Finding the right skincare regime that makes your skin look and feel its best can often feel like a science experiment. You come up with a hypothesis of what skincare lotions and potions might do the trick. You test out your theory and implement said new skincare rituals and products and excitedly check in the mirror to see the fruits of your experiment.
To get the results you’re desiring (aka radiant skin), there’s one more science-y element you need to take into consideration: skin pH. It turns out our high school chemistry teachers forgot to mention how important balancing pH levels are for maintaining a healthy, clear complexion. Keep reading for a pH refresher and tips on how to balance your skin’s pH.
Skin pH 101
Taking it back to chemistry class basics: pH stands for potential hydration. It refers to acidity levels. The pH scale (you know, the pretty rainbow-colored one) ranges from 1 to 14. The higher the number, the more alkaline (or non-acidic) something is. The lower the number on the scale, the more acidic something is. A neutral pH level is 7 and healthy human skin sits at around 4 - 5.5 on the scale, making skin naturally acidic.
So, what does this all mean for your skin? Basically, if your skin’s pH is out of balance, either too acidic or too alkaline, it can lead to many not-so-ideal skincare issues such as dryness, irritation, redness, acne, and wrinkles.
When the skin’s pH is right in that sweet spot, on the other hand, it locks in hydration and does a superb job at protecting from pollution, free radicals, and environmental stressors. In other words, a balanced skin pH equals healthy and happy skin.
There are so many things that can affect your skin’s pH level. The skincare products you use, the weather, air pollution, sun exposure, the food you eat, and even the water you use to wash your face can either raise or lower your levels.
How to balance skin pH
Here’s where it gets tricky: Skincare products also have their own pH level, which can affect your skin’s pH level. So, the first step is to audit your skincare routine and ditch products that contain harsh ingredients.
Second, incorporate a toner into your skincare routine. Toners are great for restoring your skin’s natural pH level. They also help prep your skin so the other skincare products in your lineup can better penetrate it and work more effectively. Look for a toner with gentle ingredients that won’t irritate your skin or strip away its protective barrier. Bonus points if the toner also has added skin soothing and nourishing ingredients.
Rael’s Daily Zen Balancing Toner, for example, fits the bill perfectly. It won’t strip or dehydrate your skin like other toners. Instead, it soothes and deeply hydrates (thanks to H30 hyaluronic acid complex, vitamin B5, and chinaberry extract), leaving the skin feeling healthy and moisturized.
Once you’ve revamped your skincare routine and added toner into the mix, you’ll know your skin’s pH is at an ideal range when it looks and feels healthier, more moisturized, and has an enviable glow to it. Thank you, science.