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Why Your pH Level Is The Key To Lit-From-Within Skin

Debra Haugen
December 3, 2016
Debra Haugen
By Debra Haugen
mbg Contributor
Debra Haugen is the founder of Gemstone Organic. She has a masters in geological engineering from University of Minnesota.
December 3, 2016

A key to creating healthy, glowing skin is to bring your skin's pH back into balance. The outer layer of your skin, the acid mantle, is the protective layer that comes into contact with the world you live in. When it's healthy, it does an amazing job of protecting your skin from environmental factors such as pollution and bacteria; it secretes enzymes to break down excess sebum in the skin; it keeps your skin soft and supple; and it produces antigens close to the skin to boost your immune system and fight against the growth of bad bacteria. Bacteria, allergens, and foreign bodies find their way through your skin when the mantle is out of balance and cause trouble…once they get to your bloodstream, they create inflammation, allergies, and breakouts. A quick sign to let you know it is out of balance is when your skin feels tight or dry.

Our skin has a normal pH of 4.5 to 5.5, and women are known to have a more acidic mantle than men. Oily skin has a higher pH, making it more alkaline (due to the increased sebum) and is more susceptible to infection since bacteria can grow and develop in an alkaline environment. Bacteria does not like or thrive in acidic conditions. Dry skin has a more acidic pH and causes itching and inflammation. Everything that comes in contact with your skin (soaps, toners, lotions, wind, water, smoke) has a direct impact on the skin's pH. Our skin has natural mechanisms to bring it back into balance; however, we need to be sure we are treating it with products that support that balance so it is able to do its job.

So what are the ways that we break down our pH?

  • Over washing
  • Soaps and detergents
  • Tap water—the harder the water, the higher the pH
  • Extended sun exposure
  • A diet high in acidic foods

Four beautiful ways to bring your skin's pH back into balance:


The sweet nectar has an average pH of 4.0. Using honey as a cleanser or doing a honey masque has many benefits to the skin. Honey is known for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, and it is a humectant—meaning it attracts water and retains it in the skin, keeping the skin smooth and protecting it from dryness and premature wrinkles. It's also a great source of antioxidants to protect your skin from harsh UV rays. So eating honey and using it on your skin as a wash or a masque is a great way to support your glow and keep your skin pH balanced! Remember, using raw, organic honey is important—processing honey removes all the beautiful phytonutrients.


Hydrosols are organic, 100 percent high-vibrational plant waters! They contain active plant ingredients that help support skin hydration, soothe inflammation, promote cell regeneration, and balance sebum. They are low in pH and support your skin's barrier health by gently rebalancing your pH. In addition, they are a beautiful aromatherapy water that can positively influence your mood by connecting you to a plant, a place, and a season.

Apple cider vinegar

This magical kitchen ingredient is wonderful for the skin, which is why we use it in our Sunstone Lotion to keep your mantle healthy and pH balanced. Using a diluted solution of apple cider vinegar on your skin after your shower not only balances your pH, but it also eliminates odor-causing bacteria! Here's a super simple apple cider vinegar drink that tastes good, won't shoot your blood sugar through the roof, and that you'll actually look forward to having.


Look for moisturizers that will balance your skin's pH, and read the ingredients because alcohols are drying to the skin. New formulas are all about breathing life back into drained faces and created with waters that are the proper pH to keep your skin pH balanced. We use reverse osmosis water in our creams, because the process removes all the harsh chemicals and it has a pH of 4.5. Creams with a proper pH will absorb deeper and hold in the moisture longer—I like to think of them as "magic in a bottle".

Lastly, remember to be kind to your skin—you wear it every day.

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Debra Haugen

Debra Haugen is the founder and "Chief Alchemist" of Gemstone Organic, where she develops their advanced earth-based formulas. In her devotion to holistic healing Haugen also found her love for science and mathematics, leading her to pursue a degree in geological engineering. She received her masters from University of Minnesota. Haugen is also a engineering consultant, a Shamanic Reiki Practitioner and a skilled leader inside ceremony.