What are pH-Balanced Body Washes- Benefits & Best Brands

What are pH-Balanced Body Washes- Benefits & Best Brands
What are pH-Balanced Body Washes- Benefits & Best Brands

One of the best things skin care experts have discovered is the skin’s pH and how maintaining it can keep your skin healthy. This is where using pH-balanced body washes and other pH-balanced products becomes super important. 

But what are pH-balanced products, really? What makes them so special? And where on earth can we find the best ones?  

What Are pH-Balanced Body Washes

pH-Balanced Body Washes are body cleansing products that have been designed to have a pH (acid-base balance) that is 7 or less (usually between 5.5 and 7).

The normal and healthy pH of the skin on our face and body is usually between 4.7 and 5.75. This can vary at different times depending on hormones, diet, environment, etc. Each individual will have a slightly different skin pH. 

pH-balanced cleansers can be in the form of body washes, face washes, bar soaps and even soap-free formulations. As long as the formula is not too acidic and not too alkaline for your skin. 

If the pH of skin products is too high (too alkaline) or too low (too acidic), they will disrupt the acid mantle of the skin which can cause:

  • Dryness, irritation,
  • Overgrowth of the bacteria and fungi that are normally on your skin, acne, and other problems.
  • It will also disrupt your lipid membrane so that your skin cannot absorb air, water, nutrients, and other things that it needs. 

The first step in your skincare routine is cleansing. Therefore, it is logical to start your whole routine with products that are best for your skin. This means starting with body washes and cleansers that will maintain your skin’s pH rather than disrupt it. 

I highly recommend checking out my article on Acidified Body Washes to learn more.

For a reminder of what the pH of your skin is all about, check out this great video by Wishtrend: 

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Benefits Of Using pH-Balanced Body Washes

Using body washes and cleansers that are the right pH for your skin will:

  1. Help to maintain the skin’s protective barrier
  2. Maintain the skin’s immune system by keeping the normal microflora (bacteria and fungi) at the right levels
  3. Keep the skin healthy and hydrated
  4. Help the skin to be better able to absorb moisture and nutrients as needed
  5. Decrease the risk of irritation and inflammation which can cause bad reactions with even the smallest exposures
  6. Prevent the development and/or worsening of acne by controlling oil and bacteria on the skin

Now keep in mind that your skin has an acidic pH. So, while using a pH-balanced body wash is a great idea, it is generally recommended to use them periodically. 

A product with a balanced or neutral pH will not strip your skin, but long-term use without pause can eventually cause some dryness and affect the acidity of the skin. 

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How To Know If Your Body Washes Are pH-Balanced

Even though most products will say when they are pH-balanced, the easiest way to confirm for yourself is to use litmus paper. 

Litmus paper, also called pH test strips, is super affordable and easy to find and use. You might recognize it from chemistry class. pH test strips can be found online or at any store that sells stationary and school supplies. 

There are different kinds of litmus paper available with different ranges. Some are pretty basic but here is the one I like to use. It can test pH ranges from 1 to 14 and comes with a color chart so that you can compare the color you get on the paper to see exactly where on the pH scale your product falls. 

Video Showing How to Do a Litmus Test

For body washes and cleansers, you can test the solution alone or you can mix it with some water (the same water you will use to wash your skin). Water is neutral so it will not change the pH of your product. 

Litmus paper is actually very cheap and really easy to use You can Click here to see the LabAider Litmus Test Paper on Amazon. 

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Best Recommended pH-Balanced Body Washes

Now, depending on your skin, you can use a low-pH (acidified) body wash, or one that is more balanced (usually between 6 and 7). 

Experts recommend using a pH-balanced body wash or cleanser for a few weeks and then using a low-pH one for another few weeks to reset your skin. You can alternate between the two. 

Here are a few dermatologist-recommended pH-balanced body washes:

1- Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash

Dove’s sensitive skin body wash is hypoallergenic and great for people with sensitive skin. My skin is extra sensitive so this Doves Body Wash is one of my go-to body washes.

It has a pH that is more on the neutral side of the spectrum at around 6.6 so it has less of a chance of changing the fragile acid mantle when used short term. 

You can Click here to get the Dove Sensitive Skin Body Wash on Amazon. 

2- Cetaphil Moisturizing Relief Body Wash

Cetaphil Moisturizing body wash has a pH of about 6.3 to 6.8 so it is pH balanced or pH neutral.

It’s formulated with the Cetaphil Advanced Moisture Blend including glycerin, Shea butter, and soybean oil provides 24-hour dryness relief.

I recommend it for people with dry skin. 

You can Click here to check out the Cetaphil Moisturizing Relief Body Wash on Amazon. 

3- Softsoap Luminous Oils Body Wash

This body wash is surprisingly well-reviewed and approved by quite a few dermatologists. It is pH balanced and it contains natural oils that aim to replace any moisture lost from your skin during your bath.

For me, it has a gentle fragrance so it is not overpowering and it leaves your skin feeling smooth and soft. This is great for people with normal to mildly dry skin.  

You can Click here to see the price for Softsoap Luminous Oils Body Wash on Amazon. 

Side Effects Of Using pH-Balanced Body Washes

Generally, products with a well-balanced pH will not cause side effects. However, if you have super-sensitive skin, if you use it for a very long time, or if the product does not have a truly suitable pH for your skin, you can have some side effects. 

Most dermatologists will recommend using low-pH products for your skin (anywhere from 4.5 to 5.5). However, many of them say that using products with a pH of up to 7 is also good for your skin. This will ultimately depend on your skin type and its reaction. 

You will know how the pH of your body washes or cleansers is affecting your skin by the way it feels after using it. If your skin feels squeaky clean and tight, then your product most likely has a high pH and has stripped your acid mantle and moisture barrier. This is not a good thing. 

A good body wash or cleanser with a suitable pH should leave your skin feeling clean but also hydrated and relaxed, not tight and dry. 

Products with a high pH also increase the risk of irritation from other ingredients in the product which can lead to itching, dryness, redness, peeling, bumps, and even rashes. 


Is pH Testing Your Cleanser the Secret to Better Skin? Here’s How to Do It 

Low pH Cleansers: Benefits and How to Choose One 

How a pH-Balancing Cleanser Can Transform Your Skin – MŪN 

A pH-Balanced Cleanser Might Give You Better Skin | Glamour 

How the pH of Your Cleanser Affects Your Skin’s Acid Mantle 

13 Best pH-Balanced Body Washes For Women 

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