The Science Behind Your Skin: How to Balance Your Skin pH
We all spend a lot of time seeking balance in our lives: work-life balance, a balanced diet, a healthy bank account balance. But most of us never realize that we also need balance when it comes to our skin care. Specifically, we need skin care products and treatments that are pH balanced to maintain the health and normal function of our skin.
What is Skin pH?
A quick refresher on our long-ago science classes! The pH scale measures how acidic, neutral, or alkaline a substance is. A pH of 0 is extremely acidic, and 14 is extremely alkaline. Healthy skin has a pH of about 4.6-5.6, which is slightly acidic—about the same as black coffee, tomatoes, and bananas. This comes from what’s called the “acid mantle”, a thin protective layer that’s part of the skin’s natural barrier functions, made up of a mix of sebum with lactic and amino acids produced by sweat.
How to Balance Skin's pH
Too often, when we think we’re taking care of our skin, we’re actually disrupting the acid mantle and leaving our skin open to dryness, breakouts, or even flare-ups of conditions like eczema or rosacea. It’s hardly our fault; skin pH was something we were probably never taught about, and we’re encouraged to do things like wash our hands regularly with soap. It’s a good hygiene habit, but ordinary hand soap has a pH of 10 or 11—very alkaline! Instead, try a Gentle Cleanser and then follow up with a toner that balances pH and preps the skin for the rest of your skincare routine.