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Why is Dermaviduals so different from most other skincare on the market?

The BIG difference with Dermaviduals is the formulation of the base cream.

The Background

Dermaviduals was formulated by German Chemist; Hans Lautenschläger.

Hans was a pioneer of Corneobiology (circa 1979) which is the study of the very top layers of the epidermis. These layers were once considered to be ‘dead’ skin cells but through corneotherapy studies and research it is found to be very much alive and a crucial component to the overall skin health. The very top layers not only provide a highly organised protective barrier but also send vital messages to the underlying layers which affect change at a cellular level.

Hans is a pioneer of PHOSPHOLIPID technology and has been fundamental in creating skin care that is uniquely compatible with the skin structure, making it tolerable even for the most sensitive skins. Not only is this technology being used within the pharmaceutical industry but Hans was keen to enable skin specialists to utilize the technology to enhance results within their treatments too, so Dermaviduals was born!

Why are phospholipids so special?

In order to understand why phospholipid technology is so desirable in the making of

creams we first need to understand the epidermis a little more.

If we think about the structure of the skin simply, imagine a brick wall. Our upper layers of skin - the epidermis - is made up of corneocyte cells (bricks) surrounded by mostly lipids (mortar). These LIPIDS act like a waterproof protective barrier to the outside.

Phospholipids have a water-loving head and an oil loving tail. This allows the innate combination of water and oil to form layers in the skin and to work together. These are called the Lipid Bilayers.

When we look at the epidermis in detail we actually find water and lipids arranged in layers comprised of naturally occurring PHOSPHOLIPID molecules.

Fig. 1. Right.

Phospholipids forming lipid bilayers in between the skin cells.

How The Dermaviduals DMS Cream is created

Dermaviduals uses this example of nature and combines the water and oils in its products using an ingredient called phosphatidylcholine, which is a phospholipid naturally found in the membranes of our cells, and has the same water loving head and oil loving tail structure. This ingredient along with a high pressure production process creates a SKIN-SIMILAR base cream. So even before any active ingredients have been added to Dermaviduals creams they are still hugely beneficial to the skin.

Fig .2. This shows the SKIN SIMILAR structure of the Dermaviduals Cream compared to Lipid bilayers shown under a microscope.

Top left: Dermaviduals cream

Top Right: Standard emulsion

Bottom image: Skin lipids

Most other skin care industries will not produce creams in this way because the ingredient phosphatidylcholine AND the production process is expensive.

How is that so different to other skin creams?

Almost all other skin brands on the market today use the standard method to make their creams which involves combining oil and water together using emulsifiers.

As we know oil and water don’t usually mix together so the easiest and cheapest way to combine them together to create a stable cream, lotion or emulsion is to use EMULSIFIERS or SURFACTANTS (two names for essentially the same thing).

See Fig. 2 top right image.

Emulsifiers act like a magnet to oil allowing it to combine with water.

A good example of an emulsifier is washing up liquid. When you use it on your dirty cooking pans it acts like a magnet to combine with the oily residue and when you add water it all comes off and washes down the plug hole.

So, lets think about this in relation to emulsifyers in skin care.

If we use products containing emulsifiers regularly, every time we wash our skin, the valuable lipids within the skin layers will be eroded away leaving our skin compromised, ultimately rendering it unable to function to its best ability.


The skin barrier is the very uppermost layers of the epidermis.


- Reduces water loss from skin

- Limiting skin infections

- Protection from ultraviolet rays

- Neutralising oxidants

- Allows transfer of substances for healthy skin function

(and lots more!)

What happens when these tasks are not able to function properly:

- Increase in TEWL (Trans Epidermal Water Loss leads to reduced action of enzymes that stimulate natural exfoliation (desquamation) so can lead to dull, dry, congestion and milia.

- Increase in certain bacteria which can lead to breakouts, rosacea flare-ups and skin infections

- Increased chance of pigmentation

- Accelerated ageing

(and lots more!!)

Louisa Quiddington

Skin Specialist

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