Diving Deep into What a Corneotherapeutic Product Really Means!

by | 23 June 2020

By using ‘Outside In Therapy’ | Corneotherapy, you can overcome ongoing skin problems and prevent anti-aging, where other conventional beauty products can’t!

What Corneotherapy is to the skincare industry.

Firstly, let’s talk about what it is NOT.

Corneotherapy is NOT a brand of skincare however, the chemistry and modalities within a skincare range will depict if the range works with the principles of Corneotherapy. A Corneotheraputic skincare line needs to adhere to strict guidelines to be correctly classed as Corneotheraputic.

Simply put “Corneotherapy refers to preventive interventions that are primarily directed to the correction and restoration of the stratum corneum barrier that has been rendered defective and impaired by disease, genetics and a variety of mechanical, physical, chemical and psychological external insults and stresses.”

At the base of Corneotherapy, is the need to protect and restore the stratum corneum (the outermost layer of your skin), at the same time supporting the 1st and 3rd lines of skin barrier defence: the Acid Mantle and the Multilamellar Lipid Bilayer. The destruction of which leads to the appearance of skin diseases, allergies, infections, (impaired enzyme activity) dehydration, erythema (redness), and dryness.



Prof Dr. Albert Kligman was the founder and led the way in the field of Corneotherapy. He was the first person to highlight and demonstrate that the stratum corneum is not a conglomeration of “dead” cells but is a “living” structure that is capable of self-regulation and interaction with other layers of the epidermis and dermis.

Also note the very important fact that cosmetics/topical skincare and makeup can and will influence the processes of the upper layers of the skin, and place high demands on the cosmetic composition. Cosmetics should help maintain the protective barrier of the skin, supplying essential nutrients to restore and protect the stratum corneum against negative environmental influences.

Corneotherapeutic Base Creams are characterised by the feature that they can be formulated with both pharmaceutical and cosmetic active agents (not just a conventional beauty formulation).

Combining numerous active agents and ingredients in a single cosmetic product is rather beneficial for marketing purposes. Efficacy, however, often falls by the wayside since the concentrations of the individual substances come close to homoeopathic dimensions.

In practice, we see that every skin has its individual needs. That is the reason why Corneotherapeutic preparations usually consist of one or very few active agents that are focussed on a certain indication. After a comprehensive skin analysis with a Corneotherapist, the appropriate preparations for the diagnosed skin conditions are individually compounded giving the therapist the control to formulate for each client’s individual skin condition, time of year, their environment, changes in medications, hormonal changes, and skin structure and colour.



Conventional skincare ranges are pre-formulated by a cosmetic chemist who has never seen the end consumers’ skin and they have no idea what that individual’s skin requirements are. With dermaviduals being a bespoke Corneotheraputic skin correction system the therapist that is there consulting the client can formulate and get it right ensuring superior results as the client’s skincare is made just for their skin and their condition. Season in and season out. 

The more numerous the ingredients, the more likely is it that many of them are superfluous or rejected by the consumers for a variety of reasons:

  • Perfumes or haptic properties of the product are disliked
  • Lipid or moisturising substances are not compatible with the skin type
  • Components are irritant or/and allergenic
  • Ingredients are:
    • not vegan, halal or kosher,
    • not biodegradable or outright polluting,
    • originating from chemical synthesis and not from organic material (“bio”)
    • non-physiological substances
  • Ingredients can have adverse effects, such as:
    • washout effects caused by emulsifiers
    • hormonal effects caused by endocrine disruptors
    • negative impact on antimicrobial peptides (AMP)
    • negative impact on skin recovery due to occlusive effects
    • long term adverse effects with long term continuous use

Consumers are eager to receive individual and personalised attention. They prefer customised preparations, in other words, preparations with or without certain ingredients.

What products make up a Corneotherapists range? Therefore what essentially forms the basis of our dermaviduals products/range?

It is not actually the products but the overall chemistry of each of the products in the range which will determine if the product line is a Corneotheraputic, thus working with the skin at all times not against it.

As mentioned above, there are things that you do need to be aware that you will not find in a TRUE Corneotheraputic range like dermaviduals.

That is….

  • Ingredients that decrease hydration which will impair critical enzyme activity in the upper layers of the epidermis.
  • Mineral oils and other petroleum-based ingredients.
  • Common emulsifiers. These have the side effect of destroying the lipid structures within the permeability barrier as well as causing disruption to the acid mantle and the resident microbiome.
  • Preservatives.
  • All fragrances including natural/organic.
  • All colours.

Restoring the acid mantle (in other words, getting the skin back to an acidic pH) is the first step in restoring barrier function. This will:

  • Turn off inflammatory processes within the epidermis.
  • Allow the permeability barrier to start reforming.
  • Improve the skin’s antimicrobial defences, decreasing the penetration of allergens and pathogens.



Getting it RIGHT… you can’t have one or two products in a skincare line that is formulated with the principles of Corneotherapy and then the rest of the range that is not working with the skin but against it. You are either working with all the principles of Corneotherapy or not. There is no half-way, this includes treatment modalities as well as the chemistry you choose to use.

Therefore the aim of Corneotherpay in skincare is to correct and restore of the stratum corneum (outermost layer of the skin), the acid mantle and all the microbiome that lives in and around it, all while looking after each of our barrier defence systems both the physical barrier and the immunological of the innate and adaptive immune system. AT ALL TIMES… This is the key!

Have you thought about the combinations of skincare products you are using on your skin and ever wondered how it all works together?