Why should we maintain the pH balance in baby skin

Healthy skin has a biological slightly acidic surface called the acid mantle. Its role is to defend itself against environmental irritants and dehydration. However, your newborn baby’s delicate skin is lacking this protective acid mantle. For this reason, it’s important to choose baby skincare products that match the acidity level of the skin’s natural barrier, which is an average pH level of 5.5.

Firstly, what is pH?

pH stands for potential hydrogen, and its value indicates how acidic or alkaline a substance is. The pH scale ranges from 0-14: a low pH is acidic in nature, and a high pH level is more alkaline in nature.

Why should we maintain the pH level of a baby’s skin?

Maintaining the pH balance of 5.5 supports your baby’s skin’s natural acid mantle against environmental stress. If that barrier is disrupted, it can become overly dry and sensitive.

The skin then becomes vulnerable to factors, either environmental (such as weather, allergens, irritants, infection) or physiological (such as stress, hormones, diseases) that can lead to various skin conditions. Even a small variation from 5.5, and it will thin their sensitive skin even further, making it prone to rashes, irritation, and eczema.

The end result is skin that loses moisture through unprotected cracks in its outermost layer, becoming more prone to infection.

How do baby skincare products impact the pH level?

Cleansing and skincare products need to match the pH level of the baby’s skin. Many commercially manufactured soaps for adults have a pH level of 9, and even some of the cleansers that claim to be mild have a pH level of 7. These are not suitable for babies.

How to choose the ideal baby skincare products 

  •  Look closely at the pH level of the product. 5.5 is the ideal value
  •  Ensure that the baby cleanser is soap and alkali free
  •  The product should be dermatologically/clinically tested
  •  Look for natural oils, such as Jojoba or Vitamin E
  •  Allantoin in a product will make a baby’s skin feel softer and smoother
  •  Look at the ingredient list, and be sure that it’s free from aluminium and parabens

With all of this in mind, look for high quality baby care products with a pH value of 5.5 gentle enough to be used from your baby’s first day in the world onwards.