When you think of the products that you use on your skin, do you ever consider how they affect your skin’s pH level? It's true that many people don't think about pH at all. However, it's something that you should be aware of because it can have a big impact on how your skin looks and feels. Our skin needs to maintain a complex system of defenses to shield or protect it from a variety of harmful elements, such as sun exposure, free radicals, and environmental pollutants, in order to remain radiant and healthy. This defense system is maintained by the pH level of our skin.
What exactly is pH in the skin?
pH stands for potential hydrogen, a measure of the element’s activity in a substance. According to Honeyskin, the pH scale ranges from 0 to 14; a pH level of 7 is considered neutral. Skin with a pH above 7 is too alkaline and can be damaged, while skin with a pH below 7 is too acidic and can be inflamed or irritated. To better visualize this, lemon juice has a pH level of 2, water has a pH level of 7 - 8, and most bar soaps range anywhere from 8-11. The ideal skin pH is between 4.5 and 5.5, which is slightly acidic, but most basic and natural.
Why is the ideal pH of skin slightly acidic?
According to Onyeka Obioha, M.D., a board-certified medical and cosmetic dermatologist in Los Angeles, an acidic pH is optimal for proper cell turnover, hydration, and skin barrier function. Skin is protected by the acid mantle, a thin film on its surface composed of lipids from oil glands and amino acids from sweat that serves as a barrier, and a breakdown in this barrier leaves skin susceptible to inflammatory conditions, dehydration, and accelerated aging. She added that an acidic pH helps keep your skin balanced, healthy, and radiant.
What factors affect the skin’s pH level?
According to pHat 5.5, skin pH varies depending on the area of your body. Lesser exposed areas, such as the buttocks, armpits, and genital area, tend to maintain their natural acidity, unlike your face, chest, and hands, which tend to be more alkaline. Such differences are due to the fact that the latter areas of skin are more exposed to the elements. pH level plays an important role in skincare because your own skin employs it with its “acid mantle.”
The acid mantle is a very fine, slightly acidic film on the surface of the skin. It acts as a protective layer against viruses, bacteria, and other potential contaminants that could cause damage. Because most microorganisms thrive at a pH level of about 7.0, which is neutral, the native level of the acid mantle is about 5.5. This moderately acidic environment repels bacteria and viruses, keeping your skin and body healthier. But this isn’t all the acid mantle does—it also protects your natural oils, keeping your skin soft, clear, and healthy. Other factors that can affect skin pH level include acne, air pollution, antibacterial products, change in seasons, different humidity levels, cosmetics, detergents, antibacterial soaps and gels, sebum/skin moisture, sweat, tap water, too much sun exposure, and too frequent washing of your skin.
How would you know if your skin’s pH off balanced?
Dr. Marnie Nussbaum, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist specializing in non-invasive aesthetic rejuvenation, says that skin issues like eczema, redness, dry patches, acne, oiliness, psoriasis, and premature signs of aging all indicate that your skin’s pH is off-balance. That means your skin’s barrier is damaged, and its exposure to the elements exacerbates everything from dry skin to clogged pores. Generally, skin that isn’t behaving can be traced to pH problems.
How to restore the skin’s pH balance?
Dr. Nussbaum says that when we correct our skin's pH balance, what we're doing is bringing the skin barrier function back to its optimal state of equilibrium. Once this happens, the skin barrier can effectively absorb the hydration our skin needs, and repel things that irritate the skin, thus minimizing the above-mentioned conditions. The first step to getting your skin back on track is stepping away from harsh ingredients and switching to balanced products, which will heal your skin. Going back to basics (with a balanced face wash and lotion) for a few weeks can calm skin problems, and prep skin for more targeted treatments.
Restore your skin’s pH balance with Good On Ya’s Manuka Honey Face and Body Wash
Now that we’re talking about restoring your skin’s pH level, Good On Ya’ provides products including our Manuka Honey Face and Body Wash that is perfectly balanced at 5.5 pH to match your natural skin's pH and restore it back to its ideal state while providing lots of organic nutrients. This supports and maintains the acid mantle, therefore keeping your skin as healthy and glowing as it should be!
The highest quality deep pore cleanser and body wash for everyone—no matter what your skin type or skin condition is, this perfectly pH-balanced face and body wash is formulated to gently cleanse and remove skin impurities while soothing and relieving a wide array of skin conditions, including Eczema, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dermatitis, Acne, and many more. Manuka Honey has natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties and helps balance your pH level. Our formula is hypoallergenic and is free of sulfate, paraben, chemical, fragrance-free, and cruelty.
What you put on your skin for cleansing can affect how healthy it will be over time. Just like food, not all foods are made equal. Your skin deserves better — which can mean avoiding harsh ingredients and chemicals. The natural beauty of your skin comes from within which is why choosing the right face and body wash is so important. No matter what your skin type is, a pH-balanced cleanser helps you achieve healthy, glowing, and radiant skin.
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- pHat 5.5. Why pH Level Is So Important. pHat 5.5. Published 2022. Accessed August 24, 2022.https://phat55.com/pages/ph-level
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Use pH-Balanced Face and Body Cleanser. Honeyskin.com. Published May 19, 2022. Accessed August 24, 2022.https://honeyskin.com/blogs/health-and-wellness-blog/5-reasons-to-use-ph-balanced-face-and-body-cleanser
- Price D. Everything You Need to Know About Skin pH — And Why It Matters. Good Housekeeping. Published December 28, 2020. Accessed August 24, 2022.https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/beauty/anti-aging/a34761480/what-is-skin-ph/
- Hopp D. Is Your Skin’s pH Off Balance? It Could Be Causing Premature Aging. Byrdie. Published 2014. Accessed August 24, 2022.https://www.byrdie.com/ph-balance-skin
- How a pH-Balancing Cleanser Can Transform Your Skin. MŪN. Published 2022. Accessed August 24, 2022.https://munskin.com/blogs/skin-beauty/ph-balancing-cleanser