What does pH balancing your skin even mean?!
Let’s start with the basics. In general, a pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. The lower end of the scale means something is more acidic, while the higher end means it’s more alkaline. Neutral is 7. If you’re like me, your first assumption is it’s probably best if our skin is at 7, right? Wrong!
The best place for your skin to be is actually slightly on the acidic side. A “normal” range for your skin is somewhere between 4 and 7. And most dermatoligists agree the absolute ideal pH is around a 5.5. When your skin is slightly acidic, it allows you to fight off harmful microbes and free radicals that can lead to premature aging.
What affects my skin’s pH balance?
There are so many things that affect your skin’s pH. Honestly, if you become too obsessive with it, you’ll find that it can differ from one day to the next…or even within in the same day. That said, here’s a quick list of things that will affect your pH balance.
- air pollution
- antibacterial products
- change in seasons, with different humidity levels
- antibacterial soaps and gels
- sebum/skin moisture
- tap water
- too much sun exposure
- too frequent washing of your skin
See what I mean?! Literally everything can change your skin’s pH levels!
How do I know if my skin is pH balanced?
Good question! There are a few ways:
- Get at-home test strips! Word on the street is you should find ones that are specifically meant for skin to get the best results.
- Talk to a dermatologist! Most of them have ways to test your pH in office.
- Make observations! If your skin is soft and has no dry spots, it would be considered balanced (a.k.a. slightly acidic). On the other hand, if you’re dealing with dryness, flakes, irritation or even acne, it could mean your skin is leaning to the alkaline side.
I think my skin’s pH is unbalanced. What should I do now?
The key to pH balancing your skin is getting back to the basics. If your skincare routine has gotten a little crazy, it may be time to take it a few steps back. Focus on gentle, nourishing cleansers. Incorporate a toner into your routine (Cocokind has two great ones!). Make sure you’re moisturizing daily. When it comes to exfoliation, you should still do it, but just not every single day. And when you do exfoliate, ensure it;s a gentle exfoliation. We have lots of tips and tricks when it comes to exfoliating!
Some companies will list their product’s pH on the label, but you’ll find that most do not. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a brand when you want to know before purchasing! If you want to test your current products, you can buy at-home pH test strips to be in-the-know.
Ahh pH balance…add it to your list of skincare woes, right?!
Ensuring your skin has a proper pH balance can be a huge wake up call when it comes to any of your skincare woes! Personally, both Claudia and I have found huge relief in both our physical skincare issues, as well as our mental capacity to deal with them, when we switched to simpler skincare routines. It doesn’t mean we don’t spice it up from time-to-time, but in the end, simple is better!
If you’re interested in our current skincare routines, we always keep this post up-to-date!