Corneotherapy is a 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.
It is now widely understood that the outer layer of corneocytes of the stratum corneum is a biologically active cellular tissue. The co-inventor of Retin-A, U.S. dermatologist Dr Albert Kligman and his partners discovered that the stratum corneum, and the lipid barrier that keeps it intact, play a significant role in skin health; it can send many signals to the underlying living epidermis and influences the regenerative processes in deeper layers of the skin.
This understanding of skin health, along with appropriate interventions and topical treatments is an ensemble of therapies that Dr Kligman labelled “Corneotherapy”.
A Corneotherapist is someone who practices the remedial skin treatment methodology of Corneotherapy. Corneotherapists are generally skin treatment practitioners or medical estheticians, however Corneotherapy is also practiced by some dermatologists
Why are Corneotherapists different to other skin care providers such as estheticians and beauty therapists?
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.
The goal of the Corneotherapist is to address the cause of the skin conditions, not merely treat the symptoms.
What type of training does a Corneotherapist require to be competent?
In addition to qualifications and experience with professional skin treatment practices, a Corneotherapist will have extended knowledge of the anatomy, physiology, histology and morphology of the skin and be trained in analysing and determining the causes of skin conditions, relating them to extrinsic and intrinsic factors.
A Corneotherapist will also have a working knowledge of cosmetic chemistry and understand what the effects and influences of specific types of ingredients will have on the conditions presented.
Are the skin care products used by Corneotherapists different than conventional cosmetics?
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.
This physiologically compatible approach to the use of dermatological cosmetics means that there will be a conspicuous absence of conventional non-physiologically compatible ingredients in formulations; particularly active agent cocktails, (artificial peptides etc) surface-active substances that cause skin barrier disorders, skin barrier incompatible emulsifiers, preservatives with allergenic potential, perfumes and colouring.
It is the understanding of the cosmetic chemistry aspect of skin care that allows the Corneotherapist to be less influenced by the marketing hype of conventional cosmetics and more objective regarding the appropriate solution.