pH Perfection: Tips to Balance Your Skin’s pH

pH Perfection: Tips to Balance Your Skin’s pH

In case you haven’t noticed, here at Hello Joyous we love getting into the details of all the different parts of your skin that work together to create a flawless complexion.

We’ve written a two part series on the skin microbiome (read Part 1 and Part 2) and done a deep dive on the skin barrier.

Today we turn our attention to another component of healthy skin that is often overlooked: the acid mantle! Just like disruptions in the skin barrier and microbiome can lead to issues such as eczema or rosacea, when your skin’s acid mantle is imbalanced it can negatively affect your complexion, leading to dry skin or acne, it can even promote premature aging - gah!

Read on to discover everything you need to know about the acid mantle, balancing your skin’s pH, and our favourite products to support a healthy glow. 

What is the Acid Mantle?

If you’re a skincare junkie like us then you may have heard this term floating around the beauty world recently. However, it was actually coined way back in 1928 by German doctors who were studying the impacts of bacteria on the skin and is finally having its moment. The acid mantle is a barrier made up of a combination of amino acids from our sweat mixed with the sebum from our skin’s oil glands.


This thin layer is slightly acidic and when properly maintained has a pH that ranges from 4.5 to 5.75. A neutral skin pH would be 7 and anything above that gets into an alkaline, or basic, level, neither of which are good for your skin! The subtle acidity of this barrier creates magic in the form of a natural defense mechanism that helps the skin retain moisture, while keeping pollution, microbes, viruses, and other potential contaminants out. If the pH levels get too high and start trending more towards a neutral or alkaline level, you may start to experience skin issues.

What Disrupts the Acid Mantle and pH?

Different parts of the body are more acidic than others, including areas that are generally covered such as the armpits or buttocks. It is not uncommon for the hands and face to be more alkaline since they are often more exposed to detergents and other things that can disrupt the skin pH. The following can all impact your skin’s delicate pH balance and negatively impact your acid mantle and skin health: 

  • Using face or body washes that contain harsh cleansers or foaming agents such as SLS
  • Washing your clothes in harsh detergents 
  • Age and genetics 
  • Consistent use of antibacterial products 
  • How moisturized the skin is and its sebum production 
  • Certain cosmetics 

Common signs that you may be struggling with skin that is too acidic or basic (alkaline) include:

  • Dry, flaky, or scaly skin
  • Acne 
  • Eczema 
  • Redness, itching, or irritation 
  • Heightened sensitivity to heat or cold air
  • Psoriasis 
  • Rosacea

With all this in mind it's all about finding the right balance. Imbalances in the skin's pH can disrupt the skin microbiome, potentially leading to skin conditions. For example, overly alkaline conditions may contribute to dryness and irritation, more fine lines and crow's feet, while overly acidic conditions can lead to increased oiliness. Skin that has a lower pH also tends to stay better hydrated and has much less scaling than overly alkaline skin.

Skincare to Support Your Skin pH

Maintaining the natural pH of the skin through proper skincare, including gentle cleansers and pH-balanced products, can contribute to a harmonious relationship with the skin microbiome. It's all about creating a joyous environment for both your skin and the beneficial microorganisms that call it home!

Fresh Face Cleanser

Our weird and wonderful cleanser won’t cause an imbalance in pH since Fresh Face is completely free from harsh surfactants like SLS that can strip away sebum. You won’t find any antimicrobials either, which means it won’t disrupt your delicate skin microbiome. As a bonus, organic golden jojoba oil helps to balance sebum production, which we know is an important component of the acid mantle!

Magical Mist Toner

This refreshing and oh-so-soothing Magical Mist Toner has a pH of around 5.5, which is right in line with the healthy acidity level your skin loves. It’s also alcohol-free, so it won’t dry out your skin or kill off any of your beneficial bacteria. The soothing herbal distillates infuse your skin with vitamins and nutrients to support not just a healthy skin pH, but complete skin hydration and nourishment.

Hella Hydrating Serum

Our Hella Hydrating Serum is made with just two potent ingredients: hyaluronic acid and organic cold-pressed rosehip oil. Hyaluronic acid is an incredible skin hydrator (read more here) and is also slightly acidic, making it a perfect addition to any skincare product.

Rosehip oil is packed with essential fatty acids, including omega-3 and omega-6. These fatty acids are crucial for maintaining the health of the skin barrier, which, in turn, supports a balanced microbiome. Ensuring that our skin is properly moisturized and hydrated promotes balanced sebum production, which in turn supports the acid mantle. As you can see, our products are designed to support all levels of the skin so you can put your best face forward!

When formulating our products we focused on purity and effectiveness of ingredients. Our flagship three-step Skincare Bundle is the perfect simple trio designed to support your acid mantle, skin barrier, and skin microbiome for a complexion that glows!

pH Balancing Bonus: Ultra-Moisturizing Body Butter

If you struggle with skin that seems dry and flaky elsewhere on your body, our Ultra-Moisturizing Body Butter can help to protect your skin barrier and support a healthy acid mantle. It’s made with a skin nourishing blend of organic shea, cocoa, and mango seed butters that deeply moisturize the skin. Many of the butters and oils have slightly acidic pH levels, including cocoa butter at roughly 5.0, which can help to balance your skin’s acid mantle. The chaga extract and propolis also help repair and protect the skin from environmental exposure.

We hope this post has opened your eyes to the importance of the acid mantle and your skin’s pH when it comes to alleviating common skin conditions such as acne, dry, itchy, or irritated skin.

You can feel confident using any Hello Joyous product on your skin safe in the knowledge that they are free from any harsh chemicals and preservatives that could imbalance your pH and dull your glow.