February 13, 2008

The topic of pH levels in soap came up over on the forum and I thought, why not post about it here too.

I remember when I first started soaping I knew nothing abouth pH. I learned straight out of a Sandy Maine book (if you want to learn to make soap her books are perfect). I don't know where along the line I learned about pH but it wasn't very long after I started to make soap that I learned how important it was.

I always shoot for a pH of 6-7 when I make soap. I usually get my pH strips from SNOWDRIFT FARM and they have a really good explanation of the pH levels/color codes on the back of their container which makes it very helpful to know what range your soap should be in.

I also found this article that explains the bodies pH:

One of the most important roles of our skin is to protect our ‘insides’ from the external environment, acting both as a barrier and a filter between ‘outside’ and ‘inside’. In addition, the skin is involved in regulating our body’s temperature, like when we have a fever or we’re physically working hard, we tend to sweat, which is the body’s way to attempt to lower the temperature.

Another important role of our skin is to protect us from harmful substances entering our body, and in eliminating toxins. This takes workload off our Liver and Kidneys to filter out by-products from our body’s metabolism. The skin also breathes!

Hormones, Sweat glands and pH

The pores of our skin are made up of a combination of oil and sweat glands (sebaceous and sudoriferous glands) helping to keep our skin healthy and elastic. An excessive sebum secretion is often associated with oily skin and acne. This is particularly common in adolescents as the increased levels of sex hormones stimulate sebum production and secretion. When in balance, the combined excretion of oil and sweat from the skin’s pores has a pH of about 5.5.

Nappily Evah Aftah said...

When I use basic, run-of-the-mill pH strips, I go up two numbers, because those strips aren't (so I've been told, and have read) the best indicators of pH levels in soap.

There are strips, that are more accurate, but they're pretty pricey too.

So, my goal is to get the strip to register at "7", and then I know that it's closer to 8 or 9, in actuality.

Michelle said...

Thank you NEA for the additional info. Your right, I read something in Create the Dream a while back about pH strips and their accuracy. Thank you for pointing that out!!