The concept of the acid mantle of the skin: its relevance for the choice of skin cleansers

Dermatology. 1995;191(4):276-80. doi: 10.1159/000246568.


Whereas soap has long been the only cleansing agent, a new generation of cleansers, the so-called synthetic detergents or syndets, has been developed during the last decades. They offer a wide variety of formulations and are therefore becoming more and more important for cleansing of diseased and healthy skin. Among the syndets, especially those with a pH of about 5.5 seem to be relevant. In contrast to alkaline soap, they do not interfere with the cutaneous microflora, whose composition is linked to the skin surface pH. As their irritancy potential might be even lower than that of soap, the benefit-to-risk ratio of syndets appears favorable.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acids / chemistry
  • Alkalies / chemistry
  • Dermatologic Agents / chemistry
  • Dermatologic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Detergents / chemistry
  • Detergents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Irritants / chemistry
  • Skin / metabolism*
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Skin Care*
  • Soaps / chemistry
  • Soaps / therapeutic use


  • Acids
  • Alkalies
  • Dermatologic Agents
  • Detergents
  • Irritants
  • Soaps