Updated: Jan 20, 2022
Corneotherapy is a philosophy for caring for the skin, that differs from other principles within the skincare industry.
In essence, a corneotherapist looks to preserve the integrity of The Skin Barrier and Stratum Corneum (your outer most layer of skin) above all else.
Your barrier is your natural shield; it’s an eco-system that, when functioning effectively, is impermeable, preventing micro-organisms from penetrating and water from evaporating.
If you visualise a brick wall, the bricks are your cells, which are called corneocytes and the mortar, your lipid matrix which is made up of ceramides, fatty acids and cholesterols. If the wall isn't built properly, then the wall will be weak.
A strong, healthy barrier will be balanced, meaning it has an equilibrium of oil and water, a healthy skin microbiome and a PH balance that is slightly acidic at 5.5.
However, when a barrier becomes ‘broken’, this balance or homeostasis, as it is technically called, is impacted and the health of the skin deteriorates. It may become sensitised, inflamed, dehydrated, prone to infection or skin disorders.
The skin barrier can weaken with age, but other factors can be detrimental, including environmental factors (UV, pollution etc) and internal factors (stress, poor diet, medication etc). Sadly however, all too often it’s caused by topical skincare products that contain detergents and perfumes. These can affect the natural PH of our skin, impacting our skin microbiome and that all important oil/water balance.
In addition, the misinformation around removing ‘dead’ skin cells has led to the spurious rationale that skin needs to be constantly exfoliated, upsetting the skin’s natural desquamation (shedding) process. In fact, the corneocytes still play a part in communicating with the immune system, so again prematurely removing them (chemically or mechanically) can compromise your skin further.
In other words, if you want healthy skin you need to nurture your barrier and stratum corneum at all times!
Skin concerns are often the symptom, not the underlying cause of the issue, so by focusing on the three core principles of corneotherapy, REPAIR, REPLENISH, REGENERATE, many skin concerns can be naturally alleviated.
Corneotherapy endeavours to avoid harsh ingredients, such as petrochemicals, preservatives, fragrances, emulsifiers and silicones that will negatively impact the skin. Instead, we look to ingredients that are compatible with your skin's own bio-chemistry. Ingredients that mimic your skin’s function.
By working with the natural physiology of the skin, we can promote your skin’s natural ability to repair and regenerate itself and ultimately sustain healthy skin.