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

  title={Natural skin surface pH is on average below 5, which is beneficial for its resident flora},
  author={Hans Lambers and Sofie Piessens and Anna Bloem and H Pronk and Peter Finkel},
  journal={International Journal of Cosmetic Science},
Variable skin pH values are being reported in literature, all in the acidic range but with a broad range from pH 4.0 to 7.0. In a multicentre study (N = 330), we have assessed the skin surface pH of the volar forearm before and after refraining from showering and cosmetic product application for 24 h. The average pH dropped from 5.12 ± 0.56 to 4.93 ± 0.45. On the basis of this pH drop, it is estimated that the ‘natural’ skin surface pH is on average 4.7, i.e. below 5. This is in line with… 

Treatment of Aged Skin with a pH 4 Skin Care Product Normalizes Increased Skin Surface pH and Improves Barrier Function: Results of a Pilot Study

Reduction of the increased baseline skin surface pH of the elderly is accompanied by improved epidermal barrier integrity, which normalizes to the physiological pH of 4.5 - 5.0.

Acidification of the Skin and Maintenance of the Physiological Skin pH Value by Buffered Skin Care Products Formulated around pH 4

Results show that buffered skin care products formulated to a pH ≤ 4.5 are able to acidify and maintain physiological skin pH and may contribute to a physiological skin function.

The Relation of pH and Skin Cleansing.

For cosmetic-relevant skin conditions, skin disorders and specific consumer groups, maintaining of the acidic ss-pH is beneficial for epidermal physiology and cutaneous microflora, and cleansing and skin care products with a pH level of 4.0-5.0 may be helpful.

Impact of a pH 5 Oil-in-Water Emulsion on Skin Surface pH

The tested pH 5 O/W emulsion seems to improve regeneration and stabilization of pHss, which is a physiologically acidic pH that can be restored by topical formulations.

Impact of Age and Body Site on Adult Female Skin Surface pH

Adult pHSS on the forehead, the temple and the volar forearm increases slightly with age, which is crucial for adapting medical skin care products.

Skin Surface pH in Acne Vulgaris: Insights from an Observational Study and Review of the Literature.

Increased facial skin pH in patients with acne at basal conditions mirrors a chronic state of stratum corneum instability, which could be predisposing individuals to acne occurrence and/or recurrences.

A Commercially Available Skin Care Lotion with a pH of 4.5 and 10% Urea Improves Skin Surface pH, Stratum Corneum Hydration and Epidermal Barrier Function in Subjects with Dry Skin and Atopic Diathesis

The present marketed skin care lotion was shown to increase epidermal barrier function after 4 weeks of application and Balancing and controlling the skin surface pH in subjects with dry and atopic-prone skin by application of the herein tested o/w emulsion in combination with a 10% urea content seems to be effective and beneficial.

Significant Reduction of Body Odor in Older People with a pH 4.0 Emulsion

A pH 4.0 water in oil emulsion significantly reduced axillary malodor in 44 elderly subjects at 8 and 24 h after treatment, compared with controls (untreated axilla) and this reduction in malodor is very likely due to a reduction of odor-producing bacteria.

A comparison of physicochemical properties of a selection of modern moisturizers: hydrophilic index and pH.

HI is introduced as a novel method of quantifying the aqueous content of topical emollients that can guide providers in choosing the most suitable emollient for patients with skin diseases involving altered acid mantle and barrier disruption, such as atopic dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis and ichthyosis vulgaris.

A Long-Term Study to Evaluate Acidic Skin Care Treatment in Nursing Home Residents: Impact on Epidermal Barrier Function and Microflora in Aged Skin

Long-term treatment with pH 4.0 skin care results in a significant improvement in epidermal barrier function compared to identical products with a pH of 6.0, and is recommended to maintain the health of aged skin.



The effect of detergents on skin pH and its consequences.

Differences in the skin surface pH and bacterial microflora due to the long-term application of synthetic detergent preparations of pH 5.5 and pH 7.0. Results of a crossover trial in healthy volunteers.

Even minor differences in the pH of skin cleansing preparations seem to be of importance for the integrity of the skin surface, which should be taken into account when planning the formulation of optimal skin care products.

In vivo studies concerning a pH gradient in human stratum corneum and upper epidermis.

The healing process after tape stripping was studied by determining pH and transepidermal water loss in 5 persons over a period of 14 days, and the importance of the re-established pH gradient is discussed in relation to the many pH-dependent enzymes operating in stratum corneum.

EEMCO Guidance for the in vivo Assessment of Skin Surface pH

Although it is usually agreed that the pH of the skin surface may influence the cutaneous microflora, much remains to be learnt about the role of the acid mantle of theskin with regard to defensins and other protective mechanisms.

Females have lower skin surface pH than men

  • C. EhlersU. IvensM. MøllerT. SenderovitzJ. Serup
  • Medicine
    Skin research and technology : official journal of International Society for Bioengineering and the Skin (ISBS) [and] International Society for Digital Imaging of Skin (ISDIS) [and] International Society for Skin Imaging
  • 2001
The aim of the study was to investigate gender related differences, differences between right and left arms, anatomical variation and daytime variation in skin surface pH.

Stratum corneum pH: Formation and Function of the ‘Acid Mantle’

The consequences of SC acidification for several key SC functions are becoming clear, including the role of an acidic pH for SC permeability barrier homeostasis, the pH dependence of extracellular lipid processing and SC integrity/cohesion.

Measurement of skin pH.

The knowledge of the skin surface pH-acid mantle is updated and the conviction that chronic alkalinization is damaging has been strengthened and the need for extensive infrastructural research and evaluation by non-parametric methods is emphasized.

A comparative review of cutaneous pH.

There is evidence that a cutaneous pH gradient activates pH-dependent enzymes involved in the process of keratinization, and cutaneous acidity may protect the skin against infection by microbes.

The Acidic Milieu of the Horny Layer

Changes in the pH and the organic factors influencing it appear to play a role, not only in the pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of irritant contact dermatitis, but also of atopic dermatitis and ichthyosis and in wound healing.

Effect of prolonged occlusion on the microbial flora, pH, carbon dioxide and transepidermal water loss on human skin.

The effects of prolonged occlusion on the normal microbial skin flora, pH, transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and carbon dioxide emission rate (CDER) were studied. The total average counts before