Neutralizing one’s skin is easier than what we actually think, according to skin care specialists. Determining one’s skin’s status can even things out and score a radiant complexion.

“For the most part, you can determine the pH level of your own skin by its behaviour. Having a dry and fragile skin should be an indicator of its alkalinity while irritated, and acne-prone means it’s overly acidic. Bearing in mind that a balanced skin pH is a must have and will determine the health of your skin,” Gahongayire says.

Dr Elisha Agaba, a dermatologist in Kigali, advises that although having a good moisturiser contributes to having a good skin, sometimes use of certain products can have an immense effect on the skin.

“We should build on science and not personal confidence. Dermatologists can best determine the physiology of the skin and how it is working. It’s important for one to first consult the dermatologist because skin care is a specialty that they are best conversant with,” Agaba says.

Most soaps tend to be alkaline, which means that they have a higher pH. Having this level of pH means that they can leave the skin feeling a little dry and sensitive. Try to level this out with a good toner, or by using a cleanser that promises to balance the skin’s pH levels.

“Going for products that are not suitable for your skin type will dry up the skin and cause a defect on the skin. As far as external treatments go, it’s good to be mindful of formulae and ingredients. Considering oil or gel-based cleansers can be a solution to dry skin,” Agaba adds.

Gahongayire also explains that our lifestyle influences our pH. Things like a poor diet, too much alcohol, and too little exercise all contribute to our internal and external pH. A body with an alkaline pH functions much like a well-oiled machine.

“Aging should not be a concern because as long as one has a balanced diet and uses the right products, their skin will be healthy enough to resist any irritation. Your body is a system, and the things you put inside it affect the way it looks on the outside. To this end, a healthy diet can help balance your skin’s pH. Vegetables, fruits and plenty of water are highly recommended,” she says.