When it comes to your skin and pH, just how important is it? Your skin pH is a measurement of how acidic or alkalinic it is and companies may use the term “pH balanced”, to describe products that will keep skin at an optimal pH level.

What is pH?

Before we get into the nitty gritty about skin and pH, let’s first discuss what pH means. pH is short for ‘potential to free hydrogen ions’ and is a measurement of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. pH values range between 0 and 14, with values at either end being quite extreme and potentially dangerous, leading to chemical burns, for example. A pH of 7.0 is considered neutral. Anything below 7 is considered acidic and anything above 7.0, alkaline.

Acidic Alkalinic
Donates hydrogen (H+) ions Absorbs hydrogen (H+) ions
Sour taste Bitter taste
pH less than 7 pH greater than 7

pH of Some Common Substances:

  • Lemon Juice 2.0
  • Vinegar 3.0
  • Stomach Acid 1.5 – 3.5
  • Water 7.0
  • Blood 7.35 – 7.4
  • Baking Soda 8.0
  • Soap 8.0-11.0
  • Ammonia 12.0
  • Drain & Oven Cleaner 13.0 – 14.0

Our skin’s surface (stratum corneum) is covered by a thin, protective layer called the acid mantle, which contains free fatty acids (sebum), mixed with lactic and amino acids from sweat to create the skin’s pH, which is slightly acidic and sits around 4.5 – 5.5. Acidity helps to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria and also helps to activate certain enzymes in the stratum corneum. Lifestyle factors, the environment (sun, air, pollution), water and cosmetics can all interfere with the delicate nature of the skin and pH balance and can contribute to a breakdown of the protective acid mantle, leaving the skin vulnerable to damage.

An impaired acid mantle makes it harder for the skin to stay hydrated and for it to repair itself. Highly alkaline products (like some cleansers) strip away natural oils leading to dryness and irritation and contributing to eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. Skin that is too alkaline can also become more susceptible to acne because a certain level of acidity is needed to inhibit bacterial growth on the skin. Sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), a widely used surfactant (cleaning agent), has a pH of approximately 10 and can lead to dryness and irritation. For this reason, many companies, including Apothekari, no longer use SLS in their formulations and have opted for milder agents such as Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate , Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate  or Sodium Cocoamphoacetate amongst others.

At the opposite side of the spectrum, overly acidic products may be problematic as well. Just like overly alkaline treatments, they too can strip away skin’s natural oils, disrupting the skin’s lipid barrier. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), retinoids and beta hydroxy acids can weaken the skin’s natural defenses if they aren’t used properly. While these treatments offer many benefits to skin, it’s important to exercise caution when using them. Start off gradually and don’t combine too many acidic treatments in one session. If your skin experiences redness or dryness, if it becomes more sensitive, or if you notice an increase in breakouts, it’s an indication that the product is too strong for your skin, or you may be applying it too often.

What’s important when it comes to your skin and pH is to ensure that you incorporate products that respect this balance. Effective moisturizers can help to replenish the acid mantle to keep it intact. Antioxidants, including vitamins A, C, E, and green tea are important in maintaining the acid mantle by protecting cells from environmental stresses and oxidation. Daily sunscreen (have you tried our Shade SPF 30?) use defends the acid mantle from sun damage and increases the skin’s ability to protect itself.

Our Bodies Can Adjust Skin and pH Levels

Bear in mind as well, that most of us have skin that is pretty resilient! Our skin is able to readjust its pH after exposure to topical products, but most of us should avoid strongly alkaline soaps and cleansers because they tend to strip away protective natural oils. Sensitive skinned individuals, babies and the elderly may struggle a bit more and for this reason, they should avoid products that are too acidic or alkalinic as it may lead to dryness and irritation.

As discussed above, most companies are aware of this and their products are pH balanced, even if they don’t specifically state it. There’s really no need to pay more for ‘pH balanced’ skin care – it’s often just a marketing ploy.

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THIS WORKS! No odour for 24+ hours including a yoga session!

I'm blown away by how effective this is, and by how clean and well thought out the formula is. I'm not used to roll-on so that took a couple days to adjust to, but its so much more effective than the solids/creams i was using that it is totally worth it. I'm converted - and i think i have probably tried 90% of the natural deodorants out there over the last 10 years LOL. thank you for creating this.

I love this body oil!

This is so luxurious and moisturizing (i have dry, sensitive skin and most oils don't do the trick) and also miraculously absorbs very quickly. And the lemon rose scent is just transporting - i look forward to using this after my shower.

Bespoke Vitamin C Serum

I love it! Been using it for years. It’s so perfect to put on right after I wash in the morning. I’ve never been the greatest at sticking to a skin care routine but using the Vitamin C in the morning and A is for Anti-aging at night consistently over the years has kept my skin young and firm.
Would not want to imagine life (or my skin) without these two essentials. Thank you Sharmani!

*Received as press sample*

Pricing per bottle is definitely up there, but I think much like skincare, if you have struggled to find a deodorant that works for you, the price won't be as much of an issue because something like this can have a huge impact on your life. One bottle should last about 3-4 months with daily use which I think is fairly close to most deodorants. While I know there are baking soda-free options (baking soda can cause skin irritations due to pH disruptions) and options that use Deoplex, I have yet to find a combination of Deoplex and lactic acid which may be what's working for me. Honestly, the only thing I didn't enjoy was that "wet" feeling when I would first apply it, but after 15 seconds it dries down AND it doesn't stain clothing so that's a huge plus. Even though I received this as a press sample, I would buy this deodorant on my own as I didn't just smell good at the end of a long day, but I smelled like absolutely NOTHING which is WAY better to me than smelling like "I'm covering something up" or like body odour. I also trust and appreciate the research I know Apothekari has invested into making sure the formulation is scientifically sound so I know that's also partly where my dollars are going. I only need to apply once a day and I'm good to go so one bottle might even last more more than 4 months at the rate I'm going! HIGHLY recommend and even though all three scents had the same results, my preferred scent was the Lavender as it just one of my favourite scents overall!

Your deodorant is actually miraculous! I’ve tried every kind of deodorant before with varying degrees of mediocre success. Yours manages to actually work through Barre fitness classes and in my office otherwise called the boiler room!! I will definitely be buying more.

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