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Is the pH in Your Cleanser Healthy?

March 26, 2021

Is the pH in Your Cleanser Healthy?

The overall health of the skin is influenced by several factors, one of which is pH. Often overlooked is the pH level in skin care products and the role this plays in affecting skin pH.

If we use products that are too acidic or too alkaline, problems can occur. Indications that skin is too alkaline can be flaky, red skin. If the skin is too acidic, the chances of inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and acne will be present. 

Cleansers are often a big offender at sabotaging the skin barrier. Just because it's organic or natural doesn't mean it has a safe pH. 

Understanding Skin and pH

Two often overlooked skin barrier components are the microbiome and acid mantle. The microbiome is bacteria on the skin's surface that guards against pathogens. The acid mantle is a thin film on the skin's surface composed of lipids from the oil glands mixed with amino acids from sweat. 

You know when the skin barrier has been disrupted when inflammation, atopic dermatitis, dehydrated skin (skin that is both dry and oily at the same time), skin sensitivity, or acne are showing up.

One of the ways it gets disrupted is using a cleanser that is not the right pH for your skin.

Pollutants, pathogens, excessive occlusion, detergents, soaps, cleansers, and hard water can disrupt the pH balance of the skin barrier. Hard water is tap water with a high mineral content causing it to have a pH of 8.5 or more.  

Here's a handy chart to demonstrate the pH range and an idea of where a few ingredients fall on the chart. A home pH testing kit can be found here 

It is very important to choose a quality cleanser to maintain a healthy pH on the skin. If you're using an astringent cleanser and stripping the skin barrier of the "good stuff," over time (and sometimes pretty quickly), the skin becomes compromised, and when this happens, a long list of skin problems can occur. 

I recommend a cleanser pH of 4.5 - 5.5 because that is the same pH of healthy skin.

The moral of the story is, don't sabotage your skincare routine by starting with a cleanser that is not a healthy pH for the skin. You want to clean your skin, not strip your skin of the good stuff.

My favorite cleansers are:

Just Say Ahh Revitalizing Cleanser

NeoGenesis Cleanser

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