"pH-balanced” is a common advertising tool in the health and beauty industry so it's easy to ignore and purchase a product regardless of its pH. However, when it comes to skin and hair, pH levels do make a difference.
pH ranges from 1 to 14, with 7 being neutral (water). Anything below 7 is acidic and anything above is alkaline. Skin has a pH level of about 5. So skin is slightly acidic. The acid helps your skin to retain moisture and encourages beneficial microbes to colonise. It also keeps harmful microbes out. In order to maintain the skin's fatty protective layer, hair and body products should have a pH level as close to that of the skin itself. Products that are too alkaline will break up the acid protective layer causing dryness and sensitivity.
Soap, especially bar soap, typically has a pH level of between 9 and 12. This is extremely alkaline and strips the outer layer of the skin of natural oils and also disrupts the microbes on the skin’s surface. This is a major contributor to skin sensitivity. If a product claims “pH-balanced” it may mean that the pH is set at 7 or 8. This does not necessarily mean it is the ideal pH for skin. It merely means it is kept at a specific pH. Africa Organics products are all pH balanced at between 4.5 and 5.5. i.e. they match that of skin. This ensures that beneficial microbes can colonise and skin is not stripped or left dry.