Our skin is an amazing organ and it probably does much more then we give it credit for. As the body’s largest organ, human skin is responsible for:
EXCRETION (the skin eliminates sweat, salt, and wastes from the body, therefore helping remove toxins from the internal systems).
SENSATION (feelings generated by the nerve endings just under the outer layer of the skin make you aware of heat, cold, touch, pain and pressure. The reaction to a sensation is called a reflex).
RESPIRATION (to breathe, the skin takes in oxygen through its pores and releases carbon dioxide).
HYDRATION (The skin contains water to keep itself soft and supple. It secretes perspiration and an oily, sebaceous fluid that maintains the skin’s moisture balance).
ABSORPTION (the skin permits certain substances like water and oxygen to pass through its tissues)
REGULATION (the skin helps maintain the body’s temperature).
PROTECTION (the skin shields your body from the direct impact of heat, cold, bacteria, and other aspects of the environment that could be detrimental to your health).
SYNTHESIS: production of "Vitamin D" by the action of UV is another major function of the skin.
Skin pH and Acid Mantle
Sweat is a salty, watery solution produced by sweat glands, numerous microscopic channels opening onto the skin surface. As sebum and sweat mix up on the skin surface, they form a protective layer often referred to as the acid mantle. Acid mantle has a particular level of acidity characterized by pH from about 4 to 5.5. A pH of 7 is considered neutral, above 7 is alkaline, and below is acidic. The skin secretes sebum (oil) and sweat (99% water and 1% salt, uric acid, urea, ammonia and lactic acid).
This combination of oil and water makes up our ACID MANTEL. In addition to helping protect skin from "the elements" (such as wind or pollutants), acid mantle also inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi. If acid mantle is disrupted or loses its acidity, the skin becomes more prone to damage and infection. The loss of acid mantle is one of the side-effects of washing the skin with detergents soaps or detergents facial cleansers of moderate or high strength.