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.
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.
If you're like me, you've been frustrated dealing with hyperpigmentation... You may have tried all the latest skin potions and procedures only to find little or no improvement or worse yet, the condition worsens... The reason why hyperpigmentation is so hard to treat is that the melanocyte is influenced by so many factors and usually it is not just one thing that went awry but many. When any of the following "directors" or signalers are overstimulated the result is the overproduction of pigment.
Source: The Concise Guide to Dermal Needling. Cell Function. page. 48-49, 96-97
You may not know this...not all wrinkles are created equal. While wrinkles from sundamage and intrinsic aging can be improved, those from a process known as glycation cannot.
It is less widely known that blood sugar has an important bearing on the aging process. Unfortunately, in addition to being a vital cellular fuel, glucose is also a substance that can cause damage to cells and tissues by randomly reacting with proteins, DNA and other vital molecules.
In the process called non-enzymatic glycosylation or glycation, glucose molecules attach themselves to proteins, setting in motion a chain of chemical reactions that ends in the proteins binding together or crosslinking, thus altering their biological and structural roles. The process is slow but increases with time.
Advanced Glycosylation End products (AGEs), is the term given to Crosslinks of proteins like collagen and elastin, which seem to toughen tissues and may cause some of the deterioration associated with aging. AGEs have been linked to stiffening connective tissue (collagen), hardened arteries, clouded eyes, loss of nerve function, and less efficient kidneys. These are deficiencies that often accompany aging.
AGEs exert their harmful effects on two levels. Most obviously, they physically impair protein, DNA and lipids, altering their chemical properties. They also act as cellular signals, triggering a cascade of destructive events when they attach to their cellular binding sites.
The main binding site for AGEs is appropriately called RAGE (receptor for AGEs). The binding of AGEs to RAGE induces cellular activation and intracellular oxidative stress, AGE binding to RAGE tends to be self-amplifying, since the more AGEs bind to RAGE, the more RAGE binding sites develop. This creates a "positive feedback loop" leading to spreading waves of cellular activation and tissue damage.
One happy finding is that the body has its own defense system against crosslinking. Just as it has anti-oxidants to fight free-radical damage, it has other guardians, immune system cells called macrophages, that combat glycation.
Macrophages with special receptors for AGEs seek them out, engulf them, break them down, and eject them into the blood stream where they are filtered out by the kidneys and eliminated in urine. The only apparent drawback to this defense system is that it is not complete and levels of AGEs increase steadily with age. One reason is that kidney function tends to decline with advancing age.
Is there an answer to glycation?
Treatment is best started with prevention by diet control, reducing total calories, avoiding high sugar foods and not cooking at high temperatures. Supplements such as aminoguanidine, pyridoxamine, carnosine and benfotiamine are excellent glycation preventors.
Carnosine levels decline with age, and now that many people are cutting down on meat - the main dietary source of carnosine - supplementation becomes expecially important. Expect to see carnosine in the 'new generation' of actives of the future.
Beautymag Online, Glycosylation and the Ageing Process
Peter T. Pugliese, MD, April 14, 2008, from the April 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
Q - Can aging be reversed?
A - Skin will return to its most ideal state if there has not beem scarring and if it is given high levels of the nutrients it relies on to function optimally, and it is not continually subjected to ongoing inflammation. This means you cannot use irritants, you cannot exfoliate, you cannot get sunburns. You must increase circulation and maximize non-traumatic ingredients that encourage the skin to live up to its potential. We must also increase our immune efforts to repair and remove the scar tissue. This is best done by activating macrophages. Finally, we need to make repairs at the cellular level to the actual damaged DNA until we can achieve productions levels of antioxidants and enzymes that match the skin of our youth.
Q - Why do I get facial hair?
A - There are two components to facial hair: your genetic makeup and the influence of testosterone. Certain ethnicities have higher levels of villous activity. Other women are effected by ovanian cysts, low body fat levels, and the effects of hormone-laced dairy products.
Q - Why am I getting acne after age 30?
A - This coul dbe from ovarian cysts. It could be poor elimination and a need for more regularity. It could be elevated yeast levels. It could be a sluggish liver. It could be a buildup of a particular toxin.
Q - What are those bumps on my kids' arms?
A - Those goose bumps are what known as keratosis pilaris. I believe they are related to digestion. Exfoliation helps little, but internal options like probitics and/or anti-fungals may be more beneficial.The skin on the back of the arm is sensitive, which is why aggressive topical remedies are not tolerated well.
Ben Johnson, MD "Transform Your Skin Naturally", 2010
It is often noticed that after menopause women begin to age faster. Wrinkles increase rapidly, akin quickly loses elasticity and smoothness. This seems to be a result from diminished levels of estrogen. Among the hormones whose levels decline with age, estrogens have the most dramatic effect in the skin. Estrogens are known to protect women from heart disease, and now it seems that they also slow down skin aging. Several studies indicate that postmenopausal woman on estrogen replacement therapy develop less wrinkles, better skin texture
Many women who perform skin rejuvenation facial with exfoliation (peeling). It is expected to give a fresh complexion and bright face shone. However, note the custom chemical peels. Because the chemical peel is very dangerous for the body’s immunity. This is based on the results of research from the University of Haifa, Israel. The study examines the immune system of women who used to perform chemical peels, and women who do not. Antibodies are the first group is really bad, this means that resistance to infection and other diseases is fairly low. So that was launched Genius Beauty, Sunday (02/01/2011). The doctors who recommend chemical peels usually peel the top skin and penetrate the deepest layers of skin. So, this exfoliating can irritate the dermis layer and destroy the cell structure. And this one can be so more dangerous for women’s skin. So, you women must be aware of it before you got something bad and harmful to your beautiful skin.
Microbes can penetrate and get into the liver, and liver will be increasingly difficult to resist the attack because of reduced immune disease earlier. Thus, the use of chemical peels regularly will cause various diseases. The diseases can be more awful each day.
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.