Like me, you have probably heard of Acidified Body Washes and skin cleansers and thought, what does that even mean?
Do these products have acids in them? Do they exfoliate? Won’t they dry out my skin or cause irritation if overused? Before I did my research and tried them, I had a million questions too!
But never you fear. I’ve got the answers to almost all of my questions and hopefully yours too!
What Are Acidified Body Washes
Acidified Body Washes are body cleansers that are formulated with a low pH (acid-base balance) when compared to regular soaps and body washes.
Now, I know this sounds sciencey and technical, but it’s very simple.
Every substance on Earth is either acidic, neutral, or alkaline depending on how many hydrogen ions they contain (this takes us back to Chemistry 101!). If something is acidic, it will have a pH between 1 and 6.9. If it is neutral, it will have a pH of 7. And, if it is alkaline, then it will have a pH between 7.1 and 14.
Acidified body washes will have a pH of less than 6 or 7.
It’s important to note that “acidified” does not mean that it contains large amounts of dangerous acid. It just means that the formula has enough acidity to make it suitable for your skin’s natural pH.
Also, check out my article on:
Why pH Is Important In Skincare
Now here is where pH is relevant to skin care. Our bodies, both internally and externally have a natural pH level at which it is healthy. This includes our skin!
The normal pH of our skin is between 4.7 and 5.75 (this can vary for every person at different times depending on hormones, diet, daily skincare habits, etc.). So, our skin is actually acidic and the acidic layer on the stratum corneum is referred to as the acid mantle.
This acidic environment is important for the optimal functioning of your lipid and moisture membrane, your skin’s immune system, and for the control of the skin’s normal flora (bacteria and fungi that are supposed to be on your skin regularly).
However, when we use products with a pH that is too acidic or too alkaline, it strips the skin of moisture and damages the acid mantle, making it unhealthy and fragile.
This is why skincare experts encourage the use of products that have a suitable pH for your skin, ie. one that is as close as possible to the skin’s natural pH or at the very least, balanced or neutral.
Check out this great video explaining why pH is important for skin and how to test your products to confirm their pH levels:
Benefits Of Using Acidified Body Washes
Using low-pH or acidified body washes will:
- Help to maintain the skin’s acid mantle
- Keep the moisture barrier healthy and functional
- Help keep the skin microbiome (normal bacteria and fungi) under control
- Keep the skin’s immune system on track
- Allow the skin to optimally absorb moisture and nutrients as needed
- Help the skin maintain its structural integrity to avoid early aging, wrinkles, and sagging
- Help keep the skin protected from environmental stressors
Do Acidified Body Washes Help With Odor?
Acidified body washes can help to control body odor.
They help to keep bacteria and fungi on the skin under control while cleansing the skin. Since odor is produced when sweat and other skin debris interact with the bacteria on the skin, cleansing the skin and keeping bacteria under control is a great way to lessen and prevent body odor.
However, how effective this will be and for how long will depend on how much body odor you have, how often you shower, how much you sweat, and a variety of other individual factors. Personally, I don’t sweat a lot so the few acidified washes that I tried worked really well to keep me odor-free.
Will Acidified Body Washes Lighten The Skin?
Acidified body washes will not bleach the skin but they will subtly result in a more toned complexion over time.
Cleansing the skin and maintaining the acid mantle means maintaining healthy skin cells. Eventually, as the older skin cells shed, they will be replaced with the healthier ones without the excess melanin from scarring or injury. This will give you a more toned, “clean” complexion over time.
Related Article – 5 Best Soaps to Lighten Dark Underarms, Necks & Thighs
Will Acidified Body Washes Over-exfoliate Your Skin?
Even though acidified body washes are more acidic, they do not exfoliate the skin more than normal unless they are stated and designed to do so.
Therefore, using an acidified body wash that is gentle and designed for everyday use will gently cleanse your skin with the usual intensity.
Some body washes that contain additional acids or higher concentrations of acids like salicylic acid, mandelic acid, etc. will have an even lower pH and will exfoliate your skin more than usual. But this is what they are designed to do.
So, how much exfoliation you get will depend on the kind of body wash you choose and the effect you are going for.
Related Article – Best Salt Soap – Benefits, How to Use & Side Effects
Can Acidified Body Washes Be Used Everywhere On The Body?
Generally, most acidified body washes can be used anywhere on the skin externally, except your private parts.
This is because your private parts have a different pH than the rest of your skin (especially women’s) and the balance is very delicately maintained. If you must use a cleanser down there (and generally you don’t need to) then you will need one that is specially designed for that area with a specific pH.
Can Everyone Use Acidified Body Washes?
Everyone has skin and all skin has an acid mantle. So, everyone can use acidified body washes.
The key is to figure out what your skin’s pH is (your skin care professional or dermatologist can help you with this) and then choose products with a suitable pH.
Remember to always patch-test your products before using them all over your skin.
Best Recommended Acidified Body Washes To Use
1- Puracy Natural Body Wash
This is a plant-based cleanser with a pH between 5.5 and 6.0 (close to that of the skin). All of it’s ingredients are plant-based, food-grade and it has a natural fragrance.
It is great for people with super sensitive skin. And because my skin is very sensitive I preferred it over the other acidified washes that I have tried.
2- Lume Acidified Body Wash
The Lume Acidified body wash has a pH of about 3.5 and was designed to be used all over your body and the external skin of your private parts as well. Its main ingredient is Mandelic Acid, which gives it acidity and gently exfoliates your skin.
This might be a little too acidic for people with sensitive skin and could cause some dryness. For me personally, it was too drying. However, it will work perfectly for people with oily skin.
You can click here to read all about the Lume Acidified Body Wash – What It Does, Benefits & Risks.
3- Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Body & Face Cleanser
A more traditional and common drugstore brand that is great is this Eucerin cleanser.
Eucerin Cleanser can be used on the face and body and is designed for sensitive, dry skin. It is soap-free, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, and has a pH of 5 which is within the range of your skin’s natural pH.
Side Effects Of Using Acidified Body Washes
If you use an acidified body wash that is too acidic for your skin, you could experience some dryness and Irritation. However, most acidified body washes are formulated with a pH that is within the normal range for your skin.
With that being said, keep in mind that everyone’s skin is different and everyone’s skin will have a slightly different pH. Different skin also reacts differently to different products.
So, keep in mind that allergic reactions and irritation are always possibilities to consider.
Always do a patch test on a small area of your skin for a few days before applying body washes or any other product all over your skin.
Also, remember to only use acidified body washes externally and not on your genitals unless they are specifically formulated to be used in those areas!