Written by Molli Carlson. Medically reviewed by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Julie Jackson.

Did you know that learning how to restore skin pH balance may be the key to a healthy, beautiful complexion? 

So how do you know if your skin ph balance is off? Our dermatologist-recommended tips provide everything you should know about balancing skin pH with natural products. 

What Is a Normal Skin pH?

By measuring pH (which stands for “potential of hydrogen”), you can determine how acidic or alkaline any given substance is. On a scale of 0-14, water has a pH of 7 and is considered “neutral.” Anything below a 7 is acidic while anything above 7 is alkaline.

It’s generally accepted that skin is slightly acidic, falling somewhere between 5-6 on the pH scale. Some recent studies have proposed that the best pH level for skin may fall just below 5. 

skin ph level chart

When skin is at its optimal pH level, barrier function and moisture retention improves. A slightly acidic skin pH also helps normal (healthy) bacterial flora remain attached to the epidermis.

How to Know If Your Skin pH Balance Is Off 

“There are several proposed scientific mechanisms that correlate slightly acidic skin with healthier function of the skin. These include an improved formation of the lipid (or fat) layer of the skin. This helps to keep the skin moisturized. A low pH also suppresses the function of enzymes (serine proteases) that cause skin flaking.”

- Dr. Julie Jackson MD, FAAD


More alkaline skin is often associated with – and may even be a cause of – skin conditions like:
  • eczema
  • dry patches
  • irritant contact dermatitis
  • diaper rash
  • acne and breakouts
  • premature aging 
  • fungal, yeast, and bacterial infections.
Pro Tip: pH testing strips are an affordable, accurate, and accessible method to test your skin levels.

So...What Causes Unbalanced Skin pH? 

how to restore ph balance in skin
If you're struggling with unbalanced skin, there are a few possible culprits: 
  • personal care products 
  • harsh detergents
  • how much you sweat 
  • air pollution
  • scrubbing too hard 
  • showers that are too hot
  • hard water 

How to Make Skin More Acidic 

While armpit and genital areas tend to remain more acidic,  your hands and face are another story. And the more alkaline your skin, the more problems you're probably going to see.

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There are plenty of natural remedies to restore pH balance, but the simplest way to make skin more acidic comes down to your personal care products and water quality. 

1. Restore Skin Balance with the Right Products 

The pH of soap, cleansers, and moisturizers dramatically impact your skin. That’s why you should choose pH-balanced products that fall between 4 and 6 on our chart (above).  

  • Use a pH-Balanced Body Wash 

Did you know that the average pH of soap falls somewhere between 9-10 – and that can cause a lot of dryness.

pH balanced soap

With a pH of between 5.5, Puracy Natural Body Wash has been formulated with a gentle blend of natural coconut cleansers, clinical-grade moisturizers, and Himalayan pink sea salt. This hypoallergenic body wash is free of harsh ingredients that can strip skin of its natural oils. 

  • Don't Forget Your Toner 

skin ph level

Immediately after cleansing your skin, use a toner to help calibrate your pH. However, if alcohol lands high on its list of ingredients, it will likely strip your skin of moisture.

  • Lotion up

how to treat acidic skin

Within a couple minutes of stepping out of the shower, apply a nourishing, pH-balanced moisturizer. We've designed our Face & Body Lotion for all-over hydration – and it lands between 4.5 & 6 on the pH scale).

  • Choose a pH-Balanced Shampoo & Conditioner 

The human scalp requires special attention, so be sure to double-check the ingredients in your hair products. Many "natural" shampoos use sulfates, even though they have an alkaline makeup and cause negative physical reactions in people with skin sensitivities.

how to lower skin ph

What's more, most shampoos have pH values between 6 and 7. To help reduce irritation, dryness, and itching, we've formulated our Natural Shampoo to provide the same pH level as your scalp – approximately 5.5. Our Natural Conditioner falls between 3.5 and 4.5.

Pro Tip: Depending on your hair type and scalp health, it may be better to wash your hair every few days to retain moisture.

2. Invest in a Water Filter

Your daily shower routine dramatically affects your skin, and one of the biggest culprits for unbalanced skin pH is your home's water quality. If your scalp and skin always feel dry – no matter what type of shampoo and body wash you use – you might have hard water.

how to lower skin ph

The best water for skin pH is soft, non-alkaline, and with low minerality. And because hot water dries out skin, it’s best to stick with lukewarm water whenever possible. Homeowners should consider investing in a water softener. Meanwhile, a shower filter is an excellent and affordable option – especially for renters.

Pro Tip: Contact your local municipality. They should be able to disclose your water hardness level.

Get Radiant, Healthy Skin with Puracy's Plant-Based Products

ph balanced shampoo

Puracy Natural Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Wash have a pH of between 3.5 and 6. And with their plant-derived botanicals and coconut-based cleansers, they're scientifically formulated to cleanse, nourish, and moisturize even the most sensitive of skin.