Why the pH balance of your skin is important and what should you do about it?
pH this pH that. You’ve probably seen several products tout their pH levels but what does this all mean to you? Bear with the basics without the nitty gritty scientific specifics and it’ll help you understand it a lot better! pH is measured on a logarithmic scale that goes from 0 to 14; 0 being the most acidic and 14 being the most Basic. A pH of 7 is neutral which is the pH of pure water – it is neither acidic nor basic. pHs less than 7 are acidic and pHs greater than 7 are alkaline (basic).
What’s the typical pH of skin?
Skin is on the acidic side of the scale and on average around a pH around 4.7. There’s a natural range to this depending on your skin type! It can be slightly more or it can be slightly less. The skin has a protective layer called the acid mantle which shields the skin from external threats such as acne-causing bacteria. The acid mantle is composed of ceramides, cholesterols, enzymes and it is important to keep the mantle’s pH balanced to ensure your skin is always protected. When the pH is out of the ideal range, your skin is less protected so that’s why it's important to be aware of the pH of your skin care products to ensure you aren’t doing anything compromising.
This is a beauty product that can easily adjust the pH of your skin to the side of alkalinity. Even just using plain water (pH 7) would increase the pH of your skin! Ever feel squeaky clean after using your cleanser? How about your skin feeling dry after your cleansing? These are signs that the acid mantle we talked about earlier is no longer at its optimal pH and stripping the skin of its natural barrier.
While using the wrong facial cleanser can easily throw your skin's pH out of tune, there are several pH friendly cleansers out there that you can depend on! Heimish All Clean Green Foam with a pH of 5.5 is a great foam cleanser to be used for double cleanse in your Korean skin care routine! It gently rids the skin of impurity while soothing inflammation with Centella Asiatica and moisturizing with witch hazel! COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is popular for all the right reasons! It’s a mildly acidic cleanser containing natural BHAs which restores the skin’s optimal pH balance without being harsh on the skin! Its pH level is in the range of 5-6. For those with acne-prone skin Pyunkang Yul Acne Facial Cleanser is a great choice with a pH in the range of 5.5-6. This gel-type cleanser features several acne-fighting ingredients such as natural BHAs which gently exfoliates while addressing and calming redness, irritation on blemished skin – all while restoring and maintaining optimal skin pH!
Choosing the right toner after cleansing will help recalibrate and restore your skin’s pH balance. The great thing about Korean skin care toner is that they often have more wonderful benefits beyond restoring your pH! They also prep your skin for the next skin care steps to help deliver skincare ingredients deeper into skin.
When choosing a toner, do yourself a favor and avoid toners with alcohols! Alcohols strip the skin of natural lipids and risk drying out the skin. Alcohols can cause disruptions to sebaceous glands (under your skin) which are responsible for the skin’s oil production which is important for our skin’s balance and protection. This will further exacerbate dryness and lack of moisture. We’d like to avoid that of course!
Huxley Extract It Toner is a pH balancing toner made up of organic ingredients that also nourishes and hydrates your skin as well! Another great option is the Olivarrier pH 5.5 Dual Moist Toning Lotion. It does both the work of a toner and a lotion and is jammed packed with a wonderful ingredient package that boosts your skin with micro-hyaluronic acid, panthenol, and antioxidants all while keeping the skin perfectly balanced with a pH of 5.5!