When your skin’s pH gets all out of whack it spells bad news for your skin. Think dehydration, fine lines, and rounds of breakouts. Looking after your skin’s pH level is crucial for healthy, happy skin; here’s why you may need to swap cleansers to keep the pH levels in check.
What does pH level mean?
pH is an abbreviation for "power of hydrogen" and the pH level (between 0 -14) shows how acidic or alkaline a substance is; starting at 0 is the most acidic through to 14, the most alkaline.
pH and the skin’s acid mantle
So what has this crash course in chemistry have to do with your skin?
The top layer of our skin is covered in a delicate barrier called the acid mantle. The acid mantle is responsible for locking lipids and moisture into the skin while keeping the bad stuff, like free radicals and environmental stressors, out.
This important skin guardian is a combination of sweat, sebum as well as the breakdown of fatty acids by good bacteria. When an acid mantle is healthy it should be slightly acidic, around 4.7 on the pH scale; hence the name ‘acid mantle’.
A beautifully functioning acid mantle means the skin is usually slightly moist and plump looking with a healthy glow.
A damaged acid mantle
Problems happen when the pH level of the acid mantle swings too far in the alkaline direction, which is quite common or becomes too acidic, which is rarer.
When the pH level becomes too alkaline, the acid mantle is compromised and skin becomes dry and cracked. This means moisture loss, bacteria (not the good kind) makes its way in and inflammation is triggered. In the higher pH levels, the enzymes that break down collagen are activated which leads to more fine lines and wrinkles.
If pH levels do become too acidic, skin is likely to break out and flares up with red, inflamed areas.
If you're dealing with recurring skin issues, those dry patches that won’t disappear no matter how much you moisturise or pesky pimples that keep showing up, your pH level may be to blame.
How your cleanser sabotages your perfect pH
The products in your skincare routine play a major role in whether your pH levels are healthy or totally out of balance. The most common culprit? ‘Foaming’ cleansers and soaps. Many foam cleansers and soaps tend to be far too alkaline which send your pH levels soaring up the scale.
If you’re using a foaming face wash that leaves your skin feeling tight afterwards it’s a sign the cleanser is too alkaline. It may contain sodium lauryl sulphate, a harsh chemical that’s actually used to degrease car engines - yikes!
The answer? A cream cleanser, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin.
Cream cleansers are usually more moisturising and much gentler on the skin; without foaming chemicals. They nourish your skin, rather than strip it of important oils and bacteria. Follow up with a nourishing organic moisturiser to lock hydration into the skin.
Our Cream Face Cleanser is an all-natural formula enriched with Coconut Oil and Aloe Vera for their unique anti-oxidant and healing properties, this gentle formulation helps to keep the skin hydrated as it removes makeup, dirt, and impurities.Kelapa Organics is excited to bring you a range of certified organic skincare products. Free from harmful toxins, our Australian made organic skin care products are also cruelty-free.