Skin pH: What It Is, Why It Matters, And How To Balance It
We all want smooth, healthy-looking, and well-nourished skin. Some people even go to great lengths to achieve this. But before you start following the latest trends for getting a natural glow, did you know that maintaining a healthy skin pH is key?
Most of us first heard of potential hydrogen (pH) in our school days. You know it has something to do with the acidity levels of substances. But what we don’t always understand is how it relates to our skin.
So, why does skin pH matter, and how is it a critical factor in helping you achieve overall healthy skin?
All these questions and more will be answered as we take you through what you need to know about pH levels and your skin. We’ll also share some effective strategies you can use to achieve (and maintain!) that healthy glow you’re after.
Let’s get started.
What Is The Ideal Skin pH?
In order to understand pH, we’re going to go back to science class today. Don’t worry; we won’t give you a test afterward! But knowing these basics will help you understand the relationship between pH and your skin.
In simple terms, the pH is a numerical scale ranging from one to 14 and indicates how acidic or alkaline substances are. Numbers below seven are considered acidic, above seven is alkaline, and that sweet spot in the middle (seven) is considered “neutral.”
Most people are surprised to learn that healthy skin isn’t neutral but, rather, on the acidic side of the scale. However, various studies have shown that the “natural” skin surface pH is on average 4.7.
Your skin should be slightly on the lower end of the scale because the acidity can help fight harmful microorganisms.
How To Check
If you’re wondering how to find out what your pH levels are, there are a few ways to find out if they are where they should be.
1) Consult Your Dermatologist
As a doctor who deals with the skin, a dermatologist is often the best choice in helping you know what your skin’s pH levels are. After testing, they may also provide you with a more tailored plan to get your skin looking healthy and well-nourished.
2) Self-Testing Strips
If you’re not keen on visiting a dermatologist, you can also use an at-home pH kit, which comes in the form of paper strips. You simply apply these strips to your skin, and the pH is then measured.
If you go this route, ensure to use kits that are meant for the skin. That’s because urine or saliva tests tend to measure the overall pH levels in your body, and this won’t help you understand what the pH levels on the surface of your skin actually are.
Observing your skin can help you estimate your pH levels. For example, if you have soft and smooth skin, this usually means that your levels are balanced, while dry spots, redness, acne, and skin irritation tend to be signs of an alkaline profile.
Why Does Skin pH Matter?
Maintaining a healthy skin pH is essential for your skin’s overall health.
Remember that your skin is your body’s largest organ. It has many functions, including helping regulate body temperature, allowing us to feel sensations (touch, heat, and cold), and protecting us from microorganisms.
If the pH levels rise (to the alkaline side), this means your skin’s barrier function is being compromised, and your skin may turn sensitive, dry, and less able to protect you from environmental factors.
It’s essential that your skin is healthy and at an ideal pH level (4.7).
What Causes Unbalanced Skin pH Levels?
There are lots of factors that can affect the pH levels of your skin. These include:
- Your skin products (including cosmetics)
- Washing your skin too often
- Home products that come into contact with your skin (i.e., detergents)
- Air pollution
- Tap water
- Changing seasons
- Too much sun exposure
Above, we mentioned that the “natural” pH levels for the skin are around 4.7. However, it’s important to note that these levels won’t be the same in different areas of your skin.
For example, your face, neck, and chest area are more exposed to environmental factors (i.e., the sun) and tend to be more alkaline because of this. At the same time, less-exposed areas (i.e., armpits and genital area) are often able to maintain their acidity.
Now that you understand what skin pH is and why it’s important, let’s talk about how you can achieve the ideal pH levels for your skin.
4 Effective Ways To Maintain Healthy pH Levels
1) Use A Gentle Cleanser
Most people shower at least once a day, so it makes sense that one of the most important ways to help maintain your skin’s pH levels is by using the right cleansers.
Unfortunately, most commercial soaps and cleansers tend to be more alkaline.
Babo Botanicals Sensitive Skin Fragrance Free Hydra Therapy Face & Body Wash is different. Like all our products, this cleanser is made from natural, plant-based ingredients and helps soothe your skin while allowing it to regain its softness.
Most soaps have an average pH of between 9 and 10, which can strip your skin of many essential oils. These products often leave your skin feeling dry, irritated, and not on the right side of the pH scale!
On the other hand, our face and body wash has an impressive pH level of 6-7. Its blend of natural ingredients (such as oat protein and organic calendula) helps protect and moisturize your skin, leaving it soft and well-nourished after every wash.
2) Add A Soothing Moisturizer
We mentioned that unbalanced skin pH often leads to dry skin. That’s why a pH-balanced moisturizer made with the right ingredients can offer your skin the moisture and soothing effect it needs.
One of our favorites to get this job done is our Miracle Moisturizing Cream. This rich cream contains colloidal oatmeal and organic calendula, which soothe sensitive skin. The added shea and coconut oil are some of the star ingredients in helping give dry skin the moisture it needs.
It’s also great to use on both the face and body and is ideal for the whole family!
3) Quick-Clean With Care
When you’re on the go, wipes are often the go-to option to clean your hands, face, or any other place that needs a quick wipe.
Unfortunately, most wipes on the market are formulated with lots of chemicals that can be harmful and damaging to your skin.
Babo Botanicals 3-in-1 Hydrating Face, Hands & Body Wipes are formulated with the perfect blend of organic ingredients that gently cleanse without stripping your skin of its natural oils.
They contain hydrating and refreshing cucumber and aloe vera and are perfect for both adults and babies. The 3-in-1 formula specifically helps cleanse, soften, and hydrate your skin.
And you’ll be glad to know that these wipes are a natural cloth fiber that’s 100% degradable (because we care not just about our skin!)
4) Consider A Water Filter
Have you ever traveled to a different town, city, or country and experienced your skin reacting to the new environment?
Most people assume that it’s because of the change in weather. While weather does play a role in your skin’s health, sometimes the culprit is something we often overlook — the water quality.
Water pH should ideally be non-alkaline and have low mineral content, but that’s not always in our control. To help with this, you can invest in an affordable shower water filter, which removes harmful chemicals and makes the water more gentle on your skin.
Finding The Right Balance
Before reading this article, ensuring that you had balanced skin pH levels was probably not high on your priority list. But now that you know how important a healthy and balanced pH is for your skin, we hope you'll take the necessary steps to help give it the love and care it deserves!
If you're not sure about where to begin, our Sensitive Skin Fragrance Free Hydra Therapy Face & Body Wash, Miracle Moisturizing Cream, and 3-in-1 Hydrating Face, Hands & Body Wipes are just some of the Babo Botanicals products that can make your healthy skin journey possible.
Achieving the right pH balance doesn't happen overnight. But with patience, the right knowledge, and the above-mentioned products, you can finally get that healthy glow you crave!