Is your cleanser pH balanced?
Buzzwords like “pH-balanced” are common advertising tools in the health and beauty industry. When it comes to skin cleansers, pH levels do make a difference. But what does pH-balanced even mean?
What is pH?
pH is an abbreviation for potential hydrogen. A pH number measures from 0 to 14 how acidic or alkaline a liquid is — anything above 7 is alkaline and anything below 7 is acidic. Water has a pH level of 7 – it’s neutral, meaning it has the same amount of acids and alkalis, which balance each other out.
Your skin has a pH level of between 4 – 6.5
The outermost layer of your skin (acid mantle) has a pH level of between 4 – 6.5 (it often varies in different areas of the skin). It is a slightly acidic environment in which protective species of micro flora/bacteria reside. This outer layer helps your skin retain moisture and keeps germs out.
Its important to use a skin cleanser that says it’s pH-balanced, right?
Typically soap has a pH level of 9 to 12. This is too high for your skin. If the outer layer (acid mantle) becomes disrupted, damaged, or loses its acidity, the skin becomes more susceptible to damage and infection. Washing skin with high alkalinity soaps or detergents can cause the temporary loss of this acid mantle and encourage abnormal bacterial growth and dryness in your skin. It only takes a split second for an alkaline product to degrade the skin barrier enough for an irritant or damaging detergent to penetrate, long term daily use on the skin can contribute to long term issues on all skin types such as increased irritation, acne, moisture loss, skin aging etc.
So, what type of cleanser should you look for?
To help maintain the skins outer protective layer (acid mantle), use a mild cleanser with a pH level similar to that of the skin itself. You can test your cleanser yourself with pH test strips (available from most chemists).
Our skinmade cleanser has an optimal pH level. If you are used to using a alkaline cleanser it might take you some time to adjust to using a more acidic cleanser. Over time though you will see a huge improvement in your skin.