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(Corneo-what?)  The “First Do No Harm” Approach to Anti-Aging 

One aspect of Evoq’s skin philosophy stems from the research from Professor Albert Kligman who  is widely regarded as the father of cosmeceuticals, yet he was also well known for his pioneering work on corneotherapy.   

Corneotherapy is the care and treatment of the stratum corneum, the skin’s topmost layer and its principal barrier defence.  The stratum corneum is responsible for environmental protection while preventing water loss through the skin.  

An event that occurs on its surface can initiate a domino effect that sends ripples throughout the rest of the skin.  It is well-established that the skin contains entire sets of barrier defence systems – all interconnected, co-regulated, and interdependent – like cogwheels in a machine.  If one barrier function is compromised, other systems are also affected.  

As such, we treat it with respect by recommending a slower approach to skin correction.  We do not promote aggressive modalities or radical procedures that shock the skin into a temporary state of repair to restore appearance (such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or improper use of lasers).  

Corneotherapy takes the science of cosmeceuticals one step further. It could be argued that corneotherapy is the skin care concept of the future.  It’s where science meets beauty.  Another way of thinking of it is that it provides the link between dermatology and cosmetics.

An understanding of the role of the stratum corneum is key to the principles of corneotherapy. Essentially skin cannot be corrected if the stratum corneum is not in equilibrium. Many clinicians use treatments on their clients without first ascertaining the level of cellular damage or the condition of the bi-layers of the skin.  This can result in expensive, repeat treatments that do not obtain the desired results or may even fail completely.

Corneotherapy approaches skin care differently.  Before any treatment or products are prescribed, a thorough examination of the condition of the bi-layers of the skin is undertaken. It is important during this process not to upset the acid mantle, but rather give it what it needs to maintain harmony. 

Then, and only then, can you give it the ‘super food’ via advanced pure products, that it needs.

Corneotherapy treatment is centred on recovery of the stratum corneum. The stratum corneum, once seen as a layer of ‘dead’ cells whose sole function was to provide an impermeable barrier, has suddenly come ‘alive’.  While the stratum corneum consists of cells not capable of dividing and multiplying, it is far from being static tissue. Rather, it is dynamic and complex. 

When the skin’s barrier is disrupted, it is no longer protected from environmental stressors and pollution and loses its ability to protect and defend itself. If perfumes, emulsifiers and mineral oils are added to skin care products, the skin can quickly become further compromised.

Among the obviously harmful substances are surfactants, emulsifiers, preservatives and allergenic perfume substances.


Kligman had a clever way of describing corneotherapy as being like an “outside- in” therapy, where “outside” is the stratum corneum and “in” are the therapeutic effects starting in the stratum corneum and working their way into the deeper layers.

As Dr Kligman once said: “Whenever you see inflamed skin, regardless of its cause, it means that the stratum corneum is leaky and permeable. But, if you repair the stratum corneum, that tells the underlying tissues that they don’t have to keep reacting like there’s danger in the environment.”  

At Evoq - I couldn’t agree more and believe we have developed a unique and effective range of treatments and products to restore balance to the stratum corneum and promote ongoing healthy, energetic balanced skin.

Corneotherapy and Aging

“A curious thing about ageing is that everyone knows what it looks like, but no one seems to know what it is.”

The skin barrier

Maintaining a healthy and functioning barrier provides overall protection against dehydration, the penetration of germs, allergens, irritants, oxidative stress, and excessive ultra violet radiation. Application of products based on the theories of corneotherapy supports a gradual healing of any inflammation and other conditions that impair the barrier function. As stated earlier, there is a lessening of the cell function in aging skin. Nevertheless, we know that we can make both external and internal adjustments to alter the affects of the aging process. This indeed supports cell functioning and repair with improved immune response and rebuilding of the skin barrier.

Supportive regenerating ingredients – outside to inside therapy

Skin care products should be formulated with mimetic agents that compliment the skin. The dermal membrane structure in the barrier layers of the stratum corneum consists of ceramides, cholesterol and palmitic acid.6 They are naturally found in the skin bilayers that are responsible for maintaining the natural moisturizing factors (NMF) and continued regenerating of a strong skin defence. A resilient barrier increases the probability that the underlying skin structures are able to function correctly. Based on the research of Professor A. Kligman, moisturizing substances may contribute to stabilising the skin barrier leading to greater results.6 He called it Corneotherapy: “outside to inside” therapy.

“Whenever you see inflamed skin, regardless of cause, the stratum corneum is leaky and permeable. But, if you repair the stratum corneum, that tells the underlying tissues that they don’t have to keep reacting like there’s danger in the environment.” 

Skin requires supporting substances for regeneration. In ageing skin this becomes a key factor in compensating for the biological changes that occur within the cells during each phase of aging. A key to corneotherapy is to recognize and eliminate substances that can inhibit/interfere with this regeneration process.

For safe skin care that focuses on skin health first - with a anti-aging underlying solution based formula, head over to http://www.evoqbeauty.com and learn our philosophy and why skin professionals are turning back to a more holistic approach to skin care and aging. 

All my love!  

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