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1st Hand Investifation and Experimental Report Lifestyle Chemistry

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To measure the pH of household skin/hair care and cosmetic related materials using red cabbage indicators


The pH of the skin and hair products will vary as each thing is used for a different purpose, some may be stronger than others to have a bigger neutralising effect on skin and area.


pH - (Potential hydrogen). pH refers to the unit identifying the acidity or alkalinity of a solution or product. The pH scale ranges from 1-14, 1 being highly acidic to 14 being highly alkali based and 7 being neutral (water). The pH of a solution is found using a substance called a Universal indicator. (

The importance of pH levels on the skin is significant, as most products used in this experiment are at different levels of the pH scale. The reason behind this is to visually enhance the skin according to the pH level of the product. In relation to this, the average pH of human skin ranges from 4.5-6, but varies with age. This means the human skin is slightly acidic. The acidity of human skins originates from from the sweat and hair glands with are expelled from the body. These acids help to kill bacteria growth on the body. This is called an acid mantle. The effects of skin products when used on the skin can vary which is the reason why skin care products range in pH. An example of this includes alkalis which kill bacteria on the surface of the skin. (

The importance of pH on human hair can be significant through using different hair products. The natural average pH of healthy human hair ranges from 4.5-5.5. Quality hair products aim to match the average pH of human hair to cleanse it without having other adverse effects. The reason behind the different types of shampoo is the pH, meaning it was have different effects on different types of hair. The effects of hair products on hair includes cleansing agents and chemicals to kill bacteria. (

Red cabbage indicator: the red cabbage indicator is slightly different from the usual universal indicator. It is used to measure the pH of a substance or solution although the pH scale is different when measuring the substance, as red-purple is used to represent acidity and yellow-blue is used to represent alkaline and purple being neutral. In relation to this when a universal indicator is used on an products the colours red represent acidity and purple represents alkalinity and green being neutral. A red cabbage indicator is made by boiling cabbage in water and collecting the excess chemical filled water that is released from the cabbage when boiled to a certain extent. (


( Author: Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D, date accessed:23/11/10, Accessed through:Safari

( Author: unknown, Date Accessed:23/11/10, Accessed Through: Safari

( Author: Danny Siegenthaler, Date Accessed:23/11/10, Accessed Through:Safari

( Author: Unknown, Date Accessed:23/11/10, Accessed Through: Safari



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