Things that should be consigned to the past:
- Mom jeans (is there anything more unflattering?!)
- Big Brother (just quit, please)
- Soaps to wash your face (so drying!)
I hear ya. So many of you love using soaps to wash your faces. You’re doing it since you were a wee little kid and can’t understand why the skincare world has suddenly turned on them.
It all has to do with pH…
What Is pH?
pH measures how acidic or alkaline a solution of water + something is. pH 7 is the neutral point. Anything below it is an “acid” and anything above it a “base” (or alkaline).
Your skin has a pH between 4.5 and 5.5. When it stays at that level, your skin is happy. It’s soft. It’s hydrated. It’s good at defending itself from germs, pollutants and all the other crap that wants to hurt it.
But when its pH goes too high or too low, your skin’s protective barrier breaks down. It starts to crack. It gets dry as the Sahara. It gets easily irritated.
Now here comes the tricky part: ANYTHING you put on your skin that’s higher or lower than its natural pH will raise or lower its pH levels accordingly. Even water.
Struggling to find skincare products that don’t irritate your sensitive skin? Download your FREE “Skincare Ingredients To Avoid” cheatsheet to find out what the most common culprits are and cut them out of your skincare routine:
Why The pH Of Your Cleanser Matters
Old-school soaps (think Pears and Palmolive) are super alkaline. Their pH is above 9!
Use them today, use them tomorrow, they’ll mess your skin’s natural pH balance. That’s a recipe for tightness, dryness, irritations, flaking… all the bad things you DON’T want.
These are the types of soaps that should be consigned to the past, pronto.
But, should you discriminate against all soaps just cos the old generation was harsh?
Here’s the deal: there’s a new generation of pH balanced soaps out there but if you’re not willing to do your research or use pH strips to figure that out, it’s best to stay away from all soaps altogether. Just in case.
(I know, it’d be so much easier if brands stated the pH of their soaps on the packaging, but so few bother. *sighs*)
If you love soap so much, you’re willing to go the extra mile, here’s what you need to know:
As a rule of thumb, only use soaps that have a pH close to that of your skin. The ideal range is between 5.5 and 6.5.
(Why not 4.5? Cos I haven’t found any soaps in that range and 6.5 is as high as I’d be willing to go – but go there carefully!)
Related: Why I Only Use Cleansers With A Low pH
What Are The Best pH Balanced Soaps?
Did you really think I’d let you do your soapy pH research alone? 😉 Here are my fave pH-balanced soaps:
- Drunk Elephant JuJu Bar ($28.00): pH 6.34. Available at Cult Beauty, Sephora and SpaceNK.
- Sebamed Cleansing Bar (£3.99): pH 5.5. Available at Feel Unique.
The Bottom Line
If you’re gonna use bar soap, opt for one that’s pH-balanced. Anything about 6.5 spells bad news for skin.