Skin and pH
At Gallinée, all of our products are at physiological pH; it was a big part of our brief when we developed the line. But what does that mean exactly?
Another brief science lesson (you’re welcome):
In chemistry, pH is a numeric scale used to specify the acidity or alkalinity of an aqueous solution. The physiological pH is the usual pH of the human body.
The ‘H’ stand for Hydrogen ions. Funny enough, there’s an ongoing debate about the meaning of the ‘p’. The pH scale usually goes from 0 (the most acidic) to 14 (the most alkaline). So by definition, a neutral pH is 7. Or is it?
To get a better idea, below are some examples of pH levels:
|pH 0||Battery acid|
|pH 2.5||Classic Coke|
|pH 3.3||Red Bull|
|pH 7||Pure water|
|pH 8.1||Evian water|
|pH 10||Common soap|
|pH 14||Drain cleaner|
And neutral pH doesn’t really mean anything when it comes to your body. Here are some of the common measures:
|Blood||pH 7.34 to 7.45|
|Inside the stomach||pH 1.5 to 3.5|
|Mouth||pH 6.3 – 6.6|
|Vagina||pH 3.5 to 4.5|
Generally speaking, skin’s pH is 4.5 to 5.5, so that’s exactly the pH range of Gallinée’s products.
There also can be individual variation:
- Women have more acidic skin than men
- Your hands are more acidic than the rest of your body’s skin
- Dark skin is more acidic than fair skin
So what can we conclude from this?
- ‘Acidic’ doesn’t always mean bad. Your skin is naturally acidic and should really stay like that. It’s all relative.
- It’s not a very good idea to use pH 10 soap on your pH 5 skin or your pH 4 vagina. This damages the acidic film on the surface of the skin and leads to dryness and irritation. This might sound logical, but it’s actually quite rare to find the right pH for your skin in cosmetics.
- It’s quite easy to check out the pH of your cosmetic products using pH paper. It’s not the most precise tool, but it gives a good indication nonetheless.