How does this affect YOUR sensitive skin?
A correlation between PH and the irritation effects of soap and synthetic detergent bars exists. Particularly sensitive skin is at risk. Examples of synthetic detergent bars are Dove, Nivea, Cetaphil and Eucerin. They are also called syndet bars.
Why is PH important when choosing a cleansing product? It is particularly important for people with sensitive skin. Studies show that a products PH (potential hydrogen) is a very important factor to consider. The PH of a soap or syndet bar was found to be directly related to it’s irritation potential.
PH ranges from 0-14 whereas 7 is considered neutral. PH of 7 is the same as distilled water. Below 7 is considered acidic and above 7 is alkaline. Vinegar with 5% acetic acid has a PH of approximately 2-3. Ammonia has a PH of around 11.
In one study they tested 30 types of soap and synthetic cleansing bars. They ranged in PH from 3.6 to 12.3. The majority of the bars had a PH of between 9 and 12 so quite alkaline. It was found that the further away from the neutral PH of 7 the higher irritation potential it had. Whether it was more acidic or more alkaline with the majority being more alkaline. The least irritation came from soaps or syndet bars whose ph was between 5.1 and 7.8. The highest irritation came from bars with a ph of anywhere between 9.7 and 12.4.
Repeated exposure to harsh soaps or syndet bars could hinder proper skin repair. The difference between soap and a syndet bar is that soap is made with saponified natural oils and syndet bars are made with synthetic surfactants.
If natural is important to you then seek out a mild soap with a ph of between 7-8. Our sensitive skin goat milk soap from our Sensitive Naturals line has a PH between 7 and 8, a very good choice for anyone including babies and particularly for people with sensitive skin.