What is pH in skincare

What is pH in skincare

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Have you ever wondered what pH means? What does pH have to do with anything? And more importantly, why is maintaining a good pH level good for your skin? Find all the answers in this article!

What does pH mean?

pH is a scale used to measure how acidic or alkaline a substance is. pH stands for potential/power of hydrogen.  The pH of healthy skin is around 4.7 to 5.5; which is a little acidic. On your skin, there is a thin layer called the acid mantle, which is a barrier to prevent bacteria, viruses, and other ‘intruders’ from getting to your skin. It is composed of sebum (your body’s natural oil) and sweat. Keeping this natural function safe, and healthy, and running will keep your lovely skin protected for a long time. The acid mantle slowly becomes more sensitive and less reliable as you get older, as life does, but this doesn’t mean that we can’t slow the process down!

What happens if my skin is too acidic?

Firstly, we need to clarify what counts as acidic skin. Any skin pH that is 4.5 and lower is acidic. Some symptoms that show this are if your skin is oily and you get breakouts a lot. Having inflamed, sore or reddish skin is also pointing to acidic skin. This can happen if you’re over-exfoliating or using a slightly damaging product for your skin that is much too acidic. Find a cosmetic product that says “pH balanced”. 

What happens if my skin is too alkaline?

As already mentioned, a healthy skin pH is about 5.5. But having a ph higher than that, say, 8 or more, the topmost layer of skin can get damaged. This would leave you with acne, and skin that is dry, sensitive, flaky, and wrinkly. Every skin type is different though, so you might get a mix of results. This is sad, but as we said, there is always a solution.

If you think about it, there is always a reason why something happens. Like everything else, the cause of imbalanced skin pH also has some reasons.

Different parts of your body have different skin pHs. The more exposed a part is, the more alkaline it is. Your hands are an example of a more alkaline part of your body.

  • A cosmetic product that has a certain pH can alter your skin’s pH when used. All substances do this, even water, but it only lasts for a little bit, unlike more extreme cosmetics.
  • Your age plays a factor in varying skin pH.
  • Sweat causes skin pH to vary in mild ways.


Having a skin product that is close to your own skin pH, would help wonders with any over or underbalanced acid mantle. Some dermatologists offer a pH meter; see if your own does if you want the exact number. Use toners and moisturizers with a slightly acidic formulation. And, if you want to keep your skin amazing when you hit that sweet spot again, try these things:

 GOLDEN RULES for Maintaining your skin’s pH:

  1. Don’t use harsh cleaners and soaps.
  2. Use gentle oils and moisturizers.
  3. Use sunscreen when you go outside.

Keeping your skin’s pH at the correct level is important to your skincare routine, but it isn’t the only important thing. Remember to follow the routine you are doing if it works for you. Keep smiling!

- Roshni Rajesh for ARDRA.


  • Posted by Anonymous on

    Very informative post Roshni. 👍🏽

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