Each of our skincare products have a different pH value, but they all fall within the range of normal healthy skin pH which is between 5.5 and 6.5. The skin’s pH value is created by the sebum secreted by our sebaceous glands mixed with the amino acids and lactic acid from sweat forming a thin, protective layer on the skin’s surface. This is called the acid mantle.
The acid mantle is an effective protective barrier, but if its pH is altered (a.k.a. if it becomes too acidic or too alkaline), the acid mantle is disturbed and a number of skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, or rosacea may result.
Many cleansers like soap bars and face washes are too alkaline (high pH value) and they strip away the skin’s natural oils, giving rise to dry and irritated skin. Alkaline skin may also be more susceptible to acne as an acidic pH helps inhibit bacterial infections on the skin.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, products that are too acidic (low pH value) can also strip the skin of essential natural oils and disrupt the skin’s lipid barrier, weakening the skin’s natural defense mechanism. As a general rule of thumb, if your skin starts to appear red, dry, becomes more sensitive or there are increased breakouts, you may have damaged your acid mantle.