Find out what our dermatologists recommended to help you improve your skincare game and maintain a properly balanced skin pH.
If you want a radiant-looking and healthy skin, you need to restore and maintain a good pH balance. Normal skin pH on average is between 5.4 to 5.9, but it can be disrupted due to environmental factors/pollution, sleep, hydration, and products used on the body.
What Is the Normal pH of Skin?
The pH scale (0-14) helps you determine the acidity or alkalinity of substances. Water has a pH of 7 and is considered “neutral”. Let’s talk about what is acidic and what is alkaline/basic:
It’s generally accepted that mildly acidic to acidic skin, which falls somewhere between 4.5 and 6, is optimal. Studies have indicated that thebest pH level for skin may fall just below 5. This level is considered pH balanced and usually means skin is healthy, hydrated, and thriving.
When skin is at its optimal level, barrier function, and moisture retention improves. Slightly acidic skin also helps healthy bacterial flora to remain attached to the epidermis. We findpH testing stripsaffordable, accurate, and accessible methods to test your skin levels.
How to Achieve a More Balanced Skin PH
Achieving a more balanced skin pH will help you maintain a supple skin with no dry patches. Here are some of the ways you can consider:
- Invest in a Water Filter
If your scalp and skin always feel dry – no matter what shampoo or body wash you use – you might have hard water. Your local municipality should be able to tell you what those levels are.
The best water for skin pH is soft, non-alkaline, and with low mineral content. Homeowners should consider investing in a water softener.Shower filtersare excellent and affordable options for renters.
Pro Tip:Stick with lukewarm water whenever possible as hot water can make the skin dry.
Use pH-Balanced Products
Most cleansers have a 5.5 pH level, while the average pH of soap falls somewhere between 9-10. That can cause a lot of discomfort and dryness. You'll need a product with a lower pH level to ensure the health of your skin.
Puracy Natural Body Washhas a pH of 5.5 and is formulated with a gentle blend of natural coconut cleansers, clinical-grade moisturizers, and Himalayan pink sea salt. This hypoallergenic, natural pH-balanced soap is free of harsh ingredients (like sulfates) that can strip skin of its natural oils.
Use Skin Toner
Immediately after cleansing your skin, a toner will help calibrate your facial skin pH. However, if alcohol lands high on its list of ingredients, it'll probably strip your skin of moisture.
- Moisturize Daily With Lotion
Within a few minutes of stepping out of the shower, apply a nourishing, pH-balanced body lotion. Our unscentedorganic lotionprovides all-over hydration – and it lands between 4.5 and 6 on the pH scale.
Choose a pH-Balanced Shampoo & Conditioner
Double-check the ingredients in your hair products. Even though sulfates are alkaline and can cause negative reactions in people with sensitive skin, many "natural" shampoos still use them.
To help prevent irritation, dryness, and itching, we've formulated our Natural Shampooto provide the same pH level as your scalp, which is approximately 5.5. Because human hair is typically more acidic than the scalp, our Natural Conditioner falls between 3.5 and 4.5.
To provide the best personal care productsanywhere, Puracy's pH values fall between 3.5 and 6. Scientifically formulated by biochemists, these plant-derived extracts and coconut-based cleansers cleanse, nourish, and moisturize the even most sensitive skin.
Pro tip: To retain moisture, consider washing your hair less often. Of course, this really depends on your hair type, treatments, sebum production, and styling products.
Use a Scalp Scrub
The human scalp requires special attention, and one of the best ways to remove buildup (caused by sweat, oil, and styling products) is with a Natural Scalp Scrub. A weekly cleanse is great for removing elements that cause itching and flaking. And remember: actually scrubbing isn’t recommended – instead, gently massage it into your scalp!
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Healthy skin also benefits greatly from a balanced diet. Alkaline foods such as fruits and vegetables skin's pH levels balanced, while also providing rich nutrients and vitamins.
What Is Considered an Acidic pH Range?
An acidic pH range is between 0 to 6. These are your lemon and orange juices, black coffee, vinegar, and Coke.
In a study published in 2014, it was found thatonly 38% of branded shampoos brought from supermarket shelves versus 75% salon shampoos have a pH of 5 and below.
What Is Considered an Alkaline or Basic pH Range?
An alkaline or a basic pH range is between 8 to 14. These are your baking soda, bleach, and a majority of popular soap and shampoo brands.
In a study reviewing local brands of soaps and shampoos, it was found that most soaps have a pH of 9 to 10. Meanwhile, the pH of most shampoos was found to be within the 6 to 7 range.
What Are the Factors That Affect Skin pH?
If you're struggling with related dermatological issues, you should know what can positively and negatively impact your skin’s overall health:
Factors That Positively Affect Skin pH
Factors That Negatively Affect Skin pH
Why Is Skin pH Important?
Knowing your skin’s pH and ,maintaining a balanced skin pH are important to keep healthy skin conditions.
Here’s why you should be taking care of it:
To maintain healthy skin
Restoring your skin’s pH is not just a skin deep routine. The food and drinks that you take in will affect your gut health and in turn will affect your skin’s biome.
If your skin’s balance is off, you may experience dry patches and you may also be prone to skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis.
To maintain gut health
Believe it or not, your skin's pH level can directly affect your gut health, and digestive health can often have an impact on your skin health. Acidic skin with pH levels of 5.4-5.9 can create an environment for harmful pathogens and prohibit the growth of healthy bacteria.
To maintain aesthetic conditions/trends
If you’re into cosmetics or use cosmetics on a daily basis but have reactions to them, it might be because the pH of the product does not match your skin’s needs.
Unlike most Korean cosmetics which disclose the pH level of products, American and European brands may not do as much. Korea is known for its skin care products and practices worldwide and they have low pH formulation.
Is My Skin pH Balance Off?
While armpit and genital areas tend to remain more acidic, your hands and face are another story. More alkaline skin may even be a cause of skin conditions like:
- dry patches
- irritant contact dermatitis
- diaper rash
- acne and breakouts
- premature aging
- fungal, yeast, and bacterial infections.
Dr. Julie Jackson MD, FAAD reports:
“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 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.”
How to Measure Skin’s pH
People have different skin pH, depending on factors such as:
- Gender - Male skin may have a higher average pH than women because men produce more sebum.
- Age - The skin’s pH increases as we grow older, which is why there are skin products made specific for a more mature demographic.
- Ethnicity - People with darker skin complexion tend to have lower skin pH
While there are skin pH tests available for you to use, it’s still best to visit your healthcare provider who will have tools like a pH meter. If not, dermatologists encourage observing how your skin behaves on a daily basis.