Why is it important to have pH5.5? / HARTMANN Information Centre

The HARTMANN Team

Why is it important to have pH5.5?

HARTMANN Moli® products are the only continence care products on the market to have the technology to be able to match the skin’s natural pH level.

The skin surface is covered by a protection layer, called a hydro lipid film. This protection layer is water-repellent and at the same time prevents the loss of moisture from the skin.

The skin has many important purposes including:

  • Protecting against bacteria
  • Regulating temperature control through the sweat glands
  • Acting as a sensory organ (for example touch, heat, and pain)
  • Absorbing certain substances (such as medicines)

How does incontinence contribute to skin and tissue damage?

  • When urine and faeces are in contact with the protection layer (hydro lipid film) of the skin, the risk of bacterial invasion is increased
  • Urine soaked skin is softened and is more porous to bacteria
  • Excoriation (damage to the surface of the skin) and rashes may occur
  • Shearing (twisting) forces are made worse when the skin is damp or moist
  • As people age the skin becomes thinner, loses elasticity and is more easily damaged
Healthy acid mantle
  • Healthy skin has a slightly acidic value of pH 5.5.
  • The acid mantle is an acidic film on the surface of the skin that acts as a barrier to bacteria, fungi, and other infections.
Weakened acid mantle
  • Skin pH naturally increases with age (up to 6.0).
  • Urine, faeces and sweat may increase skin pH up to pH 8.0.
  • Increased pH is associated with a breakdown of the acid mantle, potentially allowing bacteria to penetrate the skin which may lead to incontinence associated dermatitis or other skin damage.

HARTMANN Moli® products contain technology built into the three-part absorbent core, particularly in the curly fibres. These fibres contain chemicals which neutralise the acidity cause by ammonia in urine and help to lock the urine quickly into the absorbent core.

A recent study found that absorbent products containing curly fibre significantly lower pH of skin exposed to an alkaline solution (with pH similar to urine/faeces) while standard absorbent products do not.


Blaak et al., Treatment of Aged Skin with a pH 4 Skin Care Product Normalizes Increased Skin Surface pH and Improves Barrier Function: Results of a Pilot Study; Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, 2011, 1, 50 – 58

Bliss et al., Absorbent Briefs Containing Curly Fiber Lower (Acidify) Skin pH Reducing Risk for Incontinence Associated Skin Damage in Older Nursing Home Residents; WOCN Conference Symposium 2016