All About pH | Why You Should Know The pH In Your Products

Natural Shampoo And Conditioner

Remember learning about pH in school? Dipping a strip in a solution and watching the color it changes to? and measuring the pH which ranges from 0-14?

If you've stumbled upon or ordered some of my products like the Moisturizing Coconut Lotion or Plant based bubble baths, you'll notice a pH number or range is listed. We choose to include this information on our products so our customers can be sure they are using safe and gentle products that'll balance their skin and hair's pH instead of throwing it out of tune.

Part of what makes my products as great as it is, is having it in check with its pH.

The pH of your products will have affects on your skin, and if it is not pH balanced, it's not for the better. As a mother, I needed and formulated products that resulted in healthy skin in the long run and not just for the moment. 

At Elosa, alot is taken into consideration when formulating products for the skin and hair. All products (where applicable) are pH balanced to help balance your levels instead of pushing it to extreme alkaline or acidic levels.

It is sometimes quite easy to tell the difference between a product that is balanced and one that is not, based on the way your skin or hair feels and reacts. More about this below.

Interesting fact: pH actually has an affect on overall color too. This is more for natural ingredients such as botanicals. I formulate a lot with hibiscus flowers for it's amazing benefits and it's ability to provide a natural pink or purple hue to my products. However, the color of the final product depends on the final level of pH. In acidic levels, hibiscus is more of a soft pink whereas in alkaline levels, it becomes much more darker eventually turning to a brown and then green in high extremes. It also looses all its benefits when its in too low or high pH levels.

What is pH?

P - Potential
H - Hydrogen

pH aka Potential of Hydrogen or Power of Hydrogen, is an important factor in skin and hair care that we tend to overlook often. It refers to the measurement and activity of hydrogen ions in a water-based solutions. This means the activity of positive and negative charge molecules in products/formulas that contain water. This does not apply to body butters, lip balms and products that doesn't have water. Moisturizers, body and face washes, conditioners, shampoos are examples of products that we can measure and monitor the pH levels in.

pH can range from 0-14. With 0 being acidic, 7 being neutral and 14 being alkaline. To be specific, 0-6 would be considered acidic. 7 is neutral, 8-14 is alkaline.

Hair and skin's pH falls closer to the acidic levels with hair around 4.5 - 5.5 (This actually refers to the scalp. The actual hair shaft's pH is lower) and our skin sits around 4 -7 (ideally 5.5), so even closer to neutral than our hair is. This is when our hair and skin are at our healthiest. However majority of things we do everyday to our hair and skin disturb this balance and push the pH levels to more alkaline levels. This is where pH balance products are crucial in your routine as they help restore and balance the skin and hair's pH.

Anytime your skin appears very dry, itchy, red or starts to peel, there may be some disruption in the pH of the skin.

Ever washed your face and it felt that tight "squeaky clean" feeling? This is a big sign of a product that is high in pH. It is actually damaging your skin's barrier and stripping your skin of its natural oils. While your skin may feel soft and nice now, it's actually causing long term damage. Try to think if there was a time you experienced redness, itchiness, inflammation or any sort of discomfort on your face after a cleanse. Even if it was the day after, this was probably why.

Products with lower and balanced pH are more beneficial for the skin and will help with cell turnover. Your skin will result in smoother and healthier results instead of red, dry and inflammation. Remember, too low of a pH can be just as damaging to the skin as it is too acidic. There a products where they need to be in acidic levels in order for the active ingredients or overall product to properly function. A perfect example of this are exfoliating products. These tend to be lower in levels and it is highly recommended to follow up with a moisturizer to help restore back the skin and protect it's barrier.

Why pH is important?

Simply put, the pH of your skin and hair matters, especially if you want healthy results. Anything too low or too high will ruin the "system" and causes irritations, redness, inflammation and all things alike in the skin. For hair, it makes the hair strands dry, brittle and frizzy. This happens when natural oils and bacteria on the skin is disrupted. There are "good" bacteria's that live naturally on the skin, but throwing the pH way out of tune affects its ability to keep the "bad" bacteria in check.

The pH in Elosa's products:

Balancing Shampoo: 5.5 
Our shampoos sit in this range that is close to neutral. This allows for the hair cuticles (outer layer of hair) to open up to allow the shampoo to gently cleanse the hair and remove dirt and build up deep from within the hair shaft.

Balancing Conditioner: 4 - 4.5
Our conditioners sit in this range that is a little lower than our hair. This allows for the hair cuticles (outer layer of hair) to tighten up to allow the benefits of the product to penetrate and retain within the hair strands, holding in all the moisture and proteins.

Hibiscus Conditioner: 4 - 4.5
Our conditioners sit in this range that is a little lower than our hair. This allows for the hair cuticles (outer layer of hair) to tighten up to allow the benefits of the product to penetrate and retain within the hair strands, holding in all the moisture and proteins.

Plant Based Bubble Baths: 5.5 - 5.8
Our bubble baths sit in this range that is close to neutral but lower than our body wash, making it gentle enough for children and babies over 6 - 8 months of age. This allows for the skin to become balanced and be gently cleansed without stripping or drying it out. Allowing the skin to soak in and retain the benefits of the product.

Creamy Coconut Body Wash: 5.5 - 6.5
Our body wash sit in this range that is close to neutral, making it gentle to the skin. This allows for the skin to become balanced and be gently cleansed without stripping or drying it out and leaving behind a moisturized, healthy skin.

Moisturizing Coconut Lotion: 5.5 - 6
Our lotion sit in this range that is close to neutral, making it gentle to the skin while being able to provide moisture and hydration. This allows for the skin to remain balanced while absorbing the benefits of the lotion without stripping or drying it out. Your skin will feel healthy, balanced and hydrated.

Facial Mist: 4.5 - 5.5

Natural Face Cream: 5.5

Natural Cleansing face wash: 5.5

As our face is extremely sensitive, our facial products sits closer to acidic levels like the skin on our face, providing gentle cleansing, hydration and soothing effects. This allows for the skin to become cleansed, balanced and hydrated without stripping or drying it out. Leaving behind a healthy, balanced, radiant and hydrated face.

The typical pH in standard skin and hair style products

Bleach: 10 +

Perm: 9 - 10

Highlights: 10 +

Dye: 9 - 10 

Exfoliators: 4 and below

Soap: 8 - 12

Products that fall in extreme alkaline or acidic levels can damage the skin and hair. It is best to use skin and hair care products that are pH balanced. By balanced, this refers to products with pH levels that fall within the normal hair and skin range of 4 - 7. Like mentioned earlier, in rare cases, some products fall outside this range with specific and valid reason.

How to keep your skin and hair's pH balanced

The best way to help balance our skins pH is by using products that fall within a certain pH range. Try looking for products that are in the pH range that is closer to 5.5. They may be as low as 4 and as high as 7, but levels outside of this become problematic. Though some companies choose to disclose the information on the pH of a product, some companies choose not to - and legally, they don't have to. If a product doesn't disclose the pH, try giving the company or manufacture a call and requesting this information, or taking a look on the website for fine print.

Our hair collection is pH balanced (we list the pH) and formulated with your hair and the environment in mind.  This collection is a great way to start the transition to natural, gentle and effective hair care that'll deeply condition, nourish, moisturize, repair, strengthen and balance your hair. Giving you healthy, long lasting results. 

Our skin products deliver just the same. We balance our moisturizers to ensure they never strip or irritate the skin and keep the skins barrier in check. You'll notice long lasting results with smooth, moisturized, hydrated and balanced skin. 

Another interesting fact: Cold process bar soaps tends to fall in the levels of 8-10, sometimes even as high as 12 although rare. This is more on the alkaline side. It's important to know that if cold process soap falls lower than these levels, it is no longer soap and begins to deteriorate. So even if you wanted to, you can not really alter the pH levels of a soap bar without turning it into, well not soap! Soap is made up from alkali's such as caustic soda, caustic potash, and fatty acids from the chosen oils in your formula. During the making of soap, when these are introduced together, salt and glycerine is formed. Both are alkalis and extremely good cleansing agents. Soapers (like myself) can make their soap bar much more mild and gentle with the chosen ingredients and additives and by doing something we call "Super fatting". Making a soap bar much more gentle and moisturizing than your standard store bought bar soap! Ingredients like milks, yogurts (we use GMO + Gluten free and vegan options like oatmeal, coconut and almond), also make a soap bar more mild and moisturizing. If a soaper says their soap can be used on the face, it is probably highly super fatted.

Read more on super fatting here.

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