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

If you suffer from dermatological issues, the key to healthy, beautiful skin may actually lie in learning how to balance skin ph. 

Whether you’ve got a dry, oily, or acne-prone complexion, our dermatologist-recommended tips should help you restore skin ph balance naturally.

What Is the Normal pH Balance of Skin?

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. Therefore, it’s considered “neutral.” Anything below a 7 has greater acidity while anything above 7 is considered alkaline.

skin ph level chart

It’s generally accepted that skin pH 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. 

Why Balancing Skin pH Is So Important

how to restore skin ph

When skin is at an optimal pH level, it has improved barrier function, better moisture retention, and less scaling. A slightly acidic skin pH also helps normal (healthy) bacterial flora stay attached to the epidermis. 

More alkaline skin is often associated with – and may even be a cause of – eczema, irritant contact dermatitis, diaper rash, acne, and fungal, yeast, and bacterial infections.

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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, which helps to keep the skin moisturized. A low pH also suppresses the function of enzymes (serine proteases) that cause skin flaking.”

Fix Your Water Quality

restore skin ph

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

Pro tip: Your local municipality should be able to disclose your water hardness level. 

Homeowners should consider investing in a water softener. Meanwhile, a shower filter is an excellent and affordable option – especially for renters.

use shower filter

Best Water pH for Healthy Skin

When showering, 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.

Find the Best Products to Balance Skin pH Levels

The pH of soap, cleansers, and moisturizers dramatically impact your skin. That’s why you should choose pH-balanced skincare products that fall between 4 and 6. Unfortunately, typical bar soaps have a pH as high as 12.

how to measure skin ph

Stick to a pH neutral soap for skin, like Puracy Natural Body Wash (which has a pH of between 5 and 6). Formulated with a gentle blend of natural coconut cleansers, clinical-grade moisturizers, and Himalayan pink sea salt, this pH-balanced, hypoallergenic body wash is free of harsh ingredients that can strip skin of its natural oils. 

Pro tip: Dealing with dermatological conditions and wondering how to test skin pH? pH testing strips are an affordable, accurate method. 

Use a Toner 

Immediately after cleansing your skin, apply a toner that will help calibrate your pH. Before applying any skin product, be sure to read the ingredient list: If alcohol lands high on its list of ingredients, it will likely strip your skin of moisture (rather than nourishing it).

Don’t Forget to Lotion up

Within a couple minutes of stepping out of the shower, lock in crucial hydration by applying a nourishing pH-balanced moisturizer (like our Organic Hand & Body Lotion which lands between 6-7 on the pH scale).

Look for a pH-Balanced Shampoo

Most of us forget that the scalp requires special attention, which is why you should be double-checking the ingredients in your hair products, too.

ph of shampoo

Many cosmetics companies consider sulfates to be perfectly fine for use in “natural” shampoo. Not only can these substances cause negative reactions in people with skin sensitivities, but sulfates’ alkaline makeup can also disrupt your skin's natural pH levels.

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

Restore pH Balance with Puracy Products

Our products have been scientifically formulated to work with your skin’s natural pH levels – all without harsh chemicals and irritants. Puracy Natural Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Wash all fall between 5-6 on the pH scale. We also utilize natural, plant-derived botanicals and coconut-based cleansers to gently cleanse the scalp and hair follicles.