Corneotherapy: A better treatment solution

Corneotherapy; what is it and why is it becoming the go-to treatment methodology for progressive estheticians and skin treatment practitioners?

Corneotherapy is different
In a world of fad and less than optimal skin treatment methodologies, Corneotherapy stands alone as the only remedial skin treatment methodology with its core principle being the repair and maintenance of the skin barrier defence systems.
As the name suggests, Corneotherapy is closely related to Corneobiology, which is the physiological, biologic and biochemical processes of the stratum corneum; the outermost layer of the epidermis.
Studies over the years have provided evidence that the upper reaches of the epidermis play a greater role in immunity and protection than originally understood, and that the stratum corneum is a primary link of the outside world to the inner world of the adaptive immune system, with the skin being the “site of response” to that system.

Professional competence
Unfortunately there are a plethora of skin treatments available today that are popular and revenue generating for clinicians, but in many cases, could be detrimental or contraindicated to many of the skin conditions currently presenting in clinics. With a growing trend towards consumers becoming more concerned about their anomalous skin conditions and discerning about seeking effective treatment practices, there is a positive growth in the application of Corneotherapeutic solutions.

Contemporary skin conditions
Many contemporary skin conditions present with a compromised or defective stratum corneum and have the ability to trigger continual inflammatory responses of the body’s innate and adaptive immune systems.  It is this inflammation that has been shown to be the precursor to premature skin ageing, and many of the more serious skin conditions prevalent today.
Some of the popular but rudimentary skin treatment philosophies remove the remove the first two lines of skin barrier defences by chemical or mechanical methods; often triggering  already depleted defence systems, and make the condition worse.
In contrast, Corneotherapeutic methodologies are primarily directed to correcting and building the skin barrier defences that have been rendered defective, compromised or impaired.

Preventative measures
This approach makes the methodology of Corneotherapy the primary preventive measure against skin-ageing conditions and skin barrier disorders such as EFAD, Xerosis, Itchyosis, and Eczema.

The core philosophy of Corneotherapy is that the integrity of the stratum corneum and skin barrier defense systems are maintained at all times.
The methodology of Corneotherapy requires a greater understanding of the skin than established esthetics and beauty therapy training provides as its focus is the repair and maintenance of the skin barrier defence systems rather than the simple application of moisturisers or potentially counterproductive but fashionable treatments.

A new level of knowledge
The goal of the Corneotherapist is to address the cause of the skin conditions, not merely treat the symptoms, and so for treatments to be successful with Corneotherapy; it must begin with a precise diagnosis of the skin and an investigation of the contributing factors to the prevailing conditions.
This starts with a comprehensive diagnostic method (Such as shown in the book Advanced Skin Analysis) that examines all of the contributing factors of the presented conditions.  Credible data provided by measuring/analysis devices will further assist in the analysis, along with an understanding of the correlation of the skin condition to the appropriate therapeutic compounds to be prescribed.

As such, a Corneotherapist will acquire a working knowledge of cosmetic chemistry and understand what the effects and influences of specific types of ingredients will have on the conditions presented.

Corneotherapeutic properties of skincare
So the next logical question is; are the skin care products used by Corneotherapists different than conventional cosmetics? The answer is yes.
One of the key principles in Corneotherapy is the prescribing of solutions that are tailored to the specific condition and is as physiologically compatible with the skin as possible.

In a majority of cases, Corneotherapists prescribe a treatment regime that involves individually prepared therapeutic creams and lotions.
So how do we describe what can be considered ‘true Corneotherapeutic’?  Let’s look at this from the Corneotherapeutic formulators view.

First and foremost, the chemical composition of the components of the formula should be skin-identical or skin-related, and ideally should be a simple as possible, with core components that mimic skin structure and function.

Specifically, the formulation should be compatible with the lipid phase of the skin’s own lipid structures.

For skin care to be considered Corneotherapy it must be made from True dermatological cosmetics following Corneotherapeutic principles  and should be free from active compounds, (which are active agent cocktails with a multitude of components)  emulsifiers or consistency agents that require stabilization with antioxidants; emulsifiers that cannot be degraded in the skin, emulsifiers that are incompatible with the skin barrier or do not correspond to the physiology of the skin, and free from perfumes and fragrance.

True Corneotherapy formulations will also be free of surface-active substances that impart a disordered skin barrier and preservatives with allergenic potential; they are free from strong chelating agents; and free from ingredients that interfere with the sensitivity (pain receptors) of the skin.

True Corneotherapeutic formulations follow the principle that “less is more”.

A Corneotherapy approach to skin care is a methodology for the progressive skin care practitioner who wants to deliver genuine, long-term results for their clients and patients.

Corneotherapy is not a new fad
The term Corneotherapy was first defined by the American dermatologist Professor A. M. Kligman in the mid 1960’s, when  he and his associates demonstrated  that substantial clinical effects could be achieved by treating the disturbed balance of the skin through the repeated application of substances that had humectant and emollients properties. These substances, blended into creams became known as “moisturisers” and were perhaps one of the most important cosmetic discoveries of the 20th century.  With repeated application, these “moisturisers” showed to improve common skin barrier disorders such as atopic dermatitis, cornification disorders and dermatosis.

Immunity and protection
A whole new thought process and philosophy about skin was borne of these trials. It was then it became apparent to researchers and chemists, dermatologists and doctors, that there was much more to the stratum corneum than just a layer of desquamating corneocytes.
These and consequent  studies provided evidence that the upper reaches of the epidermis played a greater role in immunity and protection than originally understood, and that the stratum corneum was a primary link of the outside world to the inner world of the adaptive immune system, with the skin being the “site of response” to that system.

As the ‘father of Corneotherapy” ; Professor Albert  Kligman spoke of these discoveries  as an outside-in therapy whereas “outside” is the stratum corneum and “in” are the therapeutic effects starting in the stratum corneum and working their way into the deeper skin layers.
This is achieved by using preventative interventions that are primarily directed to correction and restoration of the stratum corneum and barrier defence systems.
This approach leads to homeostasis and the improved function of the entire integument; protecting against harmful substances and microorganisms, while keeping the epidermis intact at all times.

• Corneotherapy is the care of the Stratum Corneum and bespoke topical therapies with products that mimic skin structure and function.
• Corneotherapy is an innovative and  progressive methodology of thinking with core principles of the correction and restoration of the stratum corneum and barrier defence systems, while keeping the epidermis intact at all times.
• Corneotherapy employs what is called an “outside in” approach to repairing skin.

Want to know more about Corneotherapy? Visit The International Association for Applied Corneotherapy



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