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 The Hydrolipidic Layer

To protect the skin against infection, irritation, allergic reactions and dehydration, the skin maintains an average pH value of 5.5. This pH is achieved by the body's own acidic secretions, such as perspiration, sebum (fatty secretions) and various hormones. This acidic quality of the skin creates what is known as the hydrolipidic layer, or acid mantle. In addition to protecting the skin from damaging micro-organisms and toxins in the environment, the hydrolipidic layer, located on the surface of the skin (the "acid mantle"), acts as a natural deodorant.

Though the bodyís immune system will always attempt to fight and eliminate infections on the surface of the skin, we can call the hydrolipidic layer the skinís preemptive immune system, because it prevents infection in the first place. However, millions of people everyday use common household soap to wash their bodies. Common bar soap has a pH value between 9 and 11. When soap comes into contact with our skin, its alkaline pH reverses the acidic qualities of the hydrolipidic layer, rendering the skin defenseless against the onset of infection.

 What happens when the acid mantle has been eliminated?

Once the skinís naturally occurring hydrolipidic layer has been neutralized by the use of common household soaps or detergents, the skin has lost its first line of defense against infection. It will take the most resilient skin two hours to recuperate from the negative chemical effects of a typical daily shower. On the other hand, sensitive skin can take as long as 36 hours to re-establish its normal pH of 5.5. To make matters worse, the use of off-the-shelf clothing detergents will extend the time it takes for skin to re-establish normal pH levels. Popular clothing detergents have pH values between 10 and 12, and a single rinse cycle following the wash does little to remove alkaline residue. For those with sensitive skin, a daily shower and clean clothing mean a never-ending battle with histamine response, be it from bacterial infection (acne), fungi, or a host of skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis.

 Is it possible to achieve clean and healthy skin?

By washing the skin with a pH-balanced cleanser, it is possible to remove dirt and oil without stripping the skinís hydrolipidic layer. KAVI offers a line of cleansing bars designed to augment the skinís acidic pH, eliminate bacterial and fungal growths, and clean the skin without causing the dryness or irritation common to traditional soaps.

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