Dr. Joel Schlessinger talks to xoVain.com about pH levels
You’ve probably heard of pH levels, but chances are you don’t know how they relate to your skin. In short, the pH scale measures how acidic or alkalinic a substance is. All of your skin care products have unique pH levels, and these don’t always match your skin’s pH level. In a recent xoVain.com article titled “Does a Product’s pH Level Really Matter?,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains more about which pH levels are safe for skin.
Skin’s natural pH is slightly acidic, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains.
The pH scale ranges from 0 (very acidic) to 14 (very alkalinic). pH levels vary for everyone, but skin pH is generally at 5.5 or slightly lower, Dr. Joel Schlessinger explains. This acid content also varies from body part to body part and it can change by the minute.
There is actually a wide range of pH levels that can be beneficial for skin. Your first instinct might be to avoid acidic products in favor of formulas on the other end of the pH scale, but that’s not a good idea. While some soaps are more alkalinic, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says this doesn’t mean they are less harsh. He also points out that acidic products can actually help to cleanse more effectively.
For example, LovelySkin Luxe Gentle Cream Cleanser has a pH of 6.7, which is close to neutral. LovelySkin Luxe Clarifying Gel Cleanser has a slightly more acidic pH of 5.84, which is because it contains 2% glycolic acid and 2% salicylic acid to better exfoliate skin. Both formulas are great cleansers, but this is a perfect example of how acidity can affect cleansing properties. While the Gentle Cream Cleanser gently removes makeup and soothes the complexion, the Clarifying Gel Cleanser exfoliates without causing irritation or inflammation.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger says it’s best to try products and see what works with your skin.
While you always want to know what you’re putting on your skin, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says the best way to find the right products is to try them.
“Those that are within the two to eight range are generally what we find will work with skin,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says. “It is probably best to simply try these out on your skin and see what feels good, what seems to help cleanse your skin and what works for you, but keep in mind that sudsing isn’t necessarily a good thing.”
Cleansers that create lots of suds contain sodium lauryl sulfate, an ingredient used as a cleansing and foaming agent. This is what gives your skin that squeaky clean feeling, but it’s also known to cause irritation.
“Most manufacturers are trying to get this out of their products due to significant allergies and irritations,” Dr. Joel Schlessinger says. “It is being replaced by a host of newer and better options, but the end result is that the foaming you may associate with ‘clean’ won’t be happening as much in the future. That is truly a good thing!”
Do you have a question about pH levels for Dr. Joel Schlessinger? Share with us in the comments.