Thursday, March 31, 2016

Here is a cleanser you DON’T want to use on your face!

In several articles on this blog (some of the links are listed below) I have discussed the need to know the pH of your skin care products in order to avoid using things that are alkaline on your face. Alkalinity, among other things, can cause dehydration—something that makes your skin feel dry even though it may not be true-dry. This can set up a reaction of using moisturizers that are too rich for your skin (unless it is an oil-dry skin type) to make up for the dry, tight feeling after using such products—the pH imbalanced kind. Another effect is the possibility of your oil glands producing more oil to compensate for the loss of oil from the alkaline cleanser getting your skin too clean.

The photo below shows a test I did with pH papers on a Neutrogena “natural” hard bar soap. As you can see on the label, it looks like it might be good: avocado and olive oils “gently” cleansing your skin. But no—there is nothing gentle about washing your face with an alkaline cleanser, whether it be a bar soap or a milky cleanser.
In case you’ve never used pH test papers, they are an orange color (like the “5” on the package in the photo). If a product tests acidic, it won’t really turn the paper any color, it just looks like the orange paper is wet. This is ultimately what you’re looking for. Any product that turns the paper light green to dark green (the above little test piece is dark green!) indicates alkalinity and means you don’t want to use whatever product you’re testing on your face.

As you can see, it is important to know the pH of any and all skin care products you are using so you can avoid using products like this natural soap on your skin. (Most bar soaps, by the way, tend to be alkaline, which is the main reason I don’t recommend them.)

For more information to help you understand why you want to test your products and what can happen if you use the wrong types of products, see: