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Corneobiology and corneotherapy

Corneobiology refers to experimental studies that are focused on the anatomy and biolology of the stratum corneum, the most superficial layer of the skin. U.S. dermatologist Dr. Albert Kligman and his team found out that the stratum corneum and the lipid barrier, that keeps it intact, play a significant role in skin health. The skin has always had a very crucial meaning. Hippocrates already studied formulas for the elimination of "traces of aging" (1).

Functions of the top layer of skin

What we see on the skin surface is the upper layer, which has a lot of functions:

  • Permeability: measure of the ability of a material to transmit fluids
  • Antimicrobial: property to kill microorganisms or stop their growth
  • Antioxidant: capacity to stop the production of free radicals, which damage the cells of organisms
  • Integrity or cohesion: ability for intermolecular attraction between like-molecules
  • Mechanical/rheological: science of deformation and flow within a material
  • Chemical/exclusion of antigens: barrier against e.g. virus
  • Psychosensory: touch affects psychological and emotional health
  • Hydration: supply and retention of adequate water in biological tissues
  • Protection against electromagnetic radiation
  • Initiation of inflammation: activation of cytokines (proteins important in cell signaling)

The concept of corneotherapy

Corneotherapy refers to the treatment based on corneobiology to reach more effectiveness and safety, using lower concentrations of active agents, with fewer adverse side effects (such as stinging, burning and irritancy), free of fragrances, allergens and preservatives, more agreeable to use, being colour- and odourless (2).

 

Corneotherapy serums

Nowadays, the best-seller product is a hydrating cream. What about serums, are they better? The difference between a cream and a serum lies in the galenic formulation, which deals with the principles of medicines in order to optimize their absorption.

A serum is a low-viscosity gel that allows carrying a high concentration of active ingredients. In addition, the serum provides a lot of moisture and thus absorbs quickly. The cushioning effect of anti-aging serums is therefore immediately visible. However, the serum contains hardly any moisturizing ingredients. Nevertheless, skin care products designed to increase the skin's moisture content are the most wanted ones.

Moisturizing skin care

The use of moisturizing factors is an essential principle of the moisturizing and rehydrating care of dry skin. Moreover, they are also helpful in the treatment and preventative care of aged skin, as they complement the natural barrier of the skin, protect against dehydration and can smooth fine lines through discrete swelling of the stratum corneum (3).  For this reason, a routine based on the application of a serum and then hydration with a cream represents a good combination.

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Bibliography

1.Kerscher M. Dermatokosmetik. Steinkopff Verlag. 2009.

2. Kligman AM. Review ArticleCorneobiology and Corneotherapy –a final chapter. International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 2011,33, 197–209

3. Bo niR, Burg G. Altershaut: physiologische Grundlagen, prophylaktische Maßnahmen und Therapieansa tze. Schweiz Med Wochenschr 2000. 130:1272–1278