Useful information

The Science of Skin Care 

Skin is the body’s largest organ 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.

Our Ingredients

dermaviduals® products are biomimetic. A true skin barrier formulation will always contain bio-identical chemical and physiological aspects of the stratum corneum so that all ingredients work in a synergistic fashion throughout the formulation and ultimately within the skin barrier itself. Based on the science of Corneotherapy, dermaviduals® offers exciting new Derma Membrane Structure (DMS®) formulations that contain the same physical and chemical characteristics of the permeability barrier. Unlike other skin care products that sit on top of the skin, dermaviduals® DMS® base creams and gels contain the proper ingredients, in the proper amounts and ratios, to actually mimic the stratum corneum and easily integrate with the skin’s lipids to correct and restore the barrier.

Also key to the ability of DMS® formulations to mimic and integrate with the stratum corneum is the phospholipid, Phosphatidylcholine. Saturated Phosphatidylcholine (PCH) is found in all dermaviduals® base creams and gels. PCH supports barrier function, aids in skin regeneration, and prevents dehydration (without occlusion), thereby keeping skin soft and supple.

While repairing the permeability barrier strengthens its ability to block harmful, inflammation-causing substances, in order to treat a problem skin, it is sometimes desirable to penetrate the barrier with selected active ingredients. Importantly, Dermaviduals® unique biomimetic structure also creates an effective system for the targeted delivery of selected active ingredients and nutrients to the skin, before closing the barrier again against foreign substances. Unsaturated Phosphatidylcholine (PC) is key to this targeted delivery system, supplying a high dosage of Linoleic Acid (Omega-6 and -3), and enabling liposome technology which allows an active ingredient to be delivered directly to the skin barrier.

Dermaviduals® offers truly custom skin care solutions for all skin types and conditions. A wide range of liposome-encapsulated active ingredients are available for the treatment of specific conditions. Added to dermaviduals® biomimetic creams and gels, these active ingredients provide customized solutions for any skin type or condition. Skin care concerns are unique to each individual, and can change seasonally as well as over time. A one-size-fits-all product simply cannot address the unique concerns of every skin.

Pure ingredients. Because dermaviduals® products mimic the chemical composition of skin, they contain only pure ingredients and no harmful additives such as mineral oils or other petro-based products that occlude the skin; no emulsifiers that wash-out the lipid structures within the permeability barrier; and no preservatives, parabens, dyes or fragrances that can irritate and cause inflammation.

Why dermaviduals® products work when other products claiming “barrier repair” do not…

Dermaviduals® DMS® products

  • Keep skin’s surface pH (outer stratum corneum) acidic
  • Use preparations consisting of CHOL, FFA, and CER in sufficient amounts and in the correct 1:1:1 Molar Ratio OR 3:1:1 Molar Ratio
  • Mimic the skin’s physical and chemical structure and integrate with the permeability barrier to:
    • Prevent moisture loss
    • Restore protective antimicrobial functions and natural UVB filters
  • DO NOT occlude the skin with mineral oils and other petro-based products
  • DO NOT contain emulsifiers (or silicones or amines that often accompany them) that wash-out the lipid structures within the permeability barrier
  • DO NOT contain preservatives, parabens, dyes or fragrances that irritate and cause inflammation


Other Products

  • Prepared at an incorrect pH and/or strip away the skin’s natural acid mantle (impacts inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, pigmentation and inflammatory pigmentation)
  • Do not contain CHOL, FFA, or CER, or contain incomplete mixtures, insufficient amounts or improper ratios.
    • Incomplete mixtures or incorrect ratios are ineffective to protect or restore the barrier.
    • No ceramides, or insufficient ceramides, is particularly problematic in treating dermatitis or photo-damaged skin.
  • No supporting data for claims of “barrier repair”
  • Often use emulsifiers as a base
  • Often contain occlusive ingredients such as mineral oils and other petro-based products
  • Often contain preservatives, parabens, dyes, and fragrances