Background: The pH of the stratum corneum (SC) in the elderly is elevated and linked to impaired SC function. Therefore, this paper addresses the question of whether acidic skin care generates positive clinical, biophysical, and microbiological effects in aged skin. Methods: This study was performed to assess skin care effects in nursing home residents (aged 80-97 years). Visual, biophysical, and microbiological methods were used. Subjects were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups and treated over 7 weeks with skin care products adjusted to a pH of 4.0 (group A) or a pH of 6.0 (group B). Results: Compared to baseline, SC integrity improved significantly in group A (p = 0.007), whereas there was no change in group B (p = 0.672). SC recovery 24 h after perturbation increased significantly in group A (p = 0.004) compared to baseline. The SC recovery in group B was not significant compared to baseline (p = 0.327). Conclusion: 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. In addition, effects on skin dryness and resident flora were demonstrated, but without significant differences, between the 2 groups. Based on these results, we recommend adjustment of skin care products for the elderly to a pH of 4.0 to maintain the health of aged skin.

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