dermaviduals® DMS
  MenuMenu publications >> special actives imprint sitemap German

Corneotherapy - ...more than just a surface application


Experience shows that besides their influence on the release of active agents base creams can have substantial effects of their own.


The number of publications describing a successful therapy of skin disorders only by applying appropriate cream bases has been increasing lately. It was Professor Albert M. Kligman who substantiated this idea in the term corneotherapy which he coined in the late nineties. Most important content of corneotherapy is the knowledge that appropriate moisturizers and lipid substances will not only support the integrity of the horny layer but also subsequently support the regeneration of deeper skin layers.
As they will not involve any side effects skin caring active agents are appropriate for the treatment of barrier layer and cornification disorders. For the adequate corneotherapy specific base creams are recommended which can be individually adapted with active agents for the skin care. New on the market are base creams with "derma membrane structure", a specific structure which was copied from the lipid bilayer of the stratum corneum. Just like the skin, these base creams can absorb lipophilic as well as hydrophilic active agents at room temperature. Liposomes and nanoparticles which belong to the "membrane family" just like the derma membrane structure are appropriate additional active agent carriers.
The natural phosphatidylcholine contained can release linoleic acid into the skin and thus serves as a substrate for the natural synthesis of the linoleic acid containing ceramide I which is an essential component for the maintenance of the barrier function.

Compatible with the physiology of the skin

The fact that base creams are free of emulsifiers is an important advantage in corneotherapy as emulsifiers may disturb the integrity of the natural barrier layers. In case of barrier disorders ("dry skin") a penetration of product components also into deeper layers of the skin has to be expected. That is why potentially sensitizing preservatives and perfumes should also be avoided. The general principle of corneotherapy is the use of substances which are compatible with the physiology of the skin. Mineral oil contents like petrolatum and paraffin oil hence are not appropriate. On the contrary, triglycerides are applied whose fatty acid components are comparable with the composition of the stratum corneum. An essential barrier component also is cholesterol which can be replaced by shea butter in case of any reservations against animal raw materials. Shea butter contains a high percentage of vegetable sterols which are closely related to cholesterol. For individually adapted corneotherapeutic cosmetic products ("dermaviduals") there are various additional active agents available like urea, amino acids, lipid substances, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, vitamins and extracts. Besides the visual evaluation, the success of these products can largely by proven by simply measuring the skin hydration, sebum and TEWL.

Dr. Hans Lautenschläger

Please note: The publication is based on the state of the art at the publishing date of the specialist journal.

Please use the reader-view for mobile terminals.
If there are any questions, do not hesitate to contact us via .
This applies to any misprint or other relevant mistakes on this page too.
© Copyright Kosmetik Konzept KOKO GmbH & Co. KG, Leichlingen,
Revision: 27.05.2021

published in
Dermaforum 2004 (8)
Forum Ästhetische Dermatologie 2004 (3), 1

special actives - further literature
Enzymes and fermentation
Phytohormones – border crossers in cosmetics
Biopolymer – Hyaluronic acid in skin care
Strong protectors – stabilising antioxidants
From A to K - Vitamin dictionary focussing on skin care
Hot and spicy - paracress, chillies, mustard and Co.
Fire and fire brigade - functioning of free radicals and antioxidants
Hyaluronic acid & polysaccharides - for skin hydration and wrinkle reduction
Pigment disorders of the skin: causes and remedies
Cosmeceuticals - phospholipids
Phosphates: the power suppliers for skin and hair
Anti-irritant agents
Flavones and isoflavones - the all-rounders among active agents
Antimicrobial peptides
So small and subtle - nanoparticles from solid to liquid
Saponins in skin care
Antioxidants and radical scavengers - too much is too much
Retinoids and their use in cosmetics
Frankincense - the resin with healing power
Asking the expert: Any potent active agents to treat excessive sweating?
Approved skin lightener - tranexamic acid is effective against pigmented spots and redness
Alkaloids in cosmetic applications
Vitamins in cosmetics
Flawless skin - active agents and active agent systems
All made of sugar - Glycosides in skin care products
Phospholipids - the all-rounders
Vitamins in cosmetic products - just additives or added benefit as well?
The water balance in our skin: moisturizers & Co.
Extinguishing the flames - anti-inflammatory active agents
Skin whitening agents from A to Z - a summary
Antioxidants - an overview
Biodegradable lamellar systems in skin care, skin protection and dermatology
Let it grow again - on actives and active systems to stimulate hair growth
A focus on nerves - on intended and adverse effects
No crinkle-look - an arsenal of anti-wrinkle agents at choice
Growth factors - the body's own peptides control various cell functions
Vitamins in cosmetics
Trace elements - tiny helpers for a healthy life
Nanoparticles - sizing up skin care
Moisturizers for the skin care
A comparison - pharmaceutical and cosmetic active agents
Fragrances, vitamins and hormones - the ABC of terpenes
From biochemistry - the ABC of steroids
The ABC of fatty acids
Omnipresent and multifunctional - amino acids in skin care
Nanoparticles in cosmetic products - good or bad?
Hyaluronic acid - a legendary agent
Peptides - more than transmitters and hormones
Precious load - transport of active agents
Enzymes - the silent brownies
Vitamin K for a healthy and beautiful skin
Olibanum - embedded in nanoparticles
Treatment of actinic keratoses with a new olibanum extract
High tech agents: new - improved - and more effective?
Corneotherapy - ...more than just a surface application
Specific active agents and bases in corneotherapy
Active agents: liposomes, nanoparticles & co
Strong effects - phospholipids in cosmetics
Encapsulated substances - the capacity of carrier systems
Liposomes in Dermatological Preparations Part II
Liposomes in Dermatological Preparations Part I
Electron-microscopical Detection of Liposomes in a Skin Treatment Gel
Comments concerning the legal framework for the use of liposomes in cosmetic preparations
The Use of Liposomes from Soya Phospholipids in Cosmetics