11 Best Low pH Cleansers to Remove Impurities from Your Skin

Written by Anoushka Sinha, Skincare Coach & Writer
Updated on Feb 14, 2024
Low pH Cleansers to Take Good Care of Your Skin
Low pH Cleansers to Take Good Care of Your Skin
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Imagine your skin as a delicate ecosystem teeming with a variety of good and bad bacteria. Keeping the right balance is crucial for healthy skin. However, regular cleansers often disrupt this balance, causing problems like inflammation, dryness, and breakouts. That's where the best low pH cleansers swoop in to save the day! With their carefully formulated ingredients, these cleansers work synergistically with your skin's natural acid mantle, shielding it from external aggressors.

The physiological pH of the human body plays a pivotal role in a majority of processes necessary to life. In human’s organs, the pH level varies from 1 to 8. To be more precise, the outermost layer of the epidermis or stratum corneum’s pH ranges between 4.1 to 5.8 (1). On an average, the pH value of the skin’s surface is 4.7 (2). It is thus important to invest in skincare products that help you maintain the natural pH level of your skin. Our contributor Dr. Hamdan, an experienced dermatologist says, “Skin over different parts of the body has different pH levels. So to maintain the pH levels of the skin, the first thing you need to do is to identify which soap or cleanser will be ideal for the alkaline or acidity level.”

Today, in addition to cleansers, there is also a wide range of low-pH soaps or pH-balancing face washes available in the market. All of these skincare products are designed to balance your skin’s natural pH levels, maintain the efficacy of the barriers, and prevent over-drying of the skin. Cleansers, in specific, generally feature a gentle, mild, and skin-soothing formula that indirectly helps in taking good care of your skin. Our contributor Dr. Hamdan says, “pH level 7 is considered the neutral level and anything under that would count as acidic. Maintaining the pH levels is important to overall skin health and if you maintain it, you can fight dangerous microbes that will affect the aging process of your skin.” While talking about cleansing and its effects Dr. Surbhi Mahajan, an Aesthetic and Pediatric Dermatologist says, “Cleansing should always be mediocre so that it doesn’t strip off the natural moisturizing factors of skin and disturb the skin barrier. However, over-cleansing can increase acne and pigmentation.” For all those who wish to know more about cleansers, scroll down and check out our list of the top 7 cleansers that you should invest in. 

11 Best Low pH Cleansers

CeraVe has introduced a wide range of skincare products that are indeed a staple for healthy, smooth, and supple skin. And out of its massive list of products, we pulled out this foaming facial cleanser that comes with low pH levels. It is manufactured for those dealing with normal to oily skin. It is enriched with hyaluronic acid, 3 essential ceramides, and niacinamide that takes due care of your skin without disrupting your skin’s protective barriers.

Pros
  • Paraben-free
  • Fragrance-free
  • Oil-control formula
  • Non-drying effects
  • Developed by dermatologists
  • Maintains moisture balance
Cons
  • Unsatisfactory packaging
  • Best for Everyday Use

    COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

    COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
  • Refine your skin’s texture with Cosrx’s Good Morning Gel Cleanser that is specially crafted for dry, dull, and tired skin. It is a mild acidic cleanser that is loaded with Korean beauty secrets. The purifying botanical ingredients present in this cleanser religiously work towards refreshing, softening, and soothing your skin. It maintains the optimal 5.30 pH value of your skin and protects it from external irritants. With a gel-to-foam texture, this cleanser wakes you up to firmer-looking skin.

    Pros
    • Removes impurities
    • Safe for everyday use
    • Hydrates the skin fully
    • Protects skin barriers
    Cons
    • Might not suit very sensitive skin
  • Most Gentle

    Neutrogena ultra gentle hydrating cleanser

    Neutrogena ultra gentle hydrating cleanser
  • Here comes Neutrogena’s ultra gentle hydrating cleanser to make your skincare easy, quick, and effective. Crafted for dry and sensitive skin, this cleanser removes excess oil, dirt, grime, as well as makeup from your skin. This non-comedogenic creamy face wash is extra gentle and mild. It is free from parabens, soaps, and fragrances, and distinctively formulated with fewer ingredients and poly glycerine formula. This cleanser flawlessly suits your skin and helps in bidding adieu to skin concerns like rosacea, acne, and eczema.

    Pros
    • Dye-free
    • Hypoallergenic
    • Hydrates the skin
    • Developed by dermatologists
    • Shields the skin from external aggregators
    Cons
    • Feels greasy
  • Best for All Skin Types

    TULA SKIN CARE purifying skin cleanser

    TULA SKIN CARE purifying skin cleanser
  • Loaded with prebiotic extracts and other superfoods like white tea and turmeric, this cult-favorite gel-based cleanser ticks off all boxes when it comes to skincare. It purifies, clarifies, and balances the health status of your skin seamlessly. It improves skin texture by washing off bacteria, dirt, dust, makeup, and grime. Developed by dermatologists, it nourishes your skin and prevents overdrying. Over 98% of the users felt that this cleanser shrunk their pores and improved the condition of their skin.

    Pros
    • Sulfate-free
    • Paraben-free
    • Crafted for all ages
    • Suits all skin types
    • Boosts skin’s radiance
    Cons
    • Overwhelming scent
  • Best K-beauty Cleanser

    ETUDE SOON JUNG pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser

    ETUDE SOON JUNG pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser
  • Indulge in a whipped cream-textured cleanser to cleanse your skin thoroughly and make it look and feel squeaky. All thanks to Etude’s Soon Jung low pH level cleanser that moisturizes your skin in a mild and gentle way. This is the product that you need to experience the skin-enhancing features of K-beauty. It calms down irritated skin with its soft and mild bubbles and refreshes you. This cleanser is enriched with panthenol which is known for protecting your skin barrier and maintaining hydration). Another key ingredient is madecassoside which soothes the skin wonderfully.

    Pros
    • Easy to use
    • Hypoallergenic
    • Non-comedogenic
    • Takes care of sensitive skin
    Cons
    • Might make your skin dry
  • Best Cruelty-free

    touch glycolic acid cleanser

    touch glycolic acid cleanser
  • Cleanse away dirt and excess oil and restore the lost glory of your skin with Touch’s glycolic acid cleanser. It contains only 10% of glycolic acid and stands at a 1.8 pH value. In addition, it is also formulated with aloe vera, camellia, and matricaria. This cleanser is thus a gentle and mild surfactant that deeply cleanses your skin without making it dry. It reduces irritation and revitalizes your skin. For all those who wish for an ever-lasting glow, this is what you need to incorporate into your skincare regime.

    Pros
    • Cruelty-free
    • Softens the skin
    • Moisturizes deeply
    • Restores skin’s pH levels
    • Fights the effects of aging
    Cons
    • Watery consistency
  • Best Paraben-free

    PURITO Defence Barrier pH Cleanser

    PURITO Defence Barrier pH Cleanser
  • Add Purito’s cleanser to your AM and PM skincare regime and improve your skin’s health with ease. This cleanser protects the skin barriers, hydrates, and calms down stressed skin. It features a lightweight and gentle formula to suit sensitive as well as dry skin. Its gel-based texture with a 5.5 pH value comes with refreshing and natural ingredients, including centella extracts. Moreover, it softens your skin and leaves it moisturized.

    Pros
    • Unscented
    • Mild formula
    • Sulfate-free
    • Paraben-free
    • Phthalate Free
    Cons
    • Prone to leakage
  • Best for Acne-prone Skin

    SUR.MEDIC+ Azulene Soothing PH Cleanser

    SUR.MEDIC+ Azulene Soothing PH Cleanser
  • Made with a gentle formula that won't strip your skin of its natural moisture levels, this cleanser is designed to restore your skin's pH balance for a healthier and glowing complexion. Infused with guaiazulene, a natural ingredient that helps to soothe sensitive skin types, this facial cleanser is a must-have for anyone who struggles with skin sensitivity. Addedly, with its smooth, luxurious lather, it gently hydrates your skin while washing away impurities and leaving your skin feeling refreshed and revitalized. Whether you're dealing with dryness, redness, or other common skincare issues, this cleanser has you covered — leaving you with a healthier, more radiant complexion that you'll love.

    Pros
    • Hypoallergenic
    • Tested for skin irritation
    • Anti-aging
    • Soothing
    • Acne-prone skin-friendly
    Cons
    • Has a drying effect
  • Best Texture

    PYUNKANG YUL Calming Low pH Foaming Cleanser

    PYUNKANG YUL Calming Low pH Foaming Cleanser
  • Experience a gentle yet effective cleansing session with this foam-textured cleanser by PYUNKANG YUL. Its innovative formula contains white willow bark extracts and natural AHA-based ingredients, which work together to gently dissolve excess sebum and pore impurities, making your skin soft and smooth. For optimal hydration, it is also packed with 5 different types of hyaluronic acid that can quickly replenish your skin with the moisture it needs, leaving you with a deeply hydrated feeling after cleansing. Moreover, it is suitable for even the most sensitive skin types, so you can enjoy healthy-looking skin without any worries.

    Pros
    • Mild foam texture
    • Calming
    • Non-comedogenic
    • Clinically tested
    Cons
    • May be difficult to rinse
  • Best Anti-inflammatory

    DearKlairs Gentle Black Facial Cleanser

    DearKlairs Gentle Black Facial Cleanser
  • This indulgent low-pH cleanser is formulated with a powerful blend of luxurious Black Complex ingredients such as truffles, blackberries, black bean, and black cumin extracts to leave your skin looking and feeling fabulous. Together, these ingredients work synergistically to enhance your skin's condition, providing a boost of hydration, powerful antioxidants, and a soothing effect. Addedly, with a gentle pH level of 5.5, it efficiently removes impurities while retaining essential moisture to promote healthy, nourished skin. To top it all, its velvety-smooth, creamy texture envelops your skin in a hydrating embrace, providing a soothing and calming effect for all skin types.

    Pros
    • Anti-inflammatory
    • Calming effect
    • Natural ingredients
    • Protects skin barrier
    • Great scent
    Cons
    • May leave skin feeling dry
  • SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule Foam

    SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule Foam
  • This foaming cleanser is not your average face wash. With its slightly acidic formula, boasting a pH of 5, it ensures that your skin remains balanced and healthy. What sets this cleanser apart from the rest is its ability to create a luxuriously rich and delicate foam. With every use, you will experience a sensation of pure indulgence, as the soft and hydrating finish leaves your skin feeling refreshed and moisturized. One of the key ingredients in this incredible product is the centella ampoule, comprising an impressive 30% of the formula. Lastly, known for its soothing and balancing properties, it ensures that your skin remains calm and revitalized.

    Pros
    • Strengthens skin barrier
    • Deep cleansing
    • Removes sebum and dead skin cells
    • Improves dull skin
    • Clinically tested
    Cons
    • Unappealing scent

    This was our comprehensive list of skin cleansers with low pH levels that enhance your skin’s elasticity and promote better skin health. These cleansers are gentle and do not strip off your skin’s natural moisture or oil. To know how to choose and use one, keep scrolling.

    What to Consider When Buying a Low pH Cleanser?

    Here are a few aspects that you need to consider while purchasing some good quality low ph facial cleansers for everyday use. 

    Skin Type: Always consider your skin type before splurging on a low ph face wash or ph balanced facial cleanser. Choose a product that is specially formulated for your skin type. Some cleansers are specially crafted for oily, sensitive, dry, or acne-prone skin whereas some are meant for all skin types. To prevent any reaction, pick one that is meant for your skin only. People with sensitive skin should vouch for a gentle cleanser whereas the ones with oily or combination skin can rely on a sebum-balancing cleanser. Lastly, dry skin folks can invest in moisturizing or hydrating cleansers.  

    Ingredients: Paying heed to the list of ingredients is of utmost importance especially when your skin reacts immediately to them or requires additional nourishment. Those possessing dry skin must choose a low-pH cleanser with moisturizing and hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid. On the other hand, people dealing with oily skin should rely on cleansers that are infused with oil-controlling or oil-free ingredients. Lastly, the ones with sensitive skin should choose a cleanser that contains non-toxic and non-irritating ingredients. Moreover, avoiding chemical-infused cleansers is always advisable. 

    pH Levels: Make sure you check the pH levels of the cleanser that you are planning to buy. This information might help you to analyze the results well in advance. Products ranging between 5.5 to 6.5 are highly recommended. They help in maintaining your skin’s acid mantle.

    Formula: Ensure that your cleanser has a clean formula and contains no harmful or chemical-based ingredients as they might worsen your skin concerns (if any). Always pick a ph balanced cleanser for the face that is cruelty, paraben, and sulfate free.  

    Type of Cleanser: Various types of cleansers can be distinguished as per their texture or consistency. Cleansers are available in gel, water, foam, and cream-based textures. Each of them features distinct properties to serve what your skin type needs. Foam-based cleansers generally lather well and suit oily skin as they help in washing off deeply seated impurities, grime, and control oil. On the other hand, cream-based cleansers are more nourishing and gentle on the skin.   

    After taking note of these 5 essential aspects, roll your eyes over and learn how to use the best low pH cleanser for desired results.

    How to Use a Low pH Cleanser?

    Following are steps to use a high-grade and well-crafted ph face cleanser for smooth and squeaky clean skin. 

    Step 1: Use a cleanser in the morning to clean your face and always take off your applied makeup before cleansing your face at night. You can use makeup removers, cleansing wipes, or cleansing water for easy removal of the applied layer. 

    Step 2: Wet your face. Pour a sufficient quality cleanser on your palms. Begin applying the cleanser. Do not forget your neck or near-the-ear areas. 

    Step 3: Gently massage your face in circular motions for a minimum of 25 to 40 seconds. Let your cleanser lather well. Focus on areas like the neck, jawline, ears, nose, upper lips, etc. 

    Step 4: Rinse your face with lukewarm water and pat dry with a microfibre towel.

    Step 5: Apply a moisturizer or serum to moisturize your skin.

    Contributors
    1. Dr. Surbhi Mahajan, Aesthetic and Pediatric Dermatologist

    2. Dr. Vindya Raparla, Dermatologist

    3. Dr. Hamdan, Dermatologist - PowerYourCurls

    Conclusion

    In this contemporary era, it becomes all the way more important to rely on low pH cleansers to maintain the pink health of your skin. Such cleansers not only wash away bacteria and impurities but also moisturize your skin. Additionally, maintaining the pH levels of your skin is vital for determining its health. Hence, you should choose your cleansers carefully. Also, you must take note of a tip from Dr. Vindya Raparla, which reads, “There is no one best ingredient for deep cleansing. It depends on what your skin type and concerns are. Don’t use a product because it’s famous. See if your skin needs it!” So, look no further and bring home the best cleanser to revitalize your skin to the maximum. Happy Shopping!

    FAQ's

    Is a low pH cleanser good for sensitive skin?
    Yes. Low pH cleansers do not dry or irritate sensitive skin.
    Who should use a low pH cleanser?
    People dealing with rosacea, acne, and very sensitive skin should use low pH cleansers.
    Are high pH cleansers bad for skin?
    High pH cleansers can be harsh on the skin's natural barrier, stripping away its protective oils and causing dryness and irritation. It's important to use a pH-balanced cleanser to maintain healthy skin.
    How can you know when a cleanser has a low pH?
    When a cleanser has a low pH, it can be indicated by its mildness on the skin, as it helps to maintain the skin's natural acidic barrier, leaving it feeling refreshed and balanced. Additionally, looking for key ingredients such as butylene glycol, citric acid or lactic acid on the product label can also signal a low pH cleanser.

    Why Trust Pinkvilla

    Anoushka, our in-house skincare expert, says that low-pH cleansers are formulated to sustain the natural acidic balance of the skin. They assist in preserving the protective barrier of the skin, averting the loss of moisture or any skin irritation from occurring. After giving all the products a try for a few weeks, she was most impressed with CeraVe’s Foaming Facial Cleanser. Enriched with the goodness of hyaluronic acid and niacinamide, it took good care of her skin while offering cleansing properties at the same time. Its unscented formula and non-drying effect were an added bonus.

    Our product experts study the specifications of every product we suggest and try them out to bring what’s proven to be worthy of your money, time, and energy. We also have subject matter experts from various fields like Fashion, Skincare, Haircare, Home Decor, and Health & Fitness onboard to make sure our suggestions are credible and trustworthy. You can trust Pinkvilla to be your faithful shopping guide for all the right reasons!

    1. pH in nature, humans and skin

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29863755/ 

    2. Natural skin surface pH is on average below 5, which is beneficial for its resident flora

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18489300/

    Author BIO
    reviewer
    Anoushka Sinha
    Skincare Coach & Writer

    Anoushka is certified in Professional Skincare and is a Mass Media (Journalism) graduate from Mumbai University. As a More