The Ultimate Guide To pH and Your Skin
Ever seen the pH balance on a skincare product and wondered what it really means? Then let’s do a quick middle school chemistry run-through.
Now, pH stands for the Potential Hydrogen Level, i.e., The more hydrogen ions = the more acidic something is. Therefore, pH is a measure of acidity. Here’s all you have to keep in mind:
The pH scale runs from 0 (highly acidic) to 14 (highly alkaline)
pH level 7 is the standard for neutral!
Anything below the pH neutral 7 is considered as acidic pH while anything above 7 on the ph Scale is known to be alkaline
Rings a bell? We know, we miss school too!
what is pH Balance for Skin?
Here’s a fact for you; we’re all born with a skin pH balance of 7, i.e. Neutral pH. It is only after a couple of weeks that our skin achieves a natural skin surface pH of 4.5-5.5.
Since the normal pH of skin is lower than 7, it can be considered to be slightly acidic in nature.
Maintaining the skin pH around 5.5 is basically #skingoals for healthy skin, especially as an adult.
The skin's barrier function is known as the acid mantle that helps keep the bad guys out, seals in moisture, and protects your skin from any infection.
If you’ve struggled with skin woes in the past, despite using a plethora of skincare products, then pH imbalance might be the reason behind it! Your current skincare products may have a significant impact on your skin barrier, and might even be working against your skin.
Thankfully, you can easily rectify your skin's pH level by adopting a skincare routine that enables you to achieve the ideal pH.
Of course, in order to do so, you will first need to know the existing pH value of your skin.
How can I test my skin's pH levels?
You can test the pH of skin with the help of at-home test strips available in the market or through a consultation with a board-certified dermatologist. You can also understand the level of your overall skin health by carefully observing how your skin reacts to temperature changes, variations in skincare products or even changes in diet.
If your skin has a soft texture without dry spots, the pH of your skin would ideally be considered balanced. If you have oily skin, then the skin's natural ph is possibly lower. This makes your skin more susceptible to infection and acne. Dry skin has a more alkaline pH and is thus more prone to itchiness and inflammations.
How to Choose pH Balanced Products for your Skincare Routine?
Environmental stressors, over-washing your face or using soaps that are considered alkaline in nature can all be extremely damaging to your skin’s pH level. Your skin can react to anything and everything, so you got to choose wisely.
Acidic products with a high pH (4 and below) should be used in moderation and not every day. Overusing these solutions/products can dry out, sensitize or even disrupt the barrier of your skin. Similarly, overly alkaline products (above 9 on the pH scale) can compromise your skin barrier, making it more susceptible to damage.
For optimal skincare that helps keep your face's pH balanced, look for and use products close to your skin's natural pH somewhere in the 4.6 to 5.5 range—to avoid stripping the skin.
Frequently Asked Questions About Skin's pH
What factors determine the skin pH Balance?
The skin's pH is constantly changing, and this is largely due to the changes in ruling factors such as
Are there any symptoms that indicate increased pH levels of the skin?
You can tell if your skin's natural pH balance is off or if it is getting more alkaline in nature, if you have experienced done or more of the following for a prolonged time period;
Acne and breakouts
Excess sebum production
Fungal, yeast, and bacterial infections
What is the ideal way to restore the pH balance of my skin?
Ideal skin pH can be achieved by adopting healthy habits. These include -
Choose a gentle skincare routine
Be consistent with your skincare routine
Pay close attention to what's working and what's not
Avoid harsh cleansers and face wash
Always check the pH of the products that you use
Avoiding frequent washing of the face
Avoid using too many actives on your face at once
Never sleep with your makeup on
Consulting a board-certified dermatologist for products that can help make your skin healthy