Finally corneotherapy is making its name and principles known in the skin care industry. I've been preaching this philosophy to my clients for years! Please read the article in Associated Skin Care Professional's Skin Deep July/August 2014 Issue.
BY KATHRYN MAZIERSKI
Understanding the skin barrier is essential for an esthetician. Supporting this important system is the first step in correcting any inflammatory skin condition: acne, rosacea, and a host of others. An amazing body of scientific discovery on the topic of corneobiology—the study of the skin barrier—has been produced by researchers such as Peter Elias, Richard Gallo, Albert Kligman, Hans Lautenschläger, Lars Norlén, and others. One of the things this research reveals is that dermatologists, estheticians, and other skin care professionals may unwittingly be recreating the inflammatory processes they are trying to treat. We
routinely strip away the skin’s first line of defense, the acid mantle, as a side effect of our treatments and, too often, we do not pay enough attention to restoring it. Any time you see redness in the skin, it is a sign that the skin barrier has been compromised.
The Skin’s Barrier Functions
The role of the stratum corneum (the skin’s outer layer) is to protect us against
environmental hazards while preventing water loss from the skin. It contains an entire set of defenses—Kligman counted 16 separate types of barrier function operating within this skin layer. All are interconnected, co-regulated, and interdependent. If one barrier function is compromised, others will also be affected. The barrier function that most estheticians are familar with is the permeability barrier, which prevents transepidermal water loss (TEWL), and, in the other direction, prevents allergens, irritants, microbes, and pathogens from entering the body through the skin. To understand how we can support this permeability barrier and repair it when it becomes damaged, we need to know a little about three lipids that are found in the stratum corneum.
THREE VITAL LIPIDS
Under a microscope, the stratum corneum looks similar to a brick wall. The corneocytes are the “bricks,” embedded in “mortar” that is made up of multiple sheets of lamellar membranes. These membranes are the permeability barrier, and they are made of a mixture of three different lipids: ceramides, cholesterol, and long-chain free fatty acids. These three lipids account for up to 10 percent of the dry weight of the stratum corneum, and they work together to waterproof the skin.
The proportion of the lipids is vital for correct skin barrier function. All three must be present, and normal skin requires a ratio of 1:1:1 (in other words, each of the three is present in the same amount). If the epidermis overproduces or underproduces one of the lipids, a good permeability barrier cannot form.
Skin problems are the result. An example is atopic dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin condition in which ceramides are not produced in sufficient quantities. Clients with atopic dermatitis need more ceramides, so a 3:1:1 ratio is used in products aimed at these clients.
Although ceramides are a popular ingredient, the well-informed esthetician must realize that ceramides on their own are not the key to skin barrier repair, because all three key species of lipids within the permeability barrier are equally important. All three lipids must be present in sufficient amounts, and in the correct ratio, for the condition being treated.
The Acid Mantle
The stratum corneum’s first line of barrier defense is the acid mantle on the surface of the skin. The acid mantle has many tasks. It contains trans-urocanic acid, our natural defense against ultraviolet (UV) radiation—this acid is responsible for filtering out around 70 percent of the UV-B rays that we are exposed to. Deeper within the skin, a key protein called filaggrin is metabolized (broken down) to provide essential barrier components.
On the skin surface, these components are further degraded to produce what is known as “natural moisturizing factor,” which plays a role in keeping the epidermis hydrated and overall barrier function. Maintaining the skin’s surface at its natural, acidic pH level is critical for proper skin barrier function. When we strip away the acid mantle, the consequences include increased TEWL, chronic dry skin, various inflammatory conditions, and even an increased risk of skin cancer.
What else happens when the acid mantle is removed?
First, the skin’s pH rises, making it alkaline instead of acidic. In response, the stratum corneum releases inflammatory cytokines in an attempt to trigger more lipid production. Normally, this would be a good thing and would help return the whole system to a healthy state. However, if this cytokine cascade is continual, chronic inflammation sets in. The result is a very thin, leaky, and permeable skin barrier.
In other situations, increased skin pH may release serine proteases, which block lipid production. In this case, lipids stay trapped within the corneocytes instead of forming the permeability barrier. The result is complete failure of the skin barrier system.
Raising the pH of the skin for sustained periods of time can bring on or heighten the symptoms of acne, atopic dermatitis, rosacea, photodamage, and other conditions—not only affecting the epidermis, but also the dermis. Keep the skin acidic!
Corneotherapy: Restoring the Skin Barrier
When the skin barrier has been compromised, simply using anti-inflammatory ingredients is not enough to restore it. We must pursue treatments that return the barrier to its natural state of balance. This area of skin care is known as corneotherapy or skin barrier therapy.
An important goal of corneotherapy is to generate the three lipids that form the permeability barrier. When we provide these to the skin in the correct ratio using topical corneotherapeutic products, the synthesized lipids make their way through the stratum corneum to be processed along with those that were generated within the skin, forming the lamellar membranes that make up the permeability barrier. The lipids in corneotherapeutic products must always be chemically identical to those within the stratum corneum. 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 defenses, decreasing penetration of allergens and pathogens.
Do Barrier Repair Creams Work?
As the terms barrier repair and corneotherapy become more widely known, they have started to show up more often in product marketing. Many manufacturers who use these terms do not provide any supporting data that their products do what they claim. On closer inspection, many so-called barrier repair products do not contain the ingredients needed to get results.
They may even cause more harm to the skin barrier.
Here are the most common reasons why a barrier repair product does not work:
• It does not contain all three of the necessary lipids:
ceramides, cholesterol, and long-chain free fatty acids.
• It does not contain the correct ratio of those lipids.
• It has an incorrect pH.
Poor formulations often use silicones or other occlusive ingredients in an attempt to “block up the gaps” and prevent further TEWL. These substances impede the natural functionality of the skin barrier instead of restoring it. This means some products touted as barrier repair products actually have the opposite effect—a situation that should be of great concern to any skin care professional.
Getting it Right
With all this in mind, what are the basics you need to know in order to practice effective corneotherapy? Here are the key points:
• Respect the integrity of the epidermis, starting with the first lines of barrier defense.
• Keep the skin’s surface pH acidic.
• Restore the antimicrobial barrier and natural UV-B filters.
• When looking for a barrier repair product, use only those that provide ceramides, cholesterol, and long-chain free fatty acids in the 1:1:1 or 3:1:1 ratio.
At the same time, these are the things to avoid:
• Any procedure or product that decreases hydration.
• Mineral oils and other petroleum-based products.
• Products that contain emulsifiers. These have the side effect of destroying the lipid structures within the permeability barrier.
• Products that contain fragrance.
• Products that contain preservatives.
With a better understanding of the structure and function of the skin barrier, estheticians will recognize the importance of treating it with the respect it deserves. Overexfoliating, harsh or incorrect modalities, and incorrect product formulations all work together to create an inflammatory situation for your client.
The key to success in treating skin starts with a full assessment of the health of the skin barrier and the correct strategies to begin the repair process. Once the barrier is restored, wonderful and lasting results can be achieved for your client.
by Corporate Educator, Daniel Clary
(Osmosis Our Medical Skin Care)
Niacinamide, one of the powerhouse ingredients seen throughout the Osmosis line, effectively increases the skin's metabolism, allowing your cells to properly communicate with each other for repair, support barrier function, and to regulate desquamation. That's right, when your skin's metabolic rate is performing at its most optimum level via Niacinamide application - cells naturally exfoliate, UV damage and oxidative stress is repaired, and your skin's first line of defense, your barrier, is intact and ready to defend your largest organ. Unfortunately, like all biological systems, our skin metabolism slows down as we age - this is the reason we begin to form fine lines and wrinkles, and we tend to pack on that weight a bit easier! The metabolic rate can slow even further by extrinsic and intrinsic factors, such as sun exposure, smoking and poor sugar rich diets. Fret not though, Niacinamide is here to the rescue.
Niacinamide is the active form of Vitamin B3 (Niacin) and is by far one of the most important components of proper cellular function, acting as a precursor in over 300 chemical and enzymatic reactions in the skin and body. It has several medicinal applications including anti-inflammation, reversal of photo immunosuppression and an increase in cellular lipid synthesis. Topically, our patented liposomal Niacinamide will increase ceramide production for improved barrier function, repair photo aged skin, regulate unwanted pigmentation, decrease sebum production, and return your cellular turnover rate to normal. Systemically, it's involvement in the energy cycle of your cells, will allow free fatty acids and glucose to be more efficiently used and burned as fuel, versus being stored as fat, all while increasing your own native energy without artificial central nervous system stimulation. A win on both ends!
Did you know that the average skincare product provides less than 5% penetration. It is important to use products that offer a high penetration rate. The fact is skincare products should have a good delivery system in place. Your products should be formulated to help rebuild, repair, remodel and preserve the epidermal layers of the skin while building collagen and strengthening elasticity. A liposome delivery system is key to product penetration.
Liposomes are microscopic spheres that are so tiny making the absorption almost perfect which solves many problems for special nutrient deficiencies within the skin. Products which are poorly absorbed or which have a normal molecular size inhibit efficient absorption providing very little nutrient value for our skin cells. Normal absorption is in the 3-5 percent range, liposomal absorption is 90 plus percent!
Does your skincare products have this system in place. I have the perfect solution. I can help you get that healthy radiant skin you have always wanted without using harsh ingredients, chemicals or causing inflammation.
As we adopt healthy choices by adding exercise to our daily activities, we need to be mindful of the 32 individual muscles in our face. Instead of injecting toxins and chemicals, ask yourself WHY NOT exercise those muscles naturally. Microcurrent treatment is completely natural, safe, and non-invasive, and allows your facial muscles to tone, rejuvenate, heal, and rebuild themselves.
Like CIT, Microcurrent is another natural, non-invasive, and holistic approach to facial treatment. Visible results are evident after a single pain free treatment. Subsequent treatments have a cumulative effect and provide remarkable results that challenge both dermal fillers and laser technology.
TAMA Microcurrent is a form of electrical massage that allows your face to attain better health naturally. This non-invasive, holistic modality is closest to the body’s own healing state, promoting homeostasis through rebalancing of ionic transport in the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous layers of the skin. TAMA's unique Multi-Mode Waveform stimulation provides simultaneous muscle toning and re-education, thus providing both short- and long-term benefits.
Again like CIT, no other aesthetic service can come close to these proven results.
Microcurrent treatment has been proven to:
• Diminish appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
• Improve circulation
• Clear up/ reduce acne
• Improve muscle tone in face, neck, and hands
• Lift jowls and eyebrows
• Calm rosacea
• Drain lymphatic nodes
• Treat sun damage
• Improve skin pigmentation
• Facilitate product penetration
• Tighten large pores, resulting in smoother and firmer skin
• Revitalize the skin
• Improve elasticity
Ask about TAMA’s Microcurrent facial rejuvenator and start your journey to a newer you!!
For appointments click here. For pricing click here.
Osmosis Pur Medical Skin Care
The Bees Knees of Skin Care!
About Osmosis SkincareThe Future is Here.
Osmosis Skin Care offers a collection of facial products that are safe to use on even the most sensitive skin because they are infused with nutrients that are highly efficacious and yet non-inflammatory. For decades most skincare companies have been using irritating ingredients that work by inflaming the skin. This has to change if we want to reverse aging skin. Most skincare companies also struggle to get adequate penetration (2-5% on average) and they have failed to address the lack of skin nutrition needed to feed the repair process. This has resulted in poor outcomes throughout the world.
Osmosis achieves remarkable results by addressing every aspect of skin damage; collagen/elastin production, scar tissue build-up, loss of skin nutrition and growth factors, and DNA damage. In addition, Osmosis Skincare avoids ingredients and strategies that weaken and inflame the skin. Finally, Osmosis Skincare differentiates itself by using the most advanced ingredients in the world. We are the first to offer DNA repair strategies using Zinc Finger Technology™. We are the first to offer liposomally delivered stem cell growth factors. We have over 17 patents pending for ingredients that have the unique ability to improve the skin without damaging or interfering with its proper function. Osmosis Skincare is the first company discussing increasing skin nutrition and offering multiple modalities to achieve that goal.
No skincare line in the world has a more complete approach to skin health than Osmosis Skincare.
Your results will reflect that.
Three main factors create the environment in which acne can exist and ALL must be present for acne to occur.
1. Hormone Irregularities
2. Toxic Buildup
3. Genetics Tendencies
Or illustrated by this equation:
(Hormone Irregularities) x (Toxic Buildup) x (Genetic Tendencies) = Acne
Hormone Irregularities and Toxic Buildup
1. Congested liver, clogged and sluggish bowels
2. Nutrition deficiencies and dietary factors
3. Food allergies
5. Acid PH balance
7. Sleep disorders
*Test for Candida Overgrowth: In the morning before you eat or drink anything, make a large spit into a glass of water. Wait an hour. If you see legs or strings of saliva there is a moderate candida overgrowth, if the spit sinks to the bottom there is a more advanced candida overgrowth.
This is the most important factor and unfortunately cannot be controlled or deactivated.
The only genetic difference between acne sufferers and non-sufferers is that sufferers seem to have oil glands that are sensitive to even the slightest elevation in androgen levels. There could be other genetic factors that differentiate non-sufferers from sufferers such as the size of the oil gland, the skin type and other, unknown hereditary factors. At present, the most prominent genetic component in the formation of acne seems to be the over sensitivity of the oil gland receptors.*
Steps to Alleviate Acne
Do you or someone you know have the desire to eliminate acne holistically...? We can help you achieve this goal!
Click here for scheduling options.
The introduction of retinoic acid and alpha hydroxy acids to skincare products marks the first time consumers saw immediate gratification in their anti-aging quest. It was a boom for esthetics, who now had clients setting up monthly visits to get their acid fix as part of their facial. The results were impressive-plump, taut skin with a reduced appearance of wrinkles. Who wouldn't be hooked.
The problem, however, is that these results are only temporary, and in the long run they actually damage the skin and cause it to age faster than it would if we didn't use the harsh products and techniques. The reason is that when we apply retinoic acid and alpha hydroxy acids to the skin, we are causing inflammation-and inflammation is bad for the skin. When you apply an acid to your face-and this applies to almost every acid, depending on the concentration-you immediately create trauma. This trauma results in swelling. Swelling makes wrinkles and fine lines look better, but only temporarily.
The other effect of these treatments is that they damage the epidermal barrier. The skin, being the intelligent defense mechanism that it is, sees this damage as an assault and seeks to fix the problem. In what is called an "emergency repair response," the skin rushes to repair the damaged epidermis, which speeds up the epidermal turnover rate. Unfortunately, many skincare experts assume that increased epidermal turnover is a good thing-evidence that the skin is returning to its youthful functioning-yet, this forced exfoliation is actually the skin's equivalent of a four-alarm fire.
Ben Johnson, MD "Transform Your Skin Naturally", 2010, Chapter 2, pp. 21-22.
to dermagrace cosmetic rejuvenation blog and information center. If you're looking for dramatic and long lasting skin improvements…look no further. My goal is to provide the most authoritative skin care protocols, research and articles. Everyday I search for relevant and reliable information. I look forward to any comments or questions.