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Understanding Your Skin's pH Level

Understanding Your Skin's pH Level

It can be hard to keep your life balanced. Whether it is your work, personal life, skincare, or physical health, keeping track of everything is a challenging task.

However, one area that we often forget about balancing out is our skin’s pH level. The pH level of our skin is something that is hardly ever talked about and remains a mystery to many casual cosmetic customers. At Spa-Da we believe this shouldn’t be the case and are on a mission to educate the masses about what a balanced pH level means to their skin and body health. 

Our skin is what defines our physical appearance, and even though we can't control all of its colors, wrinkles, and imperfection, we can surely keep it healthy by maintaining its pH level. 

Keep on reading to learn about your skin’s pH and why it is so important.

What is pH?

Before learning about the skin's pH level, let's learn a little about the pH scale and how it works. A pH scale ranges from 1 to 14, and 7 is considered neutral, while those below seven are considered acidic. All the numbers above seven on a pH scale represent alkalinity.

What is skin's pH, and why does it Matter?

Healthy skin has a pH level that typically lies between 5.4 - 5.9, which is slightly acidic. This slight acidity allows our skin to attract healthy microbes that our body needs to fight germs and protect the inner and most sensitive layers. Our skin is protected by a hydro-lipid film, known as the skin barrier and acid mantle (named after its slight acidity). When this barrier is damaged, the skin’s pH gets disturbed, causing various problems. When our skin's pH is in balance, our skin microbiome and healthy flora is thriving. When our skin is out of balance inflammation increases and our immune system is hindered. 

Unbalanced skin pH levels can cause severe dryness, while other times, it can cause acne and other skin diseases. The  most common problem that affects the pH of our skin is the use of low quality "super market soap" that has a high pH. The high pH of traditional soap can wreck havoc on sensitive skin by raising our skin's pH and throwing off our skin's natural homeostasis. Future research should focus on the pH value of different soaps and researchers should work to identify the best soap pH for specific conditions. 

Maintaining our skin's pH level is essential to having happy, hydrated, and well nourished skin cells. Your soap bar should work with your natural skin pH, not against it. Abnormalities of pH plays an essential role in the pathogenesis of many diseases and personal care products that affect our body's pH should be heavily scrutinized. Our skin and body pH levels is not something you want to take lightly, it can mean the difference between health or sickness. 

Things That Affect the Skin’s pH

Our skin is more sensitive than we assume, and different things can affect our skin, disturbing our skin's pH level. Some of the most common things that affect our pH level are listed below.

  • Age
  • Eating habits
  • Sebum production
  • Skin microbiome 
  • Genetics
  • Sun
  • Cosmetics
  • Skincare Products
  • Sweat
  • Pollution
  • Humidity level

Is Our Skin pH The Same All across the Human Body?

Even though most people think that our skin pH is identical across the body, it is not valid. Different body parts have different pH levels, varying between 4 and 7. The lesser exposed areas of our body, armpits, and genital area usually maintain the acidity by themselves.

However, other parts of our body like the face, legs, and chest are more on the alkaline side and require extra care in maintaining the pH level. Our skin’s pH level can also vary according to the products we use on the specific part. This is one of the reasons why dermatologists request people to avoid changing skincare products too often.

What Happens When Your Skin pH is off?

Since skin's pH level plays a vital role in maintaining healthy skin, when it is unbalanced, it can cause various skin problems. Skin's pH varies typically from 4-6, but when it drops down (lesser than 4), it can cause severe skin diseases.

However, when the skin's pH level is a little higher, more on the alkaline side, it will cause extreme dryness and redness. Some of the most common problems that are caused by an imbalance in the skin's pH level are mentioned below.

  • Acne
  • Dryness
  • Psoriasis
  • Redness
  • Rashes
  • Eczema
  • Excessive oil
  • Pimples

All the above-listed symptoms can be caused by an imbalance in the skin's pH level. However, different skin reacts in different ways, and it is not necessary that your skin will face all the listed disorders when its pH level is compromised.

How to Balance Your Skin’s pH level?

Our skin is one of the most sensitive parts of our body and requires extra care at all times. The skin’s pH level can change often. Sometimes it can vary by using different skin care products, while sometimes, it can be compromised because of your diet. Maintaining a healthy pH level is essential for healthy skin, and who doesn't want healthy skin?

We will share some tips and tricks to help you balance your skin's pH level once again.

1.   Use Sunscreen Regularly

Sunscreen is your skin's best friend, and you should never underestimate it. It doesn't only protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun, but it also helps in keeping your skin healthy by maintaining its pH level. - If you are currently dealing with a sunburn check out our post, Using Baking Soda To Soothe Sunburns.

2.   Get rid of Harsh Cleansers

Cleansers are one of the most commonly used skin care products; using the wrong ones can harm your skin more than you assume. Choose cleaners that are neither too acidic nor too alkaline to maintain a healthy pH level.

3.   Use Citric Acid

Even though a lot of people think that citric acid is harmful, it isn't true. When used with the right ingredients and proper care, citric acid can help maintain your skin's pH. Citric acid is an AHA whose pH level is 2, meaning if your skin's pH is higher than usual, you can use this acid to bring it back to normal. - For more on citric acid check out our sister article, Reduce Skin Inflammation With Baking Soda And Citric Acid.

4.   Focus on your Diet

Your diet might be the biggest variable affecting your skin's pH level. Eating way too many processed foods will increase your body's acidity, eventually decreasing your pH level. Try to incorporate foods rich in antioxidants, including leafy vegetables, fruits, and dark chocolate.

Baking Soda and Skin’s pH Level

Are you tired of buying expensive products to maintain your skin's pH level? Well, not anymore because one of the best products to keep your skin's pH can be easily found in your kitchen cabinet. Even though many people don't prefer using baking soda on their skin, it can benefit you in more ways than you assume.

Baking soda has a pH level of 9 and can help maintain healthy skin if your skin’s pH level is lower than the normal range. However, using pure baking soda on completely healthy or more alkaline skin can cause damage instead of benefits.

At Spa-Da we’re proud pioneers of a soap making process that combines the interconnected opposite pH forces of citric acid and baking soda. On their own they’re polar opposites on the pH scale, but together they create a soap bar that cleans, exfoliates, and protects better than traditional melt and pour or cold process soap bars, aka “supermarket soap”. After learning about your skin’s pH it’s now time to put that knowledge to action, try Spa-Da’s soap bar and bathing products today. 

The Bottom Line

Taking care of your skin and maintaining its pH level is essential to get healthy and well-nourished skin. An imbalance in the skin's pH level can make it more prone to infections and other diseases. Make sure to choose the right ways and proper products to maintain the skin's pH level and achieve healthy skin.