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Switching To A Low pH Cleanser Can Improve Your Skin And Simplify Your Skin Care Regimen

When it comes to our skin, it’s important to have a general understanding of what high and low pH products mean in order to choose the right products to keep your skin as healthy and happy as possible.

There’s hundreds of cleansers formulated with ingredients to fix all kinds of skin concerns, from anti-wrinkle retinol to acne zapping salicylic acid, most people don’t look past the ingredients list when it comes to choosing the right facial products.  In nearly a decade of being an aesthetician, I have found that regardless of skin type or skin issue, the natural pH of the skin (and the pH of the products you apply to it) can make a difference in the way your skin looks, feels, and functions.

According to a 2017 study in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, an acidic pH of stratum corneum is essential for optimal functioning of the natural barrier system of the skin.  A shift in the normal skin pH and, in turn the barrier dysfunction, predisposes the skin to several inflammatory and infectious dermatoses, including acne vulgaris. 

The skin is the body's first line of defense in fighting infection, and it is naturally acidic.  Its pH ranges from 4.0 to 5.0 and prefers to stay within such range in order to function at its best.  When you use products that are neutral or alkaline, your skin’s acid mantle (acidic layer made up of oil, sweat, and fatty acids which acts as a protective barrier against potentially harmful bacteria and viruses) becomes compromised, leading to a cascade of skin woes, including illness.  

Soap and foaming cleansers contain sodium hydroxide lye which has a pH of about 14, putting it at the very top of the pH scale.  That strips the skin of its protective barrier, raising its pH to about 9 or 10, while non-foaming creamy cleansers leave the skin at its natural pH.  Products containing a high pH will often lead to a tight, “squeaky clean” feeling followed by dryness, blackheads or clogged pores, as well as acne.  Switching to a low pH cleanser preserves the natural oils in the skin, thus eliminates the need for a toner product.  This is particularly beneficial for calming redness or irritation caused by rosacea, eczema, acne, and dryness.

Most cleansers will also list "water" as their main ingredient.  That's because water is a cheap filler.  Our Low pH Milk Cleanser uses an aloe-base in combination with mild surfactants, essential ceramides, alpha hydroxy acids, and maracuja oil to cleanse and leave the skin barrier healthy and balanced. 

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