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Corneotherapy serves as a therapeutic approach to skin treatment, emphasizing the core principle of repairing and maintaining the skin's barrier defense systems. 

Widespread acknowledgment now exists regarding the biological activity of the outer layer of corneocytes within the stratum corneum. Dr. Albert Kligman, the co-inventor of Retin-A, alongside his collaborators, made a groundbreaking discovery, revealing the significant role played by the stratum corneum and its lipid barrier in maintaining skin health. This outer layer actively communicates with the underlying living epidermis, influencing regenerative processes in the deeper layers of the skin.

This profound understanding of skin health, coupled with apt interventions and topical treatments, constitutes a collective array of therapies termed "Corneotherapy" by Dr. Kligman.

Armed with this knowledge, Corneotherapy-centric therapeutic interventions have demonstrated that maintaining optimally functioning barrier defenses, coupled with a healthy innate immune system, can effectively prevent or alleviate structural inflammation—a precursor to various skin conditions, including EFAD, Xerosis, Itchyosis, and Eczema. These preventative measures primarily target the correction and restoration of the stratum corneum and barrier defense systems, which may have been compromised by disease, intrinsic, or extrinsic factors. The precise application of Corneotherapeutic principles has proven to reinstate homeostasis and enhance the overall function of the integument, providing protection against harmful substances and microorganisms that trigger these abnormal conditions.

The principles of Corneotherapy extend beyond merely correcting skin conditions; they play a crucial role in proactively preventing skin problems, with the inherent outcome of preventing premature skin aging.  A fundamental tenet of Corneotherapy is the preservation of the intact epidermis, ensuring therapeutic actions unfold from the outer layers of the epidermis inward. This approach safeguards the skin's defense and immune systems from unnecessary stimulation. 

Corneotherapy embraces an individualized approach to skincare and treatment, navigating a logical path that thoroughly investigates and defines the underlying causes of conditions before selecting appropriate interventions.


This contrasts with the more simplistic approach of addressing symptoms without uncovering the root causes. A significant advantage of Corneotherapy lies in its minimal side effects compared to treatments involving topical pharmaceuticals. The preventive application of Corneotherapy practices can extend intervals between flare-ups, potentially reducing or even eliminating the need for conventional dermatics such as steroid or cortisone-based creams.


With our current understanding, we recognize that it's not necessarily the deeper layers of the skin that need stimulation and support from active agents, but rather the outermost layer known as the Stratum Corneum. Traditionally, this layer has been the focal point of the cosmetic industry, offering limited and unremarkable treatment solutions. However, recent dermatological research has dispelled these preconceptions, ushering in a new era of innovative thinking and concepts.

While initially perceived as a return to the past, the Stratum Corneum is now revealing intriguing possibilities for advancement. Dermatological research has yielded significant results, debunking the notion that this layer offers little in the way of spectacular treatment solutions. Researchers and specialists unanimously agree on the presence of numerous signal functions within the Stratum Corneum that influence crucial controls in the living epidermis. These controls either commence or are triggered in the Stratum Corneum, making it evident that the care of this layer significantly impacts the regenerative processes of deeper skin layers. Consequently, the condition of the Stratum Corneum plays a pivotal role in influencing these regenerative processes.

You don't need to be a biochemist or cell biologist to witness these effects in practice. A compelling example is the excessive use of cosmetic products that lead to very low trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL). Clients treated with occlusive skincare products, forming an impermeable film on the skin (especially those high in mineral oils and silicones like Vaseline, INCI: petrolatum), tend to continue usage due to a rapid onset of extremely dry skin upon discontinuation. This results from the deceleration of regenerative skin activities (evident in reduced nucleic acids or DNA synthesis) once TEWL returns to a higher level.

The transition back to a normal and natural metabolic activity involves an adaptation period, ranging from several weeks to several months, depending on circumstances—far from an instantaneous occurrence. 

Cosmeticians altering their clients' skincare regimen to a different product type should exercise patience, and so should the clients themselves. Today, we comprehend that both chemical and physical factors of cosmetics wield a significant influence on the integrity, regeneration, and preservation of the stratum corneum. Consequently, on a secondary level, these factors impact the processes within the living epidermis. The notion that preserving the natural functions of the skin's barrier defense systems is paramount to skin health is gaining increasing acceptance as its importance becomes clearer.


In instances where the membrane structure is disrupted, the skin undergoes dehydration, and its increased roughness or the presence of cracks makes it more susceptible to the infiltration of harmful substances.

Contemporary treatment approaches aim to maintain the membrane structures between the Corneocytes in as natural and intact a condition as possible. The optimal skincare formulation for this purpose comprises components that are highly compatible with the natural membrane structure and can restore it without hindering the skin's natural regeneration.

Two crucial factors come into play in this scenario:

  1. The chemical composition of the formula's components is either skin-identical or closely related to the skin.

  2. The physical structure of the skincare product is also either skin-identical or, at the very least, similar to the skin, taking the form of bilayer elements.


To prevent skin problems, favorable outcomes can be attained with products whose physical structure mirrors or closely resembles that of the skin.


Consider the case of atopic dermatitis (neurodermatitis), characterized by a severely disrupted skin barrier. Individuals grappling with this condition experience challenges when their compromised skin barrier struggles to regenerate, despite consistent use of cosmetic and dermatic products. While corticosteroids, prescribed by dermatologists during inflammations, offer short-term relief, their prolonged use often leads to heightened skin sensitivity and a deterioration of the overall skin condition.

Empirical evidence has demonstrated that a considerable number of atopic dermatitis sufferers can find relief by simply using emulsifier-free skincare creams. Emulsifiers exhibit both positive and negative traits. On the positive side, they efficiently blend skin-nourishing fats and oils with a watery base in a stable condition. However, their drawback lies in their tendency, with only a few exceptions, to disrupt the natural skin barrier, retaining this effect on the skin. This disruption becomes apparent when fat substances and barrier components are eventually transported out of the skin after prolonged contact with water—an especially vulnerable situation for the damaged skin barrier of individuals with atopic dermatitis.

For individuals with atopic dermatitis, utilizing emulsifier-free skincare creams, along with beneficial active agents such as linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid) and urea, triggers the reactivation of the skin barrier's natural regenerative processes. Over time, these interventions typically lead to significant alleviation of problems associated with atopic dermatitis.


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