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 6.5 Milk
pH 7 Pure water
pH 8.1 Evian water
pH 10 Common soap
pH 13.5 Bleach
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
Urine pH 6.0
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:

So what can we conclude from this?

  1. ‘Acidic’ doesn’t always mean bad. Your skin is naturally acidic and should really stay like that. It’s all relative.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.