Skin is the largest of the body’s medium-sized organs and performs important functions to maintain itself in a state of homeostasis and health. The skin has many layers and many barriers, all defensive in nature, each with various and interdependent functions, and there is an abundance of cell-to-cell signaling and communication. These normal, important functions can be supported – or too often, disrupted – by external, environmental stimuli. One of the most important of these barriers for the health and appearance of the skin, located in the stratum corneum, is the skin’s principal permeability barrier. The primary purpose of this barrier is to maintain hydration (prevent moisture loss), while keeping out foreign substances (chemicals, microbes and pathogens) that can cause inflammation and set the stage for problems such as Perioral Dermatitis, Acne, Rosacea and a whole host of other inflammatory conditions. Whenever these symptoms are found, it is an indication that this important skin barrier has been impaired.
What comprises a well-functioning permeability barrier? The permeability barrier consists of THREE KEY species of lipids: Cholesterol (CHOL), Free Fatty Acids (FFA) and Ceramides (CER). Each of these lipids carry out an important function within the epidermis, and they work together in a synergistic way not only to form a lamellar lipid structure, but also to initiate critical cellular processes within the epidermis. They are also essential to the water-proofing of the barrier. Not only must all three lipids be present for protection and functioning of the barrier, they must be present in the correct molar ratio.
The acid mantle is the skin’s first line of barrier defense. Healthy skin is acidic. A low pH indicates acidity while a high pH indicates alkalinity. Increases in pH leading to alkaline conditions can block lipid synthesis and result in failure of skin barrier defense systems. In addition, higher acidity reduces the growth of harmful bacterial infections on and in the skin. Reducing pH to create acidic conditions supports permeability barrier formation and repair, and turns off inflammatory processes within the epidermis.
Corneotherapy. dermaviduals® products offer treatments and therapies that keep the skin barrier in a state of homeostasis. This is known as Corneotherapy, or Skin Barrier Therapy, a skin treatment methodology that has proven it is possible to achieve a healthy skin by correcting and restoring the stratum corneum and barrier defense systems. The primary goals of Skin Barrier Therapy are to (1) Preserve and Protect; (2) Correct and Restore; and (3) Prevent Barrier-Related Skin Conditions.