Skin health: why pH is crucial

If there was a formula for healthy and glowing skin, you could say its pH plays a crucial role. Our skin maintains a delicate acid balance (which typically ranges from pH 4.5 to 6) that keeps it looking fresh and hydrated, as well as discourages the growth of bacteria – including bacteria responsible for acne breakouts. However most products we use on our skin are very alkaline, which disrupts our skin’s pH and can strip its beneficial acid mantle.

What then? Our skin has to work harder to balance its pH – it can take an astounding 8 hours for the skin to lower its pH back to an ideal 5.5. And if bombarded day after day with highly alkaline skin care products, our skin can become irritated, uneven, or show signs of premature ageing.

As most commercial soaps have a pH of 9 or more, ditching the soap to cleanse the skin with an all natural alternative is a good place to start.

pH-friendly skin cleansing routine

You can use some surprising all natural products to cleanse your skin instead of soap.

Milk: you can tailor the fat content to your skin type (skim for oily, full fat for dry or sensitive). Click here for full instructions on how to cleanse your skin with milk. Don’t use milk to clean the skin in the eye area.

Apple juice: slightly astringent, it makes a good toner and helps shrink pores too. Click here for an apple and lemon toner recipe. Be careful not to go near your eyes.

Cucumber juice: cooling and safe to remove eye make-up. It really does work to put slices on your eyes to relax, tone your skin and reduce puffiness!

Aloe vera gel: aloe vera absorbs quickly into the skin and brings it essential nutrients. It can also be used as an all natural moisturiser.  Click here for instructions on how to cleanse your skin with aloe vera gel.

Hydrated green clay: green clay makes for a fantastic all natural cleanser – it gently detoxes the skin by drawing out impurities without altering the skin’s ideal pH.

Honey: pure honey not only smells delicious during application and leaves your skin smelling sweet, but it is antibacterial and very moisturising. You can rinse it off straight away or leave it on for longer as a face masque. Recipe for a milk and honey facial scrub anyone?

And remember: gentle mechanical action – pressing and rubbing with your fingers – or the use of organic cotton pads or cotton balls is more than adequate to encourage make-up or grime off your skin (no vigorous scrubbing please!).