pH stands for 'potential of hydrogen' and are used to measure skin acidity
on a scale of 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Below 7, the pH is acidic, above 7, it's alkaline. The pH of the skin is slightly more acidic and should sit at around (4.5-5.5).
An imbalance can lead to acne-causing bacteria, dryness, irritation, eczema, premature signs of ageing and other skin conditions.
Balanced skin is achieved when skin maintains the ideal pH of 4.5- 5.5. At this slightly acidic pH, the skin is optimized to seal in hydration, while protecting us from free radicals, pollution, and environmental irritants.
Ideally, the skincare products you are using should stay within the pH range of the skin and sit around (4.5 – 6.0.)
After age 40 our pH balance starts getting a bit wonky *rolls eyes*.
Our amazing body works to carefully control pH levels of blood and other fluids because the right levels are required for good health (not just for skin). There are other factors aside from age that can impact your pH balance.
If you're suffering from a skin condition or simply maturing, you may find these tips helpful.
pH balancing tips
- Eliminate soaps and harsh cleansers.
Use pH balanced skin care products and avoid using cleansers with harsh chemicals.
Silicones (make products smooth and slippery), Parabens (prevent bacteria), Sulfates SLS or SLES (used for creating foam and bubbles), Petrolatum and mineral oils (give an oily moisturising feel), PEGS propylene glycol (help ingredients mix together), fragrance/parfum (manufactured scent). NEEK's Vegan Cleanser is pH balanced, made from vegan, botanical ingredients and helps teens and women everyday manage skin conditions, naturally.
Use warm not hot water when face cleaning and use either clean hands or a very soft cloth. Don't scrub your skin (as tempting as it can be sometimes) as this will cause damage to your skin barrier.
- Apply and eat antioxidants.
Apply serums or oils that contain regenerative ingredients such as natural Vitamin C and E, Avocado oil, Quandong and Wattleseed. Eating antioxidant-rich foods like leafy greens, bananas and berries will help too.
- Moisturise morning and night.
Gentle moisturisers and oils help moisturise the skin and rebuild the skin barrier. Macadamia Seed Oil and other simple oils like Jojoba, Avocado and Coconut are goodies. You need to try our best selling, best smelling, Vegan Face Moisturiser. It's lightweight (great for under makeup) and is packed with natural but powerful active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid.
- Slip, slop, slap.
Shielding skin from further damage is a biggie for maintaining your skin's pH. Physical barriers like hats, clothing, umbrellas are the best. Opt for suncreams with a high level of zinc as this works as a physical blocker too.
If skin is persistently breaking out or causing discomfort we recommend visiting a GP as a first step, who will help identify your condition or refer you to a dermatologist. All NEEK products are balanced so you can breathe easy knowing they will not be damaging to your skin.
pH FAQ's1. Is oily skin more acidic?
Yes, oily skin can be more acidic as sebum is slightly acidic in nature.2. What pH should your cleanser be?
Your cleanser should have a pH level below 5.6.
3. What pH is good for acne prone skin?
Acne proliferates on skin with pH higher than 6, so products with pH between 4.7 and 5.75 is ideal for those with acne prone skin. However, if you have been having skin problems for a long period of time, we recommend you contact a dermatologist.
4. Can pH balance have a impact on general health not just skin?
Yes, it can. We're not doctors, but we're aware that it has resulted in these symptoms below.
- Lack of energy/fatigue, weight gain
- Muscle aches and pains
- Low immunity
If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please email us here.