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Why does pH level matter in choosing a cleanser?

Why does pH level matter in choosing a cleanser?

Image by: Ron Lach 

As a skincare enthusiast, you probably know how crucial the role of cleansing is in your day-to-day skincare routine. Cleansing is the process of getting rid of the dirt, makeup residue, and any other impurities that accumulate on your face throughout the day.
What is your basis for choosing a cleanser? Do you have a certain ingredient that you’re specifically looking at in choosing one?

Washing your face should be a comfortable experience for you, something that you’ll look forward to doing now and then. If you feel unusual tight skin after every wash, then there might be something wrong with the cleanser that you’re using.

Given all the well-known ingredients out on the market, in choosing your facial cleanser, does pH level happens to cross your mind? Care to explain that nod on your forehead?

Don’t worry, Queens! This won’t be the boring chemistry lesson that you most are accustomed to.

First, let us define what pH is, pH stands for the power of hydrogen. The measurement of the level of hydrogen ions found in a given solution. In simpler language, it aims to measure how acidic or basic a substance is in comparison with a substance that has neutral pH.

Having said all these, what does pH has something to do with the skin? And why should we be keeping an eye on it?

Human skin is protected by an acid mantle that serves as a protective barrier on the surface of the skin that primarily keeps the skin pH low, ranging from 4.0 to 7.0 with 4.7 being the average Acid Mantle functions to protect the human skin from bacteria, fungi, viruses, and any other environmental aggressors.

A pH above 7 is alkaline, while a pH below 7 is acidic. The pH of the skin is weakly acidic, so the ideal products to use on your skin should have a similar pH.

You might be a  bit surprised to learn that a healthy skin pH is on the acidic spectrum. With more acidity, skin can combat harmful microbes and damaging free radicals.

How to check your skin’s pH level

Test Strips

All thanks to continuous technology development, you can now determine your skin’s pH level on your own. This comes in the form of paper strips that are applied to the skin and measured.

Through the experts

Of all people to reach out, Dermatologists sure won’t give you just the FACTS that you need. Dermatologist offers liquid testing. On top of it, they can also recommend skincare care tips, products, and practices that you could establish.

And the best way to maintain healthy skin and balanced skin pH?

A low pH cleanser saves the day

A low pH cleanser plays an integral role in maintaining the skin’s barrier function. Relying on soap, just plain water, or cleansers that have high pH levels in washing your skin could disrupt the skin’s pH balance as it can strip away the skin’s natural lipids that distract the function of the skin’s barrier resulting in irritation, dryness, and impacts the overall skin’s health.

A low pH cleanser help maintain the skin’s health by protecting from the loss of moisture and supporting the protective effects of the acid mantle and skin barrier.

Still not convinced about considering pH in choosing skincare?

This study used soaps as the primary subject and evidently showed that most had pH levels between 9.00 to 10.00 – far more than the average pH found in your skin’s acid mantle. Alarming, isn’t it?

In choosing a low pH cleanser

Now brace with the knowledge of the importance of choosing low pH levels in dealing with skin care products, these are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Most products are labeled with low pH or balancing
  2. Make a habit of testing. Save yourself from future problems, as test strips are mostly available over-the-counter.
  3. Lastly, keep an eye on the fragrance-free, silicone, sodium lauryl sulfate, and dyes to avoid any adverse skin reactions.

Moving forward, it is a universal language to understand your skin type to properly address your skin needs. As such, take a look at these cheat sheets that will keep you free from stress when the subject about skin is put on the line.

For Dry Skin

Is in need of a low pH cleanser that can provide extra moisture to boost the skin.

Check out, hyaluronic acid a known humectant prized for its hydrating abilities. It aids the skin in attracting and retaining moisture, which is helpful in maintaining the skin’s elasticity.

For Oily Skin 

If you are dealing with oily skin, your skin would surely love a low pH cleanser that contains exfoliative and oil-controlling properties such as: Niacinamide targets oiliness and has been proven to be effective in lowering excessive sebum oil production. Salicylic Acid  helps clear pores of excess oil and regulate oil production.


In dealing with acne-prone skin

A low pH cleanser that contains potent antibacterial agents such as benzoyl peroxide  is your skin’s best friend as it helps clear blocked pores and kill acne-causing bacteria.

You can never go wrong in investing an ample amount of time to learn what is and what is not for your skin.

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