how to balance skin pH

Expert Tips to Restore Skin pH – Naturally

If dermatological conditions are getting you down, here's everything you need to know about balancing skin pH for lasting, radiant results.
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Written by Molli Carlson. Medically reviewed by board-certified dermatologist Dr. Julie Jackson.

It's a little-known fact, but learning how to balance skin pH is often crucial for a more radiant complexion.

Our dermatologist-recommended advice walks you through why switching to natural, pH-balanced products could completely change your skincare game.

What Is the pH Level of Skin?

Measuring pH helps you determine how acidic or alkaline substances are. 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.

skin ph level chart

It’s generally accepted that acidic skin – falling somewhere between 5 and 6 on the pH scale – is optimal. Recent studies have proposed that the best pH level for skin may even fall just below 5.

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. We find that pH testing strips can be an affordable, accurate, and accessible method to test your skin levels.

Is My Skin pH Balance Off?

how to restore pH balance in skin

While armpit and genital areas tend to remain more acidic, your hands and face are another story. And more alkaline skin is often associated with – and may even be a cause of – skin conditions like:

  • dry patches
  • irritant contact dermatitis
  • diaper rash
  • eczema
  • 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 (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.”

So What Affects Skin pH Balance?

skin pH balance

If you're struggling with unbalanced skin, there are a few possible culprits:

  • personal care products
  • harsh detergents
  • the amount you sweat
  • air pollution
  • excess scrubbing
  • shower temperatures
  • hard water

Invest in a Water Filter

invest in a water filter

One of the biggest culprits for unbalanced skin pH? Your home's water quality. 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 disclose your water hardness level.

The best water for skin pH is soft, non-alkaline, and with low minerality. Homeowners should consider investing in a water softener though shower filters are excellent and affordable options for renters.

Pro Tip: Because hot water dries out skin, stick with lukewarm water whenever possible.

Use pH Balanced Products

how pH soap

With a pH of 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, natural pH-balanced soap is free of harsh ingredients (like sulfates) that can strip skin of its natural oils.

Not-So-Fun Fact: The average pH of soap falls somewhere between 9-10 – and that can cause a lot of discomfort and dryness.

Don't Forget Your Toner

pH of skin on face

Immediately after cleansing your skin, use a toner to help calibrate your pH. However, avoid it if alcohol lands high on its list of ingredients: It'll probably strip your skin of moisture.

Lotion up

pH balanced body lotion

Within a couple minutes of stepping out of the shower, apply a nourishing, pH-balanced body lotion. We've engineered our unscented Face & Body Lotion for all-over hydration – and it just so happens to land between 4.5 and 6 on the pH scale.

Choose a pH-Balanced Shampoo & Conditioner

pH of the skin

Be sure to double-check the ingredients in your hair products. For example, 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 Shampoo to provide the same pH level as your scalp, which is approximately 5.5. And because human hair is typically more acidic than the scalp, our Natural Conditioner falls between 3.5 and 4.5.

Pro Tip: To retain moisture, it may be better to avoid washing your hair everyday. This really depends on elements like: hair type, treatments, sebum production, and styling products.

Use a Scalp Scrub

pH level of scalp

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 will do wonders to restore healthy skin by removing elements that cause itching and flaking.

Restore Skin pH Balance with Puracy's Plant-Based Products Puracy plant based products

To provide the best personal care products anywhere, 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 most sensitive skin.