Skin Health Magazine Issue #9 / Autumn-Winter 2018 | Page 26

My Skin Journey DR CARL THORNFELDT A practising dermatologist with over 25 years’ experience treating the most problematic skin concerns, Epionce founder and CEO Dr Carl Thornfeldt has created a range of topical products that respect and strengthen the skin barrier like no other. Here, he shares his experience of dealing with childhood eczema, formulating products from scratch, and finding the solution to the most common skin diseases. As a child, I suffered from patches of severe eczema. At the time, the most common treat- ment option was tar, sulphur or acids. Needless to say, skin stained by tar, the odour from the sulphur and all the scratching made it hard to make or keep friends. I knew that I wanted to try to prevent other children from having to go through what I experienced. Now, my biggest driver is wanting my patients to expe- rience clearance of their disease so they can have a better quality of life – regardless of what the long term skin disease actually is. I started Epionce after I realised that the exist- ing options on the market just weren’t working for many of my patients, and I needed a dif- ferent approach. I realised that all our (topical) therapies were destroying the protective skin barrier, so I started working with Dr Peter Elias to establish a team that focused on completely original bench research on the structure and function of the epidermis and its barrier. We developed an understanding of the importance of the skin barrier and its regulation, and also discovered the role of inflammation as related to skin diseases and skin ageing. Our formulations are completely unique to Epionce. Unlike many other brands, we did not go to a third-party manufacturer to have them create something from one of their ‘recipe’ books using common ingredients. Instead, we do all the original research on ingredients and formulations ourselves, then our formulating chemists create the product. We also do clinical studies for efficacy and safety on the final for- mulation, and then we manufacture all of the products in our own FDA-inspected drug manufacturing facility. Creating new products is incredibly complex. I need to understand how all the components of each of the ingredients work within the skin, what the optimal concentrations for therapeutic benefit are in the skin, and how they interact with each other. This requires an in-depth knowledge of the structure and function of the skin plus the chemistry of active ingredi- ents, and how and where to deliver the actives. Additionally, certain techniques to deliver the active ingredients must be employed because the skin is so complex, with both oil and water-soluble layers. In a nutshell, the purpose of the Epionce product line is to help me be a better doctor. I want to provide products that reduce the side effects of prescription products, improve clear- ance rates and keep people’s skin clear. The skin barrier is our protection against the outside world. It keeps environmental insults such as pollution, UV and microbes out. For the skin barrier to properly keep all these insults ISSUE #09 | 2018 | 26