The Adjustment Phase Explained

Whether you’re new to SJM Skin Aesthetics or an existing client, you would have heard of something that we keep talking about called the ‘The Adjustment Phase’.

 We discuss this phase so often - but what does it actually mean?


At SJM Skin Aesthetics, we follow a methodology called Corneotherapy, which in simple terms, is called Skin Cell Therapy. We focus on the integrity of skin cells and their function to ensure your skin is in a state of homeostasis at all times (meaning that the skin can function on its own in a healthy way.)

The epidermis, (the first layer of our skin) has many systems in place to protect external substances from entering the skin, but also works to ensure to keep in all our natural moisturizing factors (NMF’s). When this barrier function is compromised, we start to experience many kinds of skin conditions.


Dermaviduals is a dermatological skin care system that we use to aid us in restoring the barrier back to health, however, when starting on this home care regime, you can/ most likely will experience the adjustment phase.

Left Image - One of our clients who came to us suffering from eczema, during the adjustment phase. Right Image - After adjustment phase.

Left Image - One of our clients who came to us suffering from eczema, during the adjustment phase. Right Image - After adjustment phase.

While most people notice a marked improvement in their symptoms following their home care prescription, some skins feel worse before they start to feel better.


In natural medicine circles, this is sometimes referred to as a healing crisis. The idea is that as your body/skin starts to undergo the changes involved towards health, things get stirred up.

This can cause not only an intensified affect of your current symptoms but also begin the recurrence of previous ailments that has been dormant (active in the past).


Corneotherapy awakens your self-healing capabilities. With that can come an onslaught of bodily awareness. This usually is a positive experience but it also can mean heightened sensitivity or intolerance for things that previously felt normal.

For example: When your skin starts to become healthier, you will be less tolerable to junk on your skin. Like before, you use to wear your chemist brand foundation but then made the switch to Dermaviduals Deco Foundation, but over the weekend you wanted to wear your old chemist brand make up and then broke out in a rash or acne. Synthetic ingredients are not your friend LOL.


The good news about this ‘worsening’ side effect is that it’s a sign that things are moving. In the case of Corneotherapy this means that the primary objective is being met! That is, you are starting to transition on multiple levels from stuck to unstuck.

This phase can last up to 6-8 weeks for most, however no two skins are the same and some can conditions can take longer.

Below are is some examples of what you can expect over this period:

  • Dryness

  • Flakiness

  • More irritation

  • More congestion than usual

  • Feeling tight

  • Overall imbalance

  • Purging


Please, Please! Keep remembering that this is a normal and temporary part of the skincare process and we have all been through it ourselves! The best advice we can give you, is to stay committed, persist through this short phase, and we can ensure you, you and your skin will come out on top!


If you have any questions, please get in touch!

Suzanne Smedley