The Truth About PH Balanced Skincare

You have probably seen the term "PH Balanced" or "PH Balanced Skincare" somewhere along your skincare journey. It is a pretty common advertising point made on products specifically designed for teenage skin. But it is starting to become more of a commonplace term used for all age and stage-tailored skin care. There are definitely multiple schools of thought on what your skin really needs in term of its PH Balance.

First, let's go over the basics.

What does PH Level mean? In very simple terms, all liquids which contain water (read: basically all liquids) have a PH Level. It is like a measurement of hydrogen and hydroxyl in the water content. A PH Level can range from 0-14. 0 meaning extreme acidity and 14 meaning extreme alkalinity. 7 which sits in the middle falls under neutral. Acidity and alkalinity can affect the balance of anything they come into contact with.

What does it have to do with skin care? Well, interestingly enough your skin has a PH Level… kind of. On the surface of your skin, there is a protective layer made up of sebum and sweat. It is called the acid mantle.

The acid mantle is made up of a combination of sebum (fatty acids) and lactic and amino acids which are brought up to the surface of the skin when you sweat. The PH Level of the acid mantle is generally stated to be somewhere from 4.5 - 5.5. It’s a little bit controversial to measure, as it changes based on a variety of factors like age, temperature, whether your skin is clean or in need of cleansing and even diet. Basically, it is generally believed that healthy skin falls somewhere between 4.5 and 5.5 but it is not an exact science.

So when you see skincare advertised as “perfectly balanced to your skins own PH Level” this means the products PH is somewhere at around 5.

Sounds great, right? Well, not necessarily. Your Acid Mantle has a delicate balance and going way up high in the alkalinity zone can definitely strip your face of its natural oils. Going way down in acid levels can cause irritation and essentially burn your skin - this is why acid peels cause redness. So will using a product with a PH matching your skin give you the best results, technically yes it could… but and this is a big but… you don’t actually know what your skins PH Level is. You could probably buy an at-home kit on Amazon to check it but it wouldn’t show you anything concrete as it literally changes constantly. In fact, it balances itself out, so the idea that you need to use perfectly PH matching products is kind of insulting to the wonderful, natural mechanism of your very own acid mantle.

So a high alkaline level = bad. A low acidity level = bad.

And your skin balances out its own PH Level. So what does it need in skin care? It needs a product that adds nutrients to it without putting too much stress on the acid mantle.

Your skin needs something neutral.

Pure water is a true neutral substance, nobody ever complains of too much water bothering their skin. In fact, in terms of cleansing your face and body, most of the time water is involved. So skincare that has a neutral PH, or close to it, is really what you should be looking for.

Not only this but when you compare products with a skin balanced PH Level (4.5 - 5.5) they are normally filled with chemicals and synthetic ingredients to achieve that low PH level. Natural based products that focus on PH Levels will generally fall around PH 7. The idea being that natural ingredients should not disrupt your skins protective barrier they should rather add vitality and strength to it, allowing it to do its thing without the stress of synthetic and harmful chemicals.

O Naturals Bar Soaps have a PH Level of 7.2 and are all natural. They infuse essential oils and natural kinds of butter to give your skin a cleansed and hydrated feel without bothering your personal acid mantle.

To find out more about our natural bar soap collections click Here.