Ah! The first step of your skincare routine. It’s one step, if you get wrong, can really mess your entire routine. Use the wrong cleanser and the results would be the beginning of disaster. Use the right one and you’ve already won half the battle! So out of all the cleansers available in the market, which ones should you be looking at? We tell you everything you need to know about cleansers in this post so your routine starts out on the right note!
Does The pH of Cleansers Really Matter?
The importance of something as basic as a cleanser should not be overlooked. You maybe wondering why your skincare products are not as effective, without realising that the culprit maybe in your cleanser. While using the right cleanser may not cure all your skin problems, it will definitely keep your skin healthy and happy, that’s what matters right??
Harsh cleansers damages the protective barrier and makes our skin more susceptible to all kinds of skin problems. Next time you wash your face, remember that squeaky clean feeling right after you wash your face is not good for the skin.
So what is pH?
pH means potential of hydrogen. In other words, it is the measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions in any substance. The pH of a solution is indicated by a numeric scale that runs from 0-14.
Anything below 7 (which is pH neutral) is considered acidic, while anything with a pH greater than 7 is considered alkaline.
Want to know more about pH? Go here.
Our skin has a thin, protective layer on its surface called the Acid mantle. This acid mantle is made up of sebum (fatty acids) excreted from the skin’s sebaceous glands, which mixes with lactic and amino acids from sweat to create the skin’s pH, which is slightly acidic – at about 5.5 and hence the name acid mantle.
Maintaining the acid balance of our skin is very important to achieving a healthy skin. Consistent use of harsh cleansers and products that are high on the pH scale can damage the skin’s acidic mantle, which in turn, allows for bacteria to breed and cause havoc to our skin.
Our skin is happiest and healthiest when it has a pH of 4.5-5.5 which is just right in the middle of the pH scale.
Signs of Damaged Skin Barrier
- Breakouts and acne even though your skin feels dry and tight on the outside. When your skin is dehydrated, it produces excess oils to balance itself out. This overproduction of oil can cause breakouts.
- Dry, flaky, dehydrated skin.
- Premature aging
- Sensitive,Redness, irritated and itchy skin
- Excessive oil
- Dull skin
Picking the right cleansers:
The first step to restoring a damaged barrier is by choosing gentle cleanser. Avoid cleansers that contain SLS-Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and SLES- Sodium Laureth Sulfate as they can irritate and dry the skin.
Choose a cleanser close to the pH of our skin about pH5-5.5 to maintain balanced and healthy skin barrier. Using gentle cleansers prevents overstripping of the protective barrier on the surface of the skin and protects your skin in the long run.
Here are our top picks of low pH cleansers
1. ACWELL Bubble Free pH Balancing Cleanser
This gel non foaming cleanser, great for all skin type’s especially dry, sensitive skin. Soothing and repairing ingredients like centella, licorice and aloe leaves skin refreshed and hydrated
2. ACWELL pH balancing micro cleansing foam
Formulated with key ingredients like licorice extract which is a skin soothing and brightening ingredient. This lightweight cleanser is suitable for all skin types.
3. KLAIRS Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser
A low irritant amino acid cleanser suitable for troubled or sensitive skin. It contains key ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramide 3 and olive oil for softer skin and maximum hydration.
4. COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel cleanser
Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is classic for a reason. It’s super gentle and is great for all skin types.Composed of botanical extracts and mild acids that help to exfoliate the skin without irritating it, prevents breakouts and can be used daily as part of your skin care regimen.