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Acid Test, The pH of Baby Skin

You may not have given a lot of thought to the pH of your skin, but your body’s largest organ is also your first line of defense against contaminants. When the acidity levels on your skin are out of whack, it can lead to dryness, infection, or even skin disease.

 Balancing Act

Every day our bodies perform an amazing balancing act. For most healthy people, our skin pH is slightly acidic, ranging from 4.5 to 6 pH, which is just right to help fight off bacteria and other unwanted microorganisms. The closer to neutral 7.0 pH our skin gets, the more likely we are to have skin problems like acne or other inflammations.

The pH of newborn skin is usually close to neutral but quickly changes to acidic, which helps protect their delicate skin from microbes and supports the maturing of the outer layer of skin, known as the epidermis. This rapid change is likely a contributing factor to baby acne. For delicate preemies with very thin skin that’s still growing, this change means even more exposure to microbes and toxins in the environment.

Combine baby’s skin working overtime to lower its pH with an environment of mommy’s hormones plus the major move from amniotic sac to an air environment, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for a classic skin imbalance—baby acne.

As long as you treat their skin gently with pH neutral products, this imbalance will correct itself, giving baby back their smooth perfect skin.

But preemies may need a little extra support, and using products like our BEB Organic line made with healthy ingredients not only soothe and protect but also nourish her skin.

Low Maintenance

The high acidity of most soap on the market today is why daily baths with regular soap are not recommended for infants. With a pH that’s close to 8 or 9, regular soaps can damage the equilibrium of baby skin.

They wash away the natural oils, creating skin with an imbalanced pH that's at greater risk of dryness or infection. 

But all of our BEB Organic cleansers are skin-neutral, with an approximate pH of 5.5—the ideal pH for baby’s skin.

In today’s environment of chlorinated water, it is important to nourish the skin after cleansing, then defend it from losing its precious oils. BEB Organic moisturizer like Silky Cream – rich with coconut, avocado, and other oils full of essential fatty acids – help correct the skin’s pH balance while replenishing much-needed protective oils.

 Even if you’re using only plain water to cleanse baby skin or face, applying a moisturizer like Silky Cream afterward helps replenish the protective layer that has been washed away (even plain water has a pH that is too high for baby skin).

 Litmus Test

Being aware of the ingredients and pH levels in the grooming products you use on your baby can go a long way towards helping prevent problems.

Baby skin already tends to be dry and to not produce enough oil on its own for ample protection in today’s environment. But some products make the problem worse.

Just because a product is labeled “For Baby” doesn’t mean it’s right for their skin. For example: Castile soap has a very high pH of almost 9, even if the label says ‘Baby’ on it. This can dry a baby’s skin and strip the natural oils from the skin’s surface. Without the oils, a baby’s skin is at greater risk of bacterial infections and dehydration.

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), one of the most common surfactants in many other brands of soap and cleansers, can be too aggressive and has been attributed to a variety of negative effects in your baby’s still-growing body. Products made with sodium laurel sulfate are much more irritating to the eyes than the gentle surfactants we use in our BEB Organic products. 

Make sure you are only using products, like our Bubbly Wash, without potentially irritating pH levels or and potentially harmful chemicals.

 Tear Free

One of the most confusing marketing efforts used to promote baby washes today is the idea that a baby shampoo or wash should be “tear-free.” Many major manufacturers claim their products won’t cause tearing. But let’s think about that for a moment.

Your ocular fluids (and your baby’s) contain more water than other parts of the body, and that pH is close to a neutral pH of 7. The reason shampoos and other cleansers can make you tear is often because of this difference in pH.

Tearing is the body’s natural response to a foreign substance in the eye. A substance with a pH other than neutral is foreign to the eye—including baby wash and baby shampoo.

This simple protective mechanism – tearing – serves to flush the eye of the foreign substance, protecting it from possible harm.

It is important to know if foreign matter is getting into the eye area because it could cause damage. If baby doesn’t complain, you may not know how much shampoo is getting into their eyes.

If the eye doesn’t tear, the body’s natural protective mechanisms are not functioning properly. In fact, in the medical community, a tear-free eye is referred to as a disease state called “dry eye.”

BEB Organic Bubbly Wash won't sting the eyes, has been ocular tested for safety and is eye-safe, meaning it is not harmful if it accidentally gets into the eye area.

The bottom line is:

1) There are more gentle surfactants available for use in baby cleansers than SLSs.

2) If something foreign gets into the eye, it should tear.



  3. American Hospital Formulary Service. Volumes I and II. Washington, DC: American Society of Hospital Pharmacists, to 1984. p. 84:20
  4. Grant, W. M. Toxicology of the Eye. 2nd ed. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas, 1974. p. 964
  5. Blondeel, A. et al; Contact Dermatitis. 4(5) 270 (1978)
    American Medical Association, AMA Department of Drugs, AMA Drug Evaluations. 3rd ed. Littleton, Massachusetts: PSG Publishing Co., Inc., 1977. p. 896



Bubbly Wash In The Know Silky Cream

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