Chemistry class probably taught you (or is about to teach you) all about the pH scale. Remember the strips that would change colors after you dip them? If not, to refresh your memory, the litmus paper strips would change color and determine where on the pH scale of 1-14 the liquid fell. 1-6 means acidic, 7 is neutral, and anything above 7 would be alkaline.
Well, the pH scale just doesn’t apply to liquids in chemistry class or science projects. Did you know that pH also applies to your hair and skin? That said, let's take a closer look at the importance of pH as it relates to our skin and skincare products.
Having a balanced pH level is essential in maintaining healthy skin. When the pH of your skin is disrupted, it can lead to a range of issues like dryness, breakouts, and sensitivity. While there isn’t one single solution to balance the pH of your skin, understanding how pH works and incorporating certain skincare products into your routine can help restore it and keep your skin looking and feeling its best. Keep reading to learn more about pH balance in skincare, how it affects our skin, and the best ways to achieve a balanced pH level.
What Is Your Skin’s pH Level?
Experts will tell you the skin comes in at 5.5 on the pH scale. Remember, anything less than 7 is acidic, and this means the skin's pH level is on the acidic side. In fact, what's called an "acid mantle" covers the skin and helps maintain the skin's pH, keep in moisture, and ward off infection. When the skin's pH is off, harmful bacteria could rapidly reproduce and trigger inflammation and other skin conditions, like zits, eczema, and rosacea. Also, a weak acid mantle makes the skin drier and more prone to fine lines and wrinkles. And who has time for that? Since skin (our largest organ) is so delicate, it thrives better in an ideal environment, one with the proper pH balance. Therefore, using skincare products with low pH is best.
Using products with low pH is the best way to ensure your skin’s acid mantle is kept intact. Cleansers, toners, and moisturizers are all important for maintaining a healthy balance. Look for products that are specifically designed for sensitive skin, as these will be gentler and less likely to strip away natural oils from the skin. Additionally, try to avoid using too many products at the same time and always apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF before stepping outside.
It’s also important to note that cleansing your face is still a key step in keeping your pH balance intact, but make sure not to over-cleanse or use overly harsh—or even fragranced—products. Otherwise, you could irritate the skin and further disrupt the pH balance.
By understanding how pH works with your skin and adopting a few simple skincare habits into your routine, you can help keep your skin looking healthy and youthful. Take the time to research ingredients in products and find ones that work best for your individual needs. With the right products and a few changes to your skincare routine, you can get your skin’s pH back in balance.
What's the Ideal pH of Skincare Products?
pH has a lot to do with skincare. The different products you use, like cleansers and moisturizers, affect your skin as much as your diet and skin routine. Your morning and nightly skincare routine should help your skin not hurt it but can if it accidentally interrupts the skin's natural pH and acid mantle. When that happens, the skin's ability to protect itself from environmental stressors weakens, and that leads to increased dryness, irritation, and redness. If not chosen properly, your skincare products could hurt your skin or, worse, be the source of some skin issues. Therefore, it serves your skin well to use products that have the right pH level for your skin. Products like those from Prep U use all-natural ingredients and are specially formulated to be pH-balanced.
- pH 1 to 6 indicates acidity
- pH 7 indicates neutral
- pH 8 to 14 indicates alkalinity
When it comes to finding the perfect pH for your skin, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Everyone's skin is different, so each person may react differently to products with varying pH levels. Therefore, it can be helpful to read reviews of skincare products and look at their ingredients before making a purchase. Also, be sure to consult a dermatologist if you’re unsure as to what products are best for your skin type.
Overall, pH balance is an important factor in maintaining healthy and beautiful skin. By using skincare products that are designed to maintain the ideal pH of the skin, you can help keep your acid mantle intact and reduce potential damage from environmental stressors. In addition, with the right skincare routine and products, you can achieve glowing and radiant skin.
Specifically, since the skin has a pH of 5.5, products with the same pH or lower (down to 4.5) are ideal. Slightly acidic by far beats slightly alkaline to create the best back-to-school complexion. To make sure your skincare product works well and comes in around 5.5 on the pH scale, look for skincare brands that, like Prep U, use wording like 'pH balanced' or 'balances skin pH.'
If your product is not from Prep U or does not state that it is pH-balanced, then head to your local drugstore or Amazon to buy litmus strips and test the pH levels yourself, just like in Chemistry class. Who says that high school never teaches you anything?!