What is Corneotherapy?

Epidermis and Dermis x10

Corneotherapy is the science of the epidermal skin barrier defence systems. It is the foundation of remedial methodologies that repair skin while preserving the integrity of the epidermis at all times.

In other words, it is the science of restoring and maintaining healthy skin; and it’s central to the philosophy of dermaviduals.

Corneotherapy takes the science of cosmeceuticals one step further. It could be argued that corneotherapy is the skin care concept of the future. Another way of thinking of it is that it provides the link between dermatology and cosmetics. Essentially, corneotherapy moves above and beyond conventional cosmeceuticals and skin treatments.

Some key points include:

  • Aims at the recovery of the stratum corneum
  • Improves the function of the skin barrier
  • Restores natural barrier
  • Outside in therapy
  • Physiological therapy
  • Customised, pure, active
  • Improves overall homeostasis of the skin
  • Protects from Irritants and allergens
  • Individually adapts the skin care to the specific skin problem
Restored Skin Barrier
Restored Skin Barrier

The aim of corneotherapy is to reduce pharmaceutical actives on problem skin by substituting them with suitable physiological cosmetic compounds.

Significant clinical results have been published by Prof. Dr. A M. Kligman and his colleagues proving the science behind the principle.

Adapted to the needs of individual skin types and conditions, it is the number one preventative measure against premature ageing and potential skin problems. For the purpose of a preventive corneotherapy it is essential:

  • to avoid skin care products with potentially harmful substances such as irritants and allergens
  • to select the appropriate skin care substances
  • to individually adapt the skin care products to the specific skin problems
  • and possibly change nutritional habits following a chemotherapeutic consultation

The principles of Corneotherapy can also be applied not just the correction of skin conditions, but for the supportive prevention of skin problems. The prevention of premature skin aging is an inherent outcome of this approach. Within the field of anti-aging, there is also the practice of “extended Corneotherapy” where the stratum corneum is made more permeable (non-invasively opened) for a limited period of time in order to infuse cosmetic agents such as vitamins and other therapeutic ingredients. This procedure may also induce regenerative processes in the layers below the stratum corneum without affecting the skins barrier defence systems.

Why is this skin barrier so important?

The stratum corneum (your skin barrier) is often and unfortunately referred to as the dead layer of the skin. This layer of skin is actually very much alive. The stratum corneum, and the lipid barrier that keeps it intact, play a significant role in skin health; it can send many signals to the underlying layers and can influence the regenerative processes in the skin.

When the skin barrier is intact and functioning as it should, many of skin related concerns can naturally begin to repair themselves.

If you’re looking at improving any skin condition, the skin barrier needs to be respected in order to achieve optimal results and overall good skin health.

Corneotherapy principles
Compromised Skin Barrier

What happens when the barrier is compromised?

When the skin barrier is compromised, it fails to function correctly – like any defensive system. You’ve stripped away the lipids which are designed to minimise water loss, prevent natural moisturising factors from leaching out, and prevent environmental chemicals, toxins and irritants from entering in.

In addition, you upset what’s called the acid mantle. The acid mantle is a very fine, slightly acidic film acting as a barrier to contaminants and pathogens.

Essentially, what this results in is dry, flaky, itchy, irritated, and/or sensitive skin. You may experience one or many symptoms depending on the severity.

The worst thing you can do for your skin in a compromised state is to induce inflammation – which is often the recommendation of uneducated and inexperienced therapist. Chemical peels, micro/hydra-dermabrasion, scrubs, acids and so on. Most therapists will chase the symptom rather than the cause.

Until you find and correct the cause, you will be forever chasing the symptom.

What is a Corneotherapist?

We are!

Corneotherapists require a greater understanding of the skin because our focus is on the repair and maintenance of the skin barrier defence systems. Our goal is to address the cause of skin conditions, not just cover up the symptoms!

Standard beauty and aesthetics training does not provide anywhere near sufficient knowledge to correctly diagnose many of the common skin conditions. This results in many therapists applying a simplistic, conventional approach of treating the symptoms rather than addressing their causes.

Our knowledge must extend to the anatomy, physiology, histology and morphology of the skin as well as cosmetic chemistry. This goes far above and beyond anything even remotely offered in standard beauty and aesthetics training.

It is the understanding of the cosmetic chemistry aspect of skincare, as well as the deep knowledge of skin anatomy that allows us to be less influenced by the marketing hype of conventional cosmetics and more objective regarding the appropriate solution.

When consulting with a Corneotherapist… you’re consulting with a skin expert that specialises in ‘real’ skin health, and someone that has taken their knowledge and education far beyond that of standard beauty and aesthetics training.