Why You Need Low-pH Cleansers in Your Life

Human skin has a natural pH level of between 4 and 6. Anything under a pH level of 7 is considered acidic, while anything over 7 is considered alkaline.

Your skin is better able to take care of itself when the pH levels are balanced and slightly acidic – which is where a low pH cleanser comes into play.

When you cleanse your skin with a rich and foamy soap or cleanser, it may leave your skin feeling squeaky clean – but it also messes up your skin’s natural pH balance and kicks it up to a pH of 10!

Your skin won’t thank you for this. In fact, high skin pH levels are one of the usual causes of skin issues, including:

  • Acne and blemish flare-ups
  • Dry, flakey skin
  • Blotchiness & Redness
  • Irritation & sensitivity
  • Blocked & clogged pores

If these are issues you experience after giving your face a good wash, looking for a creamy cleanser that doesn’t lather up into foam will keep your pH at optimal levels.

But how can you tell if a face wash or cleanser is disrupting your pH balance?

If, after washing your skin, it feels tight (especially when moving your mouth) the alkalinity of your cleanser has shifted your skin’s pH levels away from what they should be.

Clean skin should be soft and supple, not squeaky and tight.

Skin pH levels

Low pH vs High pH Cleansers

  • Low pH Cleansers – Milky, creamy, or gel-like and non-foaming
  • High pH Cleansers – Foam up when applied to the skin

Those who have extremely oily skin will benefit from a high pH cleanser – but most others will find low pH to be the best option. By choosing a product that mimics the skin’s natural pH levels, you can ensure that it remains in its slightly acidic state, keeping it happy and healthy on the inside and out.

Why Low-pH Cleansers Are Good For Your Face

Low-pH cleansers come with plenty of benefits that will have your skin thanking you well into the future – but just to give you an idea, here are a few to get started with.

Keeps Bacteria & Viruses Out! – All of us have a microfilm of fatty acids, oil, and sweat laying on the outermost layer of skin. Gross? Maybe a little – but it serves a vital purpose, which is to keep harmful microorganisms, bacteria, and viruses out. The majority of skin issues are caused by these penetrating deeper into the skin than they should – leading to issues such as acne, eczema, premature aging, rosacea flare-ups, and a ruddy complexion.

Maintains Skin Hydration Levels! – High pH cleansers strip away that protective surface layer, resulting in skin that is exposed to the elements. Not only that, but many of the ingredients found in foaming cleansers will actively dry out the skin and dissolve 99% of facial oil on the surface. When this happens, the body’s natural instinct is to flood the skin with an excess of fresh sebum – which could then cause blocked pores and acne. Fun!

Good For Rosacea & Eczema. – Skin lipids are a mix made up of ceramides, squalene, triglycerides, free fatty acids, and cholesterol. High pH cleansers can break these down, leaving the skin looking clean – but without them, the skin will suffer. Using a low-pH cleanser will help preserve them while cleaning dirt and grime away, alleviating many of the symptoms associated with eczema and rosacea.

It’s Great For A Youthful Complexion! – Dry skin typically looks and feels much older than it really should. By maintaining natural pH levels and preserving those lipids, you give your skin more bounce, life, and glow. Squeaky clean is great for your dishes – but for your face? Meh! Not so much.

My #1 Low pH Cleanser - COSRX Low pH Gel Cleanser

This Low-pH Gel Cleanser is a mildly acidic super gentle cleanser with a perfectly balanced pH level of 5~6, perfectly mimicking the levels found in the skin. 

Formulated with a powerhouse of mild acids and botanical ingredients, it cleanses without stripping the skin’s natural oils, creating a clear canvas for the rest of your skincare products to be devoured by your face.

While marketed as a ‘morning cleanser’, it’s also perfect for use at night and helps your skin remain hydrated and supple while being deeply cleansed and free from excessive oil, makeup, and residues.

How to use: Gently massage a small amount of this gel cleanser on wet skin in the morning. Rinse with tepid water. Pat your face dry and continue with your next skincare steps.

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