Do you have a cupboard full of skincare products you have bought in the search for the ‘right one’? Ever wondered why one product gives you your best skin ever one month only to let you down the following? Finding the right balance for our skin can be an incredibly difficult feat, especially if you suffer with sensitive skin, eczema or psoriasis and can be impacted by many different factors including the products we use.
The latest direction in skincare & research which has dermatologists excited is all about our skin’s pH balance. So much of our skin’s health & integrity comes down to its pH. But few of us understand what pH is & why it is so important in our skin’s health & in the management of sensitive skin disorders like dermatitis, eczema & psoriasis.
What is ph?
pH stands for potential hydrogen and measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is and is measured on a scale of 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very basic). Why is this important? Skin pH levels can vary from 4-8 however studies show that skin with a pH that sits below 5 in a mildly acidic state is in a better condition and provides a more superior protection barrier that acts to keep moisture in and guard against the environment, pollution & bacteria than skin with pH values above 5.
Our skin’s pH balance can be affected by prior use of cosmetics & skincare products with soaps having the most profound impact, sun exposure, and even showering. In Europe plain tap water has a pH value typically around 8.0 and will increase skin pH for up to 6 hours after exposure. Age is also a factor that impacts our skin’s pH balance significantly
So how do we know if our skin pH optimal or not?
Signs our skin’s pH is too acidic or basic can be varied & diverse, ranging from dry & flaky skin, sensitive skin, acne and signs of premature ageing including wrinkles & pigmentation. Altered pH levels impacts our skin health not only in the way it looks & protects us from the environment, but can also impact the delicate balance of the skin flora making us more prone to more serious skin conditions like eczema, dermatitis & psoriasis.
If you are suffering with symptoms indicative of less than optimal skin pH it is essential your skincare products, especially facial cleanser & body wash are pH balanced meaning they sit at a pH of around 4-4.5. Getting this right can be the missing piece to your best-skin-yet puzzle!
Our recommendations for pH balanced skincare products:
Sans [ceuticals] Goji Body + Face Cleansing Oil - A highly effective cleanser that works on the basis that ‘oil dissolves oil’, Goji Body + Face Cleansing Oil works to keep your skin’s delicate pH and moisture barrier intact. With Goji Oil that helps protect and restore the vital balance of water and oil in the skin & is also an excellent cleansing oil as it helps detox the skin and unclog pores, and Vitamin E that optimises penetration of vitamin A and is a powerful antioxidant. The perfect facial cleanser for anyone with dry, sensitive skin or skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis.
Sans [ceuticals] pH Perfect Body + Hand Wash - formulated specifically for dry & sensitive skin. This wash is rich in ceramides to keep you skin hydrated and vitamin B to smoother & heal the skin barrier. With lychee extract that acts as a powerful antioxidant, restoring the skin’s pH & improving moisture levels. This wash uses a sulphate-free, proprietary blend that is commonly used in baby-care products making it safe to use for the whole family.
Ere Perez Ginkgo Micellar Water - contains molecules called micelles that trap & sweep away dirt & oil without the need for using tap water directly on the face. Micellar water is a wonderful alternative to foaming cleansers. Featuring hydrating aloe vera and antioxidant-rich ginkgo biloba that act support a balanced complexion and leaves skin feeling soft and smooth. An all-in-one that’s brilliant for travel or your everyday cleansing routine. Gentle and soothing this formulation is ideal for sensitive skin types as it is non-drying & alcohol-free with 100% natural fragrance.
Int J Cosmet Sci. 2006 Oct;28(5):359-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-2494.2006.00344.x. Natural skin surface pH is on average below 5, which is beneficial for its resident flora, Lambers H, Piessens S, Bloem A, Pronk H, Finkel P.
Acta Derm Venereol. 2013 May;93(3):261-7. doi: 10.2340/00015555-1531. Skin pH: from basic science to basic skin care, Ali SM, Yosipovitch G.