Skincare products which wash straight off your skin, are not the kind of products you spend hours thinking about. Body wash, shower gel, face wash, soap. They’re on, they’re off. They’re on, they’re off. Job done. Sorted. Finishio.
However, if at this moment, you’re not using a pH balanced body wash, your body wash has the potential to dramatically change your skin.
If you’re not using a pH balanced body wash, your skin can quickly become;
Tight and tingly feeling.
Dry and sensitive.
Itchy and flaky.
Wondering why? Want to know which pH balanced body washes will help stop this happening to you? Looking to protect your skin? Come learn all my friend…
Why the pH of Your Body Wash Matters
Your skin is very special. You might not realise it, but your skin all by itself is a vital organ… just like your heart.
Without skin, you’d dehydrated and dry up.
Without skin you’d contract every bacteria and virus going.
Without skin you’d suffer sun poisoning aka radiation poisoning.
Your skin is vital and extremely great at what it does. Even when it’s feeling under the weather, it’s not going to cause you pain, but it is likely to cause you to feel it. Your skin might become tight and tingly, dry and sensitive or itchy and flaky. Hell, it might even become all 3.
When your skin feels like this, it’s very likely because your skin’s pH balance has been upset.
Your skin doesn’t need a lot, but it does need a healthy pH.
FYI: pH is a balance of acid or alkali. It’s measured on a scale of 0 to 14 and anything between 0 to 6.9 is acidic. Your skin when healthy has a pH between 4.2-5.6.
Keeping your skin inside this healthy pH range aka using a pH balanced body wash helps your skin stay;
Moisturised and hydrated.
Soft, comfortable feeling and supple.
Young, resilient and healthy.
If however you don’t use a pH balanced body wash, your skin’s likely to feel;
Dry and tight after washing.
Itchy, sensitive and sometimes burning.
Flaky, dull, aged and dehydrated.
What Does It Mean When Your Skin Is Tight?
Most people believe tight feeling skin’s a good thing. And I don’t blame them. I mean tight feels young, tight feels like you’re being sucked back together, tight feels like you’re avoiding wrinkles. But in actual fact, tight feeling skin does all of the opposite.
Tight feeling skin will age your skin prematurely.
Tight feeling skin will cause your skin to flake and peel.
Tight feeling skin will cause dry fine lines to appear.
Imagine trying to sleep in direct sunlight during an outdoor festival. It’s hard work and you’re probably not going to get a full 8 hours. Your body isn’t designed to sleep in the day or with noise. Same goes for your skin, it’s not designed to work at a high pH. This is your skin version of sleeping at a rock festival.
Bottom line: Your skin feels tight when you’ve used a harsh body wash or over washed your skin, removing too many skin oils. You can help stop this by using a pH balanced body wash.
How Using a Non-pH balanced Body Wash Affects Your Skin
Did you know soap and some body washes have a pH of 12 and above? This means, they’re way, way higher in pH level than your skin. And… even though they’re only in contact with your skin for a very small amount of time, they can quickly tease your skin’s pH level away from healthy. After just 1 application your skin pH can stay this way for over 6 hours. The more you use them, the longer lasting their effects.
Johnson’s baby soap with oats comes in at pH 12.35.
Cetaphil bar comes in at 7.35.
Palmolive soap at 10.18.
Bottom line: You could easily be using non-pH balanced wash products on your skin.
— Cheryl Woodman (@HonestyForSkin) 20 November 2017
pH is very important to your skin because it enables it to keep doing all the great things that make your skin moisturised. It is known that when your skin pH strays above healthy, skin quickly becomes dry and irritated… you might feel this as tight and tingly.
What is also becoming known is that a higher skin pH stops healthy bacteria sticking to your skin. This is exactly like gut bacteria and just like your healthy gut bacteria can be wiped out by antibiotics, low fibre diets and food poisoning, your skin bacteria aka your skin’s microbiome, can be wiped out by using a non-pH balanced body wash.
When your skin’s microbiome is upset, conditions like acne, which are caused in part by an overgrowth of p.acnes bacteria can pounce and go savage.
However use a pH balanced body wash and you can help stop this from happening… and if you’re already suffering from dry, tight, itchy feeling skin, you can also help reverse it.
Best pH Balanced Body Wash
pH balanced body wash brands might not always shout about it. Why? Because skin pH is not that widely known about. This means putting ‘pH balanced’ on the front label like telling you bread by law is fortified with calcium, iron, thiamin and nicotinic acid. It’s true, but to most people means nada.
Although my friend, skin pH is becoming a big thing. Especially as we’re just discovering how important your skin microbiome is. Which means when you choose a pH balanced body wash, you’re already 1 step more skin savvy than most.
Now the go-to for skin pH is mostly pH 5.5, but as you might have figured, low pH body washes are also very helpful. When your skin is left untreated by products for 24 hours, it averagely dips below 4.93. Meaning naturally it looks like healthy skin pH is actually lower than 5.5.
Here are a few must know pH balanced body wash choosing tips;
- pH balanced does not necessarily mean a pH which matches your skin pH, so it’s great to look for the actual pH level
- A body wash called 5.5 body wash, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s pH 5.5 (although it’d be silly if it wasn’t – it’s good to double check)
- You can ask the customer happiness team of any body wash company to reveal to you their pH, if they don’t tell you, it’s likely not healthy for your skin
- Avoid Google shopping results for pH balanced body wash brands, they’re sponsored, paid for and often not pH balanced
- Soap is the number 1 dry skin, high pH culprit – avoid it
pH Balanced Body Wash Brands
Now to the happy skin part – choosing a pH balanced body wash that works. While not many companies openly tell you the pH of their products online, ones which make their formulas with happy skin pH levels, will let you know about it if you ask. Which is exactly what I’ve done for you my friend.
And as a result, I can share with you 3 great pH balanced body wash brands.
1 which is great for all natural lovers.
1 which is great for sensitive skin types.
…and 1 which is perfect for penny saving aka is a drugstore, supermarket steal.
Best All Natural pH Balanced Body Wash Brand
Goes to Green People’s Daily Aloe Shower Gel, £12.50/200ml. This SLS, SLES free (2 cleansing ingredients called sodium lauryl sulphate and sodium laureth sulphate which are known to be irritating to skin) pH balanced body wash logs in at pH 5.5 or in a range of pH 5 to 6, meaning when Green People make this pH balanced body wash they’re allowed it’s pH to be anywhere between 5 to 6.
This usually means the making team are aiming for the middle, but want it to be ok, if they go a little lower or higher – pH levels can change quickly. This is A-OK and is the way most making teams work. It’s like baking cupcakes and saying a yummy yellow or a yummy yellow brown top are both absolutely fine. It’s be hard to get them all the exact same colour. The same is true for making a pH balanced body wash.
- Free from SLS and SLES, aka strong and irritating cleansing ingredients
- pH balanced
- Has glycerin, aloe vera and olive oil to help condition your skin
- Lasts up to 3 X longer than normal body washes – you only need a little!
Best pH Balanced Body Wash for Dry Sensitive Skin
Goes to Avene Xeracalm Oil, £15.50/400ml – this pick is bumper sized. Dry, sensitive skin is best treated with nothing but the essentials, meaning even a smidgen of essential oils, fragrance or colourants can upset your skin type. The pH balanced Avene Xeracalm Oil is free from all 3.
The name of this pH 5.5 balanced body wash is a big hint at what it’s great for. Xerosis is the clinical word for chronically dry skin which can also be used to describe skin types prone to eczema. There’s also a second naming clue, if you look at the bottle you’ll see the letters A.D. after Xeracalm and Atopic Dermatitis is the clinical name used to describe the most common type of eczema. If you have dry, sensitive, eczema prone skin, this is the best pH balanced body wash for you.
Hint: This may call itself an oil, but it looks more like a shower gel.
- SLS and SLES free
- pH balanced
- Free from fragrance and essential oils
- Uses a natural extract called aquaphilus dolomiae extract to help rebuild a happy skin microbiome acting an anti-inflammatory and therefore helping improve eczema prone skin types. Eczema prone skin types have an unhappy skin microbiome which helps make eczema worse.
Best Drugstore pH Balanced Body Wash
Goes to Sanex Zero% Sensitive Skin Shower Gel, £2.29/250ml. Now, I’ve include this without the exact pH range yet being revealed – be sure to bookmark this page for updates. What I have been told is this, ‘the Sanex product range is specially formulated close to the skin pH (4.7)’, which likely means Sanex body washes are aimed at pH 5, or of the range pH 4.5 to 5.5. The words close to skin pH mean it would unethical for the pH of this body wash to be any higher. It would be like calling a strawberry cake, chocolate.
As a kind on the pennies option, Sanex Zero% Sensitve Skin Shower Gel is the best option for a drugstore pH balancing body wash. The one point to know is it does contain SLES as the main cleansing ingredient. SLES is less irritating to skin than SLS, however it’s not the most skin friendly cleansing ingredient. If you can afford to, opt for one of the above 2, SLES free options.
- SLS free
- Extremely likely pH balanced
- Fragrance, essential oil and colourant free
- Contains a streamline of 9 ingredients, including skin hydrating glycerin
Have questions? Want a little 1 to 1 guidance on which would be best for your skin type? Come chat to me in the comments below…
Cheryl Woodman is a scientist & award winning skincare formulator who’s more friend next door than bow tie wearing professor. As creator of Honesty For Your Skin her aim is to help you care for your skin in the best ways possible. She’s founder of the natural & fragrance free skincare brand Honesty while also hosting 1 to 1 skincare coaching to help you get your best skin yet. Find out more here.