What is the ideal pH of baby skin?

What is the ideal pH of baby skin?

We've talked about how baby skin differs from adult skin and how to protect your baby's skin microbiome. Next we are going to talk about your baby's skin pH level and why it is important.

Thankfully, you don't have to be a rocket scientist (or a chemical engineer like me) to understand pH levels. If you remember high school chemistry class, there’s a pH scale that ranges from 1 to 14 (with 7 considered neutral). The lower numbers are more acidic, and the bigger numbers are alkaline.

Why does the pH level of the skin matter?

For most healthy people, our skin pH level ranges from 4.5 to 6 pH and is slightly acidic. That makes it just right to help fight off bacteria and other unwanted microorganisms. The closer to neutral level our skin gets, however, the more likely we are to experience skin issues like acne or other inflammations.

At birth, the acidity of your baby's skin (also known as the acid mantle) is a pH of 6.3-7.5. This is likely due to the exposure to the alkaline amniotic fluid during the prenatal period. The pH level decreases to around 5 during the first few weeks of your baby’s life, protecting their delicate skin from microbes and supporting the development of the outer layer of skin. The acid mantle affects your baby's ability to shed dead skin cells, maintain a healthy skin-microbiome and skin barrier.

Maintaining a normal pH for your baby's skin

Using cleansers with a high pH has been shown to increase the pH and change the chemistry of your baby's skin. This change in pH weakens the skin skin-microbiome balance and skin barrier. The acid mantle is in a constant state of regeneration and the skin can return to its normal pH over time, but continuous disruption of the pH can have lasting effects.

Skin with a higher pH has been related to increased rates of bad bacteria, which can cause infection and disease and longer healing time for skin ailments. Studies show that children with eczema have higher skin pH than children with healthy skin. Maintaining a normal pH is needed for healthy skin.

Choosing the right products

Most of the soaps on the market today tend to be high in acidity. With a pH level close to 8 or 9, regular soaps can damage the equilibrium of baby skin and put it at risk for dryness or infection. This is why we do not recommend daily baths with regular soap for infants.

When it is time for a bath, we recommend steering clear of soap and choosing an oil-based cleanser that will have minimal impact on pH levels. Oil dissolves oil and sinks deep into the pores to melt dirt and grime, while infusing your pores with nourishing essential fatty acids and antioxidants naturally present in plant-based oils. Our Lullaby cleanser is extremely gentle on the skin, and will cleanse effectively while providing long-lasting moisturization.

After bathing, we also recommend nourishing the skin with a pH-balancing moisturizer. Skin that is higher pH is more prone to skin ailments like eczema, so you want to use a product that will help your skin return a healthy PH level. Our Sweet Whispers lotion is the answer to both dry and dehydrated skin, with a pH of 5.3 to match the pH of your baby's skin and balance the acid mantle. It is the perfect moisturizer for the entire family and safe from head-to-toe.

What is the ideal pH of baby skin?

Did you know that you can try both the Lullaby cleanser and Sweet Whisper lotion in our Discovery Kit? It comes in a beautiful keepsake box and is perfect for first-time customers or gifting to a new mom!

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