So recently I bought some cheap pH testing strips so I could test the pH of my skincare products, namely my cleansers and toners.
Snow White and the Asian Pear has an amazing post for explaining why your cleanser should be low pH. But in short, our skin is not a pH of 7 and alkaline cleansers can wreck a bunch of things and only cause problems. Bar soaps are out of the question.
So of course, I have gone around testing my skincare stuff, and am pleased to report that my current cleaners are totally fine for me to continue use until I finish them, and that their pH levels haven’t been wrecking my skin. Cheap pH strips are probably not the best way to get a reliable measure but right now it’s sufficient for me to know I’m not using something that’s a pH of 10. I’m also not ready for the commitment of an actual pH meter complete with calibration requirements. We used one once, in a chemistry practical, and it was very tedious.
(My pH strips from eBay cost me £3.55 including shipping. I bought the kind with four colour squares.)
So. Without further ado, I present a bunch of pictures and numbers.
For reference, my tap water is a pH of 7.74.
I don’t use all these cleansers daily! In order from top-bottom, left-right:
- Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser (link to previous review)– Whilst it is somewhere between a 4 and 5, I’d say it’s closer to pH4.
I tested this without adding water.
I use this one every two days and am running low – considering repurchasing it because I really do like it!
You can find this in any Boots or Superdrug store in the UK.
- Nivea Sensitive Cleansing Milk – Between 5 and 6, closer to pH5.
Tested without water.
I use this one every morning and evening when I don’t wear base makeup and am also running low on it. It won’t get rid of the heavy makeup that well by itself.
Also easily found in Boots and Superdrug.
- Soap & Glory Peaches & Clean Deep Cleansing Milk – No result without water, possibly due to its creamier consistency.
After I mixed it with water, I managed to get a pH of around 5, and a whiff of sweet peach scent. This one is a backup and will hopefully replace both the Biore and the Nivea once I’m done with both.
You can find this in Boots.
- Forever Aloe Hand and Face Soap – had to test this one after I saw a youtube video ‘proving’ it was at a pH of 7.
I got a reading somewhere around 4/5, with water.
This is a general family cleanser that we keep around. It’s the ‘foamiest’ of the cleansers here although none of them really foam much at all. It’s gentle for sensitive skin but dries out my super insensitive skin, so I don’t actually use this one. Mom buys this through her local distributor but you can also find this online via ebay and Amazon easily enough.
- Innisfree Bija Trouble Cleansing Gel – I had trouble with this one because I couldn’t get any reading from just the gel. When I mixed it with water I managed to get something in between a 4/5. Other places say it’s about a 3 without water and 4-5 with water, so my result seems accurate enough.
I keep this one around for when I need a higher pH for my AHA and BHA, and put it on my face without water (I obviously rinse it off afterwards), although something about all this pH testing tells me I could probably have gotten away with not having to buy this, judging from the results here…
I ordered this a while ago online from Jolse’s website.
Well, from this we have ascertained that I won’t need to buy any more new cleansers for a while.
If you have some of these cleansers around, it’d be lovely to see more pH results for comparison and um, retesting validity and stuff. So if you have any of these lying around and wouldn’t mind dropping a few pounds for pH strips, I’d love to hear about/see your results too!
Hey, while I’m at it, a disclaimer/very-scientific-self-criticism/evaluation – there is some subjective element to figuring out whether a colour is closer to 4 or 5 on the colour chart.
I tested almost all of these twice (because I doubted my original results) with the same results for each one. The exception is the Soap and Glory Cleanser which I didn’t own the last time I tested them all. Depending on various factors you may get slightly differing results, but as mentioned, pH strips are not incredibly accurate and I’m content with knowing that I’m not putting anything at extreme pHs on my face. (Pure lemon juice and baking soda lovers, I’m looking at you.)
The skincare journey continues!
Until next time,