Corneotherapy – Outside-In Treatment for Beautiful Skin

by | 4 June 2014

When you hear the phrase “skin problems,” it generally refers to redness or inflammation apparent on the epidermis. In the science of corneotherapy, it is believed that these surface problems – such as redness or inflammation – are caused by an immune response produced by deeper layers of skin.

What’s more, this immune response is spurred into action by an initial problem at the surface, chiefly a disruption in the protective layer of the stratum corneum, the outermost layer of the epidermis.

Dr Hans Lautenschlaeger developed the dermaviduals philosophy based on this understanding of skin care in the 1990s. By specifically targeting the maintenance of the natural skin barrier without the use of products that are foreign to the skin, ongoing, preventative results can be achieved in skin health. More importantly, he discovered that healing the outer layer of skin removed the need to treat underlying layers with pharmaceutical agents.

Corneotherapy for The Skin You’re In

As you probably know, your skin is comprised of three layers:

  • The Epidermis – the surface of the skin. It is the thinnest on the eyelids and thickest on the palms and soles at 1.5 mm.
  • The Dermis – made up of collagen, elastin, and reticular fibres, along with specialty cells including hair follicles, and oil, sweat, and scent glands.
  • The Sub-Cutaneous Tissue – a layer of fat and connective tissue that houses larger blood vessels and nerves.

The stratum corneum, the top layer of the epidermis, is made of flat skin cells that shed consistantly. Interestingly, it is also the skin’s first line of defence, protecting the body and the rest of the skin from outside influences.

It is this layer that the science of corneotherapy addresses.

Who Let the Red Out?

When it is healthy and in tip-top shape, the stratum corneum ensures that outside enemies sit on the surface rather than penetrating deeper into the skin. However, due to environmental factors or the natural ageing process, the stratum corneum barrier can become weakened. This allows bacteria to penetrate, causing water to evaporate and the skin to dehydrate at a very fast rate.

Skin cells are smart. They notice the presence of bacteria and act to provide an immune response to it. The cells sound the alarm and alert you to the problem with redness and inflammation.

What is Corneotherapy?

Corneotherapy tackles the underlying cause of redness and inflammation (the immune response) by treating the outer layer of skin. Its practitioners refer to it as an “outside-in” therapy. 

“Corneotherapy is an innovative and progressive skin treatment methodology that has proven it is possible to achieve a healthy skin with an optimally functioning innate immune system by preventing or reducing structural inflammation (at the stratum corneum level)” –International Association for Applied Corneotherapy 

Corneotherapy seeks to repair, care for, and maintain the top layer of skin, so the rest of the skin can look after itself. Corneotherapy focuses on ‘skin similar’ formulations, without additives that can further break down the stratum corneum such as

  • Emulsifiers
  • Preservatives
  • Mineral oils
  • Perfumes

dermaviduals’ products all meet the corneotherapy standard of treatment. As well as using breathable, short-term barriers to protect the skin, they can slowly repair the barrier and treat the immediate symptom for a more healthy skin in the long term.