Easy Ways to Test Your Skin pH Level

skin pH level
Your skin’s pH level plays an important role in overall skin health. Our skin functions and looks its best in the middle of the pH range. 5.5 being ideal. But what exactly is “skin pH” and how do you determine what your skin’s pH level is? That is what we are going to answer today!

What is pH?

pH stands for “potential hydrogen”. It is a term used to describe the acid-alkaline ratio of a substance. The pH scale works on a range from 1-14. A pH of 1 would be the most acidic. A pH of 14 would be the most alkaline (basic).

pH and Your Skin

Your skin is protected by a thin layer known as the acid mantle. It is film of amino and lactic acids that are responsible for keeping in lipids and moisture while blocking germs, pollution, toxins, and bacteria.

Science has demonstrated that the acid mantle should be slightly acidic, at a 5.5 pH balance. When it’s too alkaline, skin becomes dry and sensitive. You can suffer from dry and sensitive skin and may even get eczema. When your skin is alkaline it inhibits the ability to fight off matrix metalloproteinases (MMP’s). These enzymes destroy collagen and causing wrinkles and sagging.

In recent study published in the British Journal of Dermatology women were tracked over a period of 8 years. Those with an alkaline stratum corneum (the skin’s outermost layer) developed more fine lines and crow’s-feet and were more prone to sun damage than those with acidic skin.

It’s is much lass common for skin to be overly acidic. The result of acidic skin usually manifests itself in breakouts and acne. When skin becomes too acidic, below 4.5, it can become red and inflamed.

How To Test Your Skin’s pH Level

It is not easy to test your skin’s pH level. To get a perfect answer you would have to consult a healthcare practitioner or dermatologist who would use a pH meter to determine the pH level of your skin. This simple test consisting of eight questions will help you to determine where your skin falls on the pH scale.

  1. How does your skin feel after cleansing?
    a) Soft and smooth
    b) Tight and dry
    c) Still slightly oily or not thoroughly clean
  2. How often do you moisturize your face?
    a) At least morning and evening
    b) Once a day
    c) Never
  3. Has your skin become sensitive to products you regularly use, including makeup and creams?
    a) No, it feels normal, like always.
    b) Once in a while
    c) Yes. It seems like it reacts to everything I put on it lately.
  4. How often does your skin have dry, flaky, rough patches?
    a) Never
    b) Sometimes
    c) Usually
  5. Do you notice that your skin looks duller and has more lines in the morning?
    a) No
    b) Yes, usually
    c) It’s a very rare occurrence.
  6. Is your skin excessively oily and prone to breakouts (whereas it wasn’t in the past)?
    a) No
    b) Occasionally
    c) Yes
  7. Does your skin often look red and feel irritated?
    a) No
    b) It stings only after applying products.
    c) Yes
  8. Does your skin look plump, moist, and dewy?
    a) Almost always
    b) Rarely
    c) It’s plump, but more greasy than dewy.

Now lets see how your skin scored:

  • If you answered mostly B’s, your skin’s pH is too high. You have Alkaline (Basic) skin. Your skin’s acid mantle is being stripped of its protective lipids and falling prey to bacteria, UV rays, and harsh ingredients. Take a close look at the products you are using to wash your face, exfoliate and moisturize. Try Nayelle’s gentle CLEANSE for a pH balanced facial cleanser. Our HYDRATE Probiotic Moisturizing Cream and REJUVENATE Anti-Aging Night cream are also formulated to be pH neutral helping your skin achieve its perfect pH balance.
  • If you answered mostly A’s, your skin’s pH is perfect. This is your skin’s happy place. Having skin this good isn’t an accident, so kudos to you. We know you are washing and exfoliating using the right products.
  • If you answered mostly C’s, your skin’s pH is too low (Acidic). You are experiencing oily skin, breakouts, and sensitivity. You may be overdoing it on the peeling products (think acids) in an effort to sop up excess grease. While this type of exfoliation can make for a healthy complexion, your skin is suffering from too much of a good thing. You may be relying to heavily on facial cleansers and exfoliating products.

Other Ways to Test Your Skin pH Level

As we mentioned before, it is difficult to directly test your skin. You would have to consult a healthcare practitioner or dermatologist who would use a pH meter.

Many dermatologists agree that observing the way your skin behaves is the best way to indicate what your skin’s pH level is.

Test Your Saliva pH

Your body’s pH Level is a good indicator of your skin’s pH balance. An easy way is to test your saliva. You can try pH Ion Balance Strips. Simply dip a strip into your saliva and get an instant reading of your internal pH within 0.25 increments.