If your skin is chronically dry, tight, and irritated, you may be the victim of a damaged skin barrier. And when we’re talking about the skin below your neck, bar soaps and other harsh body washes are Public Enemy Number One of your skin’s pH level: A crucial, but often overlooked, component of maintaining proper skin barrier function. The best pH-balanced body washes will help return your acid mantle to its ideal balance, resulting in calm, properly hydrated, and gently cleansed skin.
As you may recall from chem class (apologies for the flashbacks),
pH scales measure the acidity or alkalinity of a substance. One is the most acidic, 14 is the most alkaline, and seven (where water lies) is neutral. “The pH of your skin lies between 4.7 and 5.75, which is mildly acidic,” Dr. Morgan Rabach, board-certified dermatologist at LM Medical, tells Elite Daily. According to Dr. Rabach, that slightly acidic environment helps keep bacteria in check, aids moisture retention, and generally keeps your skin barrier in good working order. She says that using products with a high, alkaline pH — i.e., stripping body washes, which are most body washes out there — can compromise your skin barrier and allow harmful bacteria to make its way in, or cause an overgrowth of endogenous bacteria. In turn, that can trigger irritation and water loss, or skin conditions like rosacea, acne, and eczema.
It makes sense, then, that cleansers with a pH level equal or close to the skin’s are the most beneficial. (Cleansers that are marketed as “pH balanced” typically have a pH level of around 5.5.) These pH-balanced body washes tend to be free of synthetic fragrances, alcohols, and aggressive sulfates, which can strip your skin. Instead, they’re loaded with barrier-building ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid, and rely on gentle, plant-based surfactants to do the cleaning work.
Shop The Best pH-Balanced Body Washes In a hurry? Here are the five best ph-balanced body washes on Amazon: 1. The Best-Selling pH-Balanced Body Wash: Puracy Body Wash 2. The Best Drugstore pH-Balanced Body Wash: Eucerin Advanced Cleansing Body & Face Cleanser 3. The Best Korean pH-Balanced Body Wash: ATOPALM MLE Body Wash 4. The Best pH-Balanced Body Wash With Lavender: Tree To Tub Hydrating Body Wash 5. The Best pH-Balanced Body Wash With Manuka Honey: Honeyskin Face & Body Cleanser
Coddle your skin with the best pH-balanced body washes, listed ahead.
The Best-Selling pH-Balanced Body Wash
Puracy Body Wash gets wildly positive reviews on Amazon, where it's been awarded over 8,800 five-star ratings to date. Customers with dry, sensitive skin confirm that the hypoallergenic formula (which is made of 98.6% plant-based ingredients) leaves their skin feeling hydrated when they step out of the shower, rather than tight and itchy; many even report that they don’t need to moisturize after using this skin-softening soap. People also like that it works up into a lather, courtesy of moisturizing surfactants derived from coconuts — a great option if you feel strongly about suds. Natural fragrances are responsible for its light, citrusy scent. Rave review: “This is honestly the first and only body wash that doesn't irritated or dry out my skin! I've had super-sensitive skin my whole life and soaps/body washes (even those designed for sensitive skin either didn't actually get me clean or they made me break out in hives. This actually gets me clean without causing dry skin, rashes, tightness or anything of the sort. [...] If you have sensitive skin but need something with a little more cleaning power than lotion-based cleansers, give this a try!” Noteworthy Ingredients: Coconut-Based Cleansers, Vegetable Glycerin, Himalayan Pink Sea Salt, Pink Grapefruit Essential Oil | Size: 12 fl. oz. 02
The Best Drugstore pH-Balanced Body Wash
PH-balanced body washes are still a little under the radar, but you
can find some great ones from drugstore brands. Case in point: This pH-balancing face and body wash from Eucerin. It’s formulated specifically for dry skin, so it’s free of stripping agents like fragrances and dyes, and instead uses mild, soap-free cleansing agents. The creamy texture leaves your skin feeling plush and comfy. At about $8 for this big, 16.9-ounce bottle, it's a steal, too. Rave review: “The best cleanser for use with eczema and dry irritated skin. It’s a game changer for sure. Got my young girls using it for their dry skin. PH balancing is everything with your skin and this one is spot on!!! It’ll be hard to switch to anything else EVER! I used to use baby wash but that was too drying, go figure that this cleanser is even better!” Noteworthy Ingredients: Lauryl Glucoside, Coco-Glucoside, Glycine | Size: 16.9 fl. oz. 03
The Best Korean pH-Balanced Body Wash
ATOPALM is a go-to Korean brand for people with highly sensitive skin, or those with more severe skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. This
body wash is powered by the brand’s signature MLE technology, a patented blend of ceramides and fatty acids that mimic, repair, and protect the skin’s natural lipid barrier. Mild, coconut-derived surfactants cleanse your skin without stripping it of its natural oils (or throwing your pH out of whack), while a healthy dose of hyaluronic acid, panthenol, and a blend of botanical oils work to attract and seal in moisture. This fragrance-free, hypoallergenic cleanser is even gentle enough for babies. Rave review: “I love Atopalm brands products and this bodywash is no exception! A little bit goes a long way. My daughter has eczema and this bodywash has helped to minimize her flare ups. The smell is pleasant and not too heavy. I just wish it came in a bigger bottle since the kids and I both use it.” Noteworthy Ingredients: Panthenol, Hyaluronic Acid, Jojoba Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Safflower Seed Oil | Size: 10.1 fl. oz. 04
The Best pH-Balanced Body Wash With Lavender
Luxuriate (safely, without harming your acid mantle) in a calming lavender aroma with this
Tree To Tub body wash. The scent (along with their other fragranced body washes) is created using essential oils, rather than synthetic fragrance, so the formula retains a solid 5.5 pH level. The formula also contains sustainably harvested soapberry juice, a tree fruit containing a surfactant that naturally creates a creamy lather — a genius replacement for harsh cleansing agents — while organic aloe and chamomile calm irritated skin. Other botanical-inspired scents like Sunkissed Citrus and Awakening Peppermint are also available on Amazon, along with an unscented version. Rave review: “This is by far my favorite body soap. I have a thyroid issue which causes my skin to be dry & itchy [...] I decided to give soapberry a try and was impressed! It foamed really beautifully (lots of microbubbles) and left my skin feeling silky and clean but not dried out. The smell is not too strong which i like and also smells like real lavender and not a synthetic smell like other brands. [...] I will continue to use this :)” Noteworthy Ingredients: Wild Soapberry Juice, Organic Aloe Vera Juice, Lavender Essential Oil, Organic Chamomile Extract, Organic Shea Butter | Size: 8.5 fl. oz. 05
The Best pH-Balanced Body Wash With Manuka Honey
Manuka honey is an incredible natural salve for treating inflammation, dryness, itchiness, and skin conditions triggered by bacteria, like acne and eczema. And since it boasts an acidic pH, it’ll help preserve your skin’s ideal pH level, too — hence why the miracle ingredient is the headliner in this pH-balanced Honeyskin Face & Body Cleanser (and it’s responsibly sourced). One customer reported that this cleanser tempered a persistent psoriasis flareup, and another wrote that it cleared their daughter’s delicate, acne-prone skin. This sulfate- and fragrance-free body wash works wonderfully as a face cleanser, too. Rave review: “I’ve been using the face wash and moisturizer for about 6 months, and I’m certain I’ve written a review months ago, but I wanted to pop in again and tell everyone that this is the only cleanser and moisturizer I can use on my face. I have [...] sensitive skin, and am very prone to redness. Even products specifically formulated to be gentle, hypoallergenic, or specifically designed to address redness, they burn my face so bad! The Honeyskin products I use are wonderful! Zero burning, ever. And honestly, my face has never felt better! Highly recommend!!!!” Noteworthy Ingredients: Manuka Honey, Organic Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Coconut Oil | Size: 16 fl. oz. Expert: Dr. Morgan Rabach, board-certified dermatologist at LM Medical. Don't miss a thing
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