your skin's pH, explained

We talk about pHs a lot at cocokind. We’re constantly waxing poetic about the importance of toning because it helps balance your pH. We love using our rosewater toner a million times a day because, aside from being soothing and hydrating, it’s the perfect pH for our skin. 

We all know that having a balanced pH is one of the keys to healthy skin, but maybe it’s time to backtrack a little and expand on that. First of all, what even is a pH? Why do we care if it’s balanced? What happens if it’s not balanced? 

Let’s dive in.

what is a pH?

“pH” stands for “potential of hydrogen.” It’s a chemistry term that speaks to the activity of hydrogen ions within a water-based formula or substance. A formula or substance’s pH indicates its acidity or basicity/alkalinity, with a number between 0-14 - within this scale, anything below 7 is acidic, anything greater than 7 is basic or alkaline, and anything with a pH of 7 is neutral. Your skin’s pH is naturally acidic; below 5, on average, but it can also be affected by your diet, lifestyle choices, or daily environment. 

Healthy skin is more acidic than basic - this is because acidity supports your skin’s natural barrier function and helps it protect itself against external factors. Basically, a balanced pH is your skin’s knight in shining armor, defending it against the environment.

what if my pH is imbalanced?

Tons of factors can cause your skin’s pH to become imbalanced - pollution, abrupt season changes, harsh skincare products, etc. Consistently disrupting your pH balance with products that are too acidic or too alkaline can cause a more intense imbalance over time, and make it harder for your skin to recover.

An imbalanced pH can leave your skin barrier weak, and your skin vulnerable to bacteria and other aggressors; for this reason, you’ll be much more likely to experience breakouts, redness, excessive oiliness, or conversely, dryness, sensitivity, premature wrinkles, and fine lines.

how do I balance my pH?

If you suspect your pH is imbalanced, it might be wise to reevaluate your chosen skincare products, and decide if anything that you’re using is too harsh. We recommend using a gentle but slightly acidic cleanser that won’t strip away all of your natural oils and disrupt your skin’s pH, like our oil to milk cleanser.

But, our biggest piece of advice is to tone! Toning helps recalibrate your skin and rebalance its pH, thus keeping your skin barrier supported and your skin in general, healthy. 

If your skin is excessively oily, your skin may be too alkaline. In this case, you might want to try our raspberry vinegar toner, which has a pH of about 3.5, and is slightly acidic. This will help eliminate excess oil and sebum, while also bringing your pH back down to a healthy level. 

If your skin’s pH is too acidic, you might experience excessive dryness, redness, or inflammation. In that case, we’d recommend our rosewater toner, which has a perfectly balanced pH of 5.5. It will rebalance your skin while also hydrating and soothing it.

Essentially, the status of your skin’s pH can have a huge say in its health, how it looks, and how it feels, and keeping it balanced is one of the keys to happy, healthy skin.

we hope you found this helpful! for more skincare info, tips, tricks, and tutorials make sure to subscribe to our emails below!