What is PH?
PH is a measure of how acidic or basic (alkaline) a compound is. PH scale ranges from 0 to 14. 7 is neutral, <7 is acidic, and > 7 is alkaline (basic). The optimal skin pH is between 4 and 5.5 (slightly acidic), which is the best PH for most skin products.
Why is cleanser PH important for people with acne?
If the skincare products' PH is too alkaline or too acidic, the skin's natural mildly acidic protective layer is damaged. When the skin's protective mantel is damaged, the skin is more sensitive, and the risk for more acne breakouts increases. The same is true for products that are too alkaline. Harsh alkaline cleansers make the skin more alkaline, thus dry and flaky. Over-cleansing, over-exfoliating, and alkaline cleaners can disrupt the skin acid mantle as well.
What about natural food-derived acids?
Using too acidic products such as lemon (2-2.3 pH) or apple cider vinegar (pH 3 to 4) can cause skin irritation and chemical burns.
What is the best cleanser for acne-prone skin?
The best cleanser for acne-prone skin is a mild medicated cleanser, with a PH around 5.5 that would help clean the skin and unclog skin pores without damage to the protective skin layer.