Our Best Tips For Restoring The pH Balance Of Your Skin

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We've long been on a mission to attain smooth, glowing skin, and while there always seem to be differing claims for which lotions and potions will do the trick, most tend to agree that a balanced pH is one of the main factors in healthy skin. Potential hydrogen (pH) is a numeric scale measuring how acidic or alkaline something is (via Healthline). The scale ranges from one to 14, and the ideal pH level that'll provide you with luminous skin is about five and a half (via Dermstore). If your pH is lower than that, it means it's too acidic. And if it's higher on the scale, it's too alkaline.


So, how does this little number get out of balance? There are a lot of contributing factors: the products you use on your face, age, genetics, lifestyle habits, sweat, and sebum. If you aren't sure where you sit on the pH scale, you can purchase at-home test strips. Other indicators that you may have an imbalance? Redness, dryness, and oiliness. If you find that your pH is, indeed, out of balance, here's what you can do to even the scale.

Healthy lifestyle and diet

We are what we eat, and that rings true when it comes to the skin. Alkaline foods are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, which happen to be some of the best ingredients for gorgeous skin. So, if you can incorporate more of these foods into your diet, it'll likely be reflected in your face. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil, and lots of water should do the trick (via Mukti).


An total rehaul on daily habits that are nourishing to the body and mind will work wonders for the skin and its pH balance. Anything that adds too much stress to the body is likely to tilt your pH to one side or the other. Smoking, drug use, and alcohol are all stress culprits, and these habits should be examined to see if they might be contributing to pH imbalances (via Healthier Steps).

Use apple cider vinegar and other clean beauty products

The skin is incredibly absorbent, and the purity of the products we put on it matters. Apple cider vinegar is a beloved friend in the wellness world for its acetic acid and malic acid (via Healthline). It can be used to cleanse, tone, address wrinkles, and spot treat acne. Harsh soaps and cleansers that aren't designed for the face will likely dry out your skin and impact your pH balance. So be sure to treat your skin delicately. It would also be wise to put down the rough exfoliants and opt for something softer.


It's likely that pH-activated makeup and skin care products are on your radar as they've risen in popularity in recent months, and they are certainly something worth considering. "The pH of your cleansers matters because something that is high pH, 9 and above, can be too drying and stripping for your skin," Charlotte Cho, a cofounder of the K-Beauty website Soko Glam, told Everyday Health. "When your acid mantle and skin barrier is compromised, it can lead to bacteria, which causes acne and dehydration, which leads to wrinkles. And when the pH of your skin is normal, it should look smooth and hydrated."

Wear sun protection

The sun can be a super healer — in the right doses. It's been deeply ingrained in us all to protect our skin from too much sun, and this continues to be the case when it comes to keeping your skin's pH in balance (via Healthier Steps). You should limit your time in direct sunlight, wear protective clothing and sun hats, and apply sunscreen.


However, you likely heard all about the sunscreen recalls in 2021 where benzene, a human carcinogen, was detected in over 70 sunscreen and after-sun products (via Yale Medicine). Yikes. So the type of sunscreen we choose for ourselves and our families is super important. Look out for toxic ingredients and according to Goop, we should be wary of the term "mineral-based," as it typically means the active ingredient like zinc oxide has been blended with a not-so-great chemical sunscreen base. Check out Alba Botanica for an array of safe and affordable sunscreens.