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The Importance of Balanced pH For Your Skin

A huge part of maintaining optimum health and wellness is working with your body and providing it with the tools it needs to take care of itself naturally. When it comes to skincare, a big part of that is using products that help your skin maintain its optimum, balanced state.

What does this mean? Keeping your skin’s pH in the right range by taking certain steps and using the correct skincare products for your needs.

Here at Thayers, we understand this is something not everyone knows about. Here’s why pH plays an important role here and how it can lead to healthier, clearer skin long-term.

What is pH, and Why is It Important For Your Skin?

First, let’s be clear that pH isn’t an ingredient. Instead, it is a scale that measures how acidic or alkaline a substance is. The pH scale goes from 1 (the most acidic) to 14 (the most alkaline), with a pH of 7 being neutral.

Your skin has a thin, protective layer on its surface known as the acid mantle responsible for keeping in nutrients and moisture while blocking toxins and pollution. The acid mantle is made up primarily of sebum mixed with lactic and amino acids from sweat to create the skin’s pH.

Is pH Good For Skin?

Yes, your skin’s acid mantle is a good thing for your overall complexion. Ideally, it should be slightly acidic, reaching a pH of about 5.5. When your skin is within the appropriate range, and this mantle is intact, it can effectively protect itself against premature aging, bacteria, and other damage.

When your pH is unbalanced, and your skin’s acid mantle is disturbed, it creates a suitable environment for:
  • Dermatitis
  • Acne and skin congestion
  • Candida infections
  • Dry skin and sensitivity
  • Excess oil production
  • Infection
Why? The skin is without its shield, making it prone to acne-causing bacteria and transepidermal water loss, one of the culprits behind dry skin.

What Does Balanced Skin pH Mean?

When you hear the term balanced skin, you’re essentially looking at a pH level right around that optimum 5.5.

So, what can affect this balance? Your skin’s pH is constantly being thrown off. Anything that comes in contact with your skin affects your pH in some way – including smoke, pollutants, sunlight, and skincare products (particularly those containing harsh ingredients like alcohol, sulfates, detergents, and artificial fragrances). Even something as simple as washing your face with water can disturb your skin’s pH balance.

Fortunately, this is normal. The problem isn’t the contact itself – it’s if your skin stays out of balance for long periods of time. That’s when you’re prone to damage from environmental stressors or the growth of bad bacteria. To avoid this, the key is to restore your acid mantle and return your skin’s balance as quickly and as consistently as possible.

How Can You Improve and Maintain the pH of Your Skin?

Many skincare products are way outside your skin’s natural pH. As a result, they strip away your skin’s natural oils and encourage irritation. In the end, you experience the pH of dry skin or worse.

The solution? Choose balancing products that rebuild your skin’s natural barrier and encourage optimum pH. This includes:


Antioxidants – like witch hazel, vitamins A, C, E, and green tea – can help fortify your cells and protect against oxidation and environmental stressors.


Again, it’s all about working with your skin and finding natural, nourishing solutions that’ll encourage your skin to thrive on its own.


A good toner formula should have a pH of around 5. These will help all skin types maintain the acid mantle.

Effective Moisturizers

These can help rebuild your barrier. Some oils, in particular – like jojoba, coconut, and argan oil – work well at moisturizing without clogging pores.


Another excellent way to maintain healthy skin is through exfoliation. Using a gentle product is a good way to eliminate any harmful or harsh ingredients left behind from makeup and reduces irritation from pollutants.

Best Thayers Products for Balanced pH

Of course, our Thayers witch hazel skincare products are a great way to make this happen. With a pH of around five, they can help maintain the right balance for your skin on a daily basis. Our Thayers Original Witch Hazel Facial Toner gives you many of the benefits listed here, plus it’s safe for sensitive skin. And our Thayers Witch Hazel Facial Mists are ideal for mid-day pH balancing while you're at the office or on the go.

How to Check Your Skin’s pH?

There are multiple ways you can check your skin’s pH. However, this can sometimes be a difficult approach, as your levels can change.

The first is by using an at-home kit, which is available online or at your local drugstore. These little strips are applied to your skin and then measured to see where your current levels are. Of course, you want to specifically choose ones designed for skin and not other health levels, such as the pH of your urine or saliva.

Another option is to visit your personal dermatologist. He or she will be able to take a sample and give you a definitive answer to the current pH of your skin. While the answer will give you a good range, you might have to schedule follow-up appointments each time you make a big change in your beauty routine or start to have issues.

What pH Levels Are Harmful to the Skin? What Level of pH is Dangerous?

It is also important to know which effects of pH on the skin are harmful. When talking about this subject, realize that pH levels are on a range scale. Those at one end of the spectrum or another are considered harmful, while anywhere between 4 and 8 are considered somewhat normal.

That said, products with a pH level of 0 to 3 are considered very acidic. To put this in perspective, that’s the same as lemon juice and battery acid. Likewise, ranges 11 to 14 are strongly alkaline. Those are the same levels as ammonia and drain cleaner.

When choosing products, ensure you’re selecting those in that midrange for the best results. Skin goals are generally somewhere between 4 and 6. (Hint: Thayers products are at a 5.)

Wrap Up: Balanced Skin pH

Learning about what’s good for the skin is an important part of cutting down on blemishes and other issues. By understanding the importance of good pH, you can start to choose products that help you get into the right range. For more information about our various Thayers products, please check out our inventory of toners, astringents, and other skincare items.


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