The skin has a natural pH balance that helps it stay healthy. And there are a lot of advertisements that talk about restoring or maintaining skin’s pH balance with their products.
Some people say that getting the right toner for oily skin or the right face moisturizer for dry skin can be helpful when it comes to setting the natural balance. And to some extent, this is true, but it’s still important to know why these products can help and how the skin’s pH balance can get affected by certain products.
Unfortunately, some people still don’t know what pH balance is and why it should be maintained. To get to know your skin more, read on below.
What’s pH balance, and what is it for?
The potential of Hydrogen (pH) refers to the concentration of hydrogen ions in substances. Zero is the most acidic on the pH scale, while 14 is the most alkaline. So, in essence, understanding pH balance and the scales is all about measuring the alkalinity or acidity of substances. (3)
What’s the perfect pH balance for skin?
It’s been said that pH 5.5 is the best level for skin, but this isn’t a strict rule. Instead, you want to keep your skin between pH levels of 4.8 to 7. These levels are considered to be on the slightly acidic to neutral levels. If this is where your skin pH levels are, you probably have good-looking and healthy skin. (1)
Why does it matter for skin?
Understanding if your skin is more on the acidic or alkaline side is critical because it can indicate how healthy your skin is. If your skin is balanced, it can stay moisturized and shield itself from germs and bacteria. However, if your skin pH is unbalanced, it can have problems like psoriasis, eczema, contact dermatitis, oily skin, acne, redness, dry patches, and premature aging.
With this knowledge, you can better understand how to care for your skin and what products to use. (1)
What causes your skin’s pH levels to become unbalanced?
There are different ways for your pH balance to become thrown off. Here’s a list of the factors that could cause the imbalance:
- Free radicals
- Too much sweat
- Excessive sun exposure
- Washing your face too much
- Exfoliating too much
- Unstable humidity levels
- Harsh chemicals in skincare and makeup
- Antibacterial products (1)
If you want to maintain your skin’s pH balance better, try to avoid some of these causes. However, since some of these are difficult to avoid, you’ll have to take the extra steps to restore the pH levels.
How to restore your skin’s pH balance
To restore your skin’s pH balance, you can follow some tips and tricks. Just make sure that you stick to it so your skin can get used to it.
- Watch your diet
To help your skin’s pH levels, switch to a diet rich in dark green leafy vegetables, citruses, and berries, while also avoiding food that’s too acidic. You’ll also want to drink water with the proper pH balance. (2)
- Use skincare products with the proper pH levels
Keeping the levels of your skincare products at a pH of 5.5 is best, but you could also keep them between 4.5 and 7. The key is to look for slightly acidic products. This is because high pH, which measures from 8 to 14, can cause damage to your skin’s barrier, which can lead to dryness, inflammation, scaling, and redness. It might even cause your skin to break out. (4)
On the other hand, a low pH level of around 1 to 6 will help your skin look smoother and brighter. This is because it’s closer to your skin’s natural pH levels. But it’s also important to beware of products that aren’t too acidic because they can also be stripping. While some acidic products work as exfoliants, it’s not healthy to use them often. (4)
- Wear sunscreen
Excessive sun exposure is one of the reasons why pH levels can get thrown off balance. So, make sure that you stay out of the sun as much as possible. Additionally, regularly use sunscreen with a broad SPF to avoid even more damage. (3)
- Apply quality oils and moisturizers
Your skin naturally produces oils and sebum to help keep it moisturized. However, this can decrease as you get older. Without enough moisture, the acid mantle could get damaged, affecting your skin’s pH balance. Gentle moisturizers and oils will help keep your skin rebuild a moisture barrier to retain a good pH level despite aging. (3)
- Stay away from harsh chemicals
Check your skincare products, and see if any of them contain harsh chemicals. If they do, you probably want to opt for gentler ones. In general, you want to avoid applying bar soaps on your face and products that don’t list the ingredients completely in their packaging. (3)
All in all, your skin’s pH levels can indicate how healthy it is. At the same time, it can also give you a clue on how to better care for your skin. The critical takeaway is to make sure that your skin’s pH balance is from 4.5 to 7.
- “Why pH of Skin Matters More Than You Think (+ How to Balance Skin pH)”, Source: https://www.pierremichelbeauty.com/ph-of-skin/
- “Household Items that Help Restore the Skin’s Natural pH Balance”, Source: https://healthfully.com/household-items-that-help-restore-the-skins-natural-ph-balance-8128611.html
- “What Is Skin’s pH Level And How To Maintain It?”, Source: https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/what-is-the-importance-of-ph-on-your-skin-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/
- “Why the pH Balance of Your Skin-Care Products Matters So Much”, Source: https://www.allure.com/story/ph-balance-skin-care-products