getting too technical. The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a substance is within a range from 0 to 14. The midpoint marks a neutral state of 7.0. Alkaline, or basic, measures higher than 7.0; acid is lower than 7.0. Certain diseases, acne, eczema, psoriasis, wrinkles, blemishes, bacteria, fungus (oh you know, like mold, candida, and fun stuff like that), thrive in imbalanced acid-alkaline environments. On either side of the spectrum, if something is highly acidic, like battery acid, or highly alkaline, like lye found in household cleaning agents, it is called reactive. No wonder they are so damaging to our ecosystems, damaging pipes in our homes and, metaphorically speaking, in our bodies.

The pH of food doesn’t necessarily comply with its formation inside the body. Foods that are considered acidic before digestion (like lemons) become alkaline-forming in the body. A healthy body’s normal pH level is 7.365 (in blood), pretty close to neutral. Interestingly, skin is pH 5.5, slightly acidic. However, thanks to stress, coffee, tobacco, alcohol, processed foods (Le Big Mac, sodas, slurpies, yada yada yada), toxicity, and environmental pollution, we are exposed to waaaay more acidity than our bodies can assimilate. That means our bodies are constantly working overtime to get back to homeostasis.

Live Blood Cell Analysis

Am I preaching to the choir here? You probably know all about this, so I’ll get right to the nifty info that Rick Panson just shared with me. Among other cool vocations, Rick is a nutritional microbiologist and pioneer in analyzing living blood cells. He has spent ten years researching diseased and healthy cells under the microscope. It is amazing how much blood tells us! From just a few drops of blood (I promise, it didn’t hurt a bit and I’m squeamish), he told me that I had candida and was dehydrated, among other delightful nuisances. Then he asked me if I knew what to do about it.

No stranger to this lovely yeast playing happily in my body, I offered my educated answer: more probiotics, no more sugar, no wheat, and basically take EVERYTHING out of my food intake that I love! He gave me a satisfied look as if to say, “Lady, you don’t know the first thing about this, do you?” He proceeded to reach into his bag of tricks to produce several sheets of paper jam packed with information. And he told me the following.


STEP ONE: Breathing! Isn’t that the most obvious alkalizer in the entire world? That’s right. CO2, carbon dioxide, is the biggest acid your body eliminates daily (100X greater than other acids, according to Rick). If you are at a desk job most days, highly stressful situations, not getting enough sleep, worrying too much, and are bent over most of the day, you are probably taking shallow breaths. I know I am! You can alkalize your body by breathing deeply – inhaling vital oxygen – and focusing on the exhale, letting out the acid waste in the form of CO2.

STEP TWO: Drink quality water. This is another pretty obvious one that most of us (um, me!) don’t do enough. Drink at least half your body weight or one liter for every 30 lbs. After doing TONS of research for Clean Water’s Dirty Secret on Organic Lifestyle TV’s wonderful website, it’s blatant how important and scarce clean water truly is. In fact, not only does bottled water overuse resources to produce, distribute, AND recycle or dump, 98% of the water is acidic. Rick had these neat drops that tested water’s pH, so I gave him my Poland Spring bottled water that I plunked in my bag before heading into the city. Sure enough it scored a pH of 6.0, 10X more acidic than neutral pH.

Even when we added pH balancing drops to increase the water’s alkalinity, once he blew CO2 into the water, it turned acidic again. Ideally, it should stay alkaline. So even when I thought I was hydrating properly, I was actually fuelling the issue!

Though he doesn’t like bottled water at all, he favors these brands if you need water in a pinch:

  • Essentia
  • Icelandic
  • Evian
  • Fiji
  • Evamor
  • Vittel
  • Mt. Valley
  • Zephyrhills

He also nixed purified, reverse osmosis, and distilled water, not only for being acidic, but also for damaging alkalizing substance when it comes in contact with them. UGH! He recommended installing a good water ionizer like Kangen, a medical grade system. He told me my Aquasana filter was good but to STOP using my Britta filter because, you guessed it, it turns water acidic!

STEP THREE: Consume full-spectrum salts. Salt gets a bad rap in the traditional medical world, probably because regular table salts sold in supermarkets stink. But our blood is actually salty! Unprocessed and unheated salt provides a wonderful source of naturally occurring trace elements and minerals, like sodium, in addition to the other three alkalizing minerals: calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Baking soda, a.k.a. sodium bicarbonate, neutralizes acids in the body and can be used as a supplement too, he said. No wonder both salt and baking soda make a great sore throat gargle that works. My favorite salt these days is either Celtic Sea Salt or Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, which contains over 80 trace minerals. Helpful tip: natural salt is not white! It can be slightly gray, brownish, earth tones, or pink.

STEP FOUR: Use healthy fats & oils, as in no CRAP (Completely Refined And Processed). Many companies like to advertise their oils as having “No Cholesterol.” Aside from the fact that I don’t buy into the cholesterol myth at all, those oils have been completely adulterated and breed a slew of many other problems, making the “threat” of cholesterol pale in comparison. Trans fats are BIG no no’s. Enjoy nuts, seeds, avocado, and non-hydrogenated, unrefined, organic oils. Two favorite picks are: Chia seeds, high in omega 3’s, calcium, antioxidants, and fiber, and coconut oil, the superstar oil of the moment.

STEP FIVE: Go green. Start incorporating more green into your diet. Add green leafy vegetables rich in minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. These nutrients support beautiful skin thanks to the abundant vitamins like A, C, K, . Spirulina, chlorella, and green powders help absorb and eliminate toxins from the body. I hope you’re getting why I found this information to be invaluable. By maintaining a balanced pH in the body, skin issues from acne to wrinkles vanish. It really can be so simple. These steps lay the foundation for a healthier lifestyle. Once these cornerstones solidify, making dietary changes like reducing sugar and coffee intake, exercising, and supplementing appropriately further enhance results.

Words by Sarita Coren

Full disclosure: Sarita has no ties or affiliation with Rick Panson other than being intrigued by the information. The MANY opinions on water filtration methods amaze and confuse her. The main goal is to drink clean, filtered water in glass or metal reusable bottles. The pH level is a matter of preference determined by your own research. Not everyone is overly acidic either!