The pH of your skincare

If you follow me, you already know how crucial the pH of your skincare is for the physiology of your skin. I invite you to read my blog post on the skin barrier and my Kbeauty double cleansing post to have an in-depth view of the topic. 

Today article is on testing the pH of your skincare. I have chosen three water-based cleansers, one essence that I’m currently testing (I will do a review on it), one functional essence and finally a fantastic serum. 

How to evaluate the pH of your skincare

To assess the pH, I use pH paper. It is an easy, convenient and cheap way of doing it. You dip a piece of paper into a liquid and check the color. Each color corresponds to a pH. This method is in no way precise and gives you an idea of the pH. It won’t work correctly if the liquid is not transparent or for creams.  

Having positive controls in any kind of experiment is necessary. My two positive controls are white vinegar and soap. To measure the pH of the vinegar, I  poured some of it into a cup and dipped a piece of pH paper and as you can see the pH is of 2. For the soap, I wetted the soap with some water and obtained a pH of 9. 

Eucerin pH5 shower oil: 

eucerin pH5 shower oil

To my knowledge, it is one of the few shower cleansers that is an hybrid between an oil and a water-based cleanser. 

The main ingredients of this formula are Soja oil (glycine soja oil), two surfactants (Laureth 4 and MIPA-Laureth sulfate) and castor oil (Ricinus Communis Seed Oil).  

This shower oil is a staple of my everyday skincare routine. It cleanses thoroughly but remains mild and not stripping on the skin. I use it has a shower cleanser, a hand washes and from time to time as a face cleanser. If you are on a tight budget, I strongly recommend it as an all over cleanser. 

I tested the pH of the formula mixed with water and obtained a pH of 6.  

Glow recipe Blueberry bounce gel cleanser: 

Glow recipe Blueberry bounce gel cleanser

I have already mentioned this lovely gel cleanser. It is my current obsession. The texture is silky and beautifully glides onto the skin. It is a « true” water-based cleansers in the sense that it does not contain any lipids (aka oils). The surfactants used, is Palm Kernel/Coco Glucoside a derivative of coconut. Coco glucoside is in the mildest surfactant category. The rest of the formula is mind-blowing. It contains antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, plant extracts, beta glucan and licorice to soothe the skin. This water-based cleanser is formulated as a serum. One word amazing! 

The pH I obtained mixed with water is 6   

Bioderma Créaline H20 Solution micellaire: 

Bioderma Créaline H20 Solution micellaire

What an iconic product and it is French ! Like me 😉 Bioderma is the inventor of the Eau micellaire (micellar water). It uses a mild detergent (capric glycerides) that organizes itself into micelles. A micelle is a sort of tiny “ball” that gently cleans the skin. To use it you drench a cotton pad with the micellar water and swipe it all over the face. If you use it to remove makeup, gently press the cotton pad for 5 to 10 seconds on the area where the makeup is the most concentrate and then lightly rub. Micellar water can be used as a first cleanser or second cleanser, or as a gentle cleanser in the morning.  I do recommend to rinse it. You can use tap water or a tonner (alcohol-free) with a cotton pad.

The pH of the micellar lotion is of 6.    

Neogen Real ferment Micro essence: 

Neogen Real ferment Micro essence

This essence is exclusive to Sokoglam. I am a huge fan of this website. The service is fantastic, the website is well constructed, informative (full list of ingredients!), and display a lot of interesting product. This essence is based on fermented ingredients. This essence contains Bifida ferment lysate and saccharomyces ferment lysate. I explain in my review of the Missha time revolution night repair serum article, what are those beasts.  

This essence has the consistency of toner and has a pH of 6. Use this essence just after cleansing your skin to bring back the surface of your skin to a friendly pH.  

By Whistrend Mandelic acid 5% skin prep:

By Whistrend Mandelic acid 5% skin prep

This acid toner is so well formulated. It contains mandelic acid (as an exfoliator) and many skin-soothing ingredients among them Centella Asiatica, beta glucan, panthenol, licorice…. This formula is perfection! 

The pH of this skin-prep is of 5. Mandelic acid solutions tend to have a pH higher than glycolic acid one that are around 3. Mandelic acid is an excellent acid to include if you have sensitive skin or if you are using retinol in your nighttime routine. I have many hacks with this product that I will share in the future. 

By Whistrend Pure vitamin C 21.5% advanced serum:

by wishtrend Pure Vitamin C 21.5% Advanced Serum

The last product is one of my favorite serum the pure vitamin C 21,5%. This serum contains the natural form of vitamin C named L-ascorbic acid.  The pH of L-ascorbic serum is essential for the stability of vitamin C, and it has to be in the range of 3. The By Wishtrend serum has a pH of 4. It is an affordable vitamin C serum, well formulated. Wishtrend always ships « fresh » serum. I never had an oxidize serum delivered.    



As a general rule, all you cosmetics has to be at pH6 or less. Acids are used to exfoliate the skin. These are wonderful ingredients that do wonders when correctly used but do not abuse them. However, don’t ever used products with a pH higher than 6. 

Where to get them: 

  • pH paper: click me
  • Eucerin pH5 shower oil: click me 
  • Glow recipe Blueberry bounce gel cleanser: click me
  • Bioderma Créaline H20 Solution micellaire: click me 
  • Neogen Real ferment Micro essence: click me
  • By Whistrend Mandelic acid 5% skin prep: click me
  • By Whistrend Pure vitamin C 21.5% advanced serum: click me 


Thank you for reading me. 

A bientôt 😉 


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