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Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2015;28(6):290-5. doi: 10.1159/000439030. Epub 2015 Sep 1.

Impact of a Glycolic Acid-Containing pH 4 Water-in-Oil Emulsion on Skin pH.

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Department of Dermatology, University Medical Center Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.


The skin pH is crucial for physiological skin functions. A decline in stratum corneum acidity, as observed in aged or diseased skin, may negatively affect physiological skin functions. Therefore, glycolic acid-containing water-in-oil (W/O) emulsions adjusted to pH 4 were investigated regarding their effect on normal or increased skin pH. A pH 4 W/O emulsion was applied on three areas with pathologically increased skin surface pH in diabetics (n = 10). Further, a 28-day half-side trial (n = 30) was performed to test the long-term efficacy and safety of a pH 4 W/O emulsion (n = 30). In summary, the application of a pH 4 W/O emulsion reduced the skin pH in healthy, elderly and diabetic subjects, which may improve epidermal barrier functions.

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