Free Delivery Over €100

Fast 1-3 days, Ireland only

Book At Serenity Day Spa

Click here to book

Book At Nu Aesthetics

Click here to book

Dublin's Top Aesthetic Skin Clinic & Day Spa

chevron_left chevron_right

Understanding Cellular Turnover

Understanding Cellular Turnover

Cellular turnover is the process of producing new skin cells to replace existing skin cells and is vital to keeping your skin smooth, healthy, and glowing. Unfortunately, like many biological processes in the body, it’s also something that can slow down and become less efficient as we age.

Our skin is our largest organ and has the task of warding off irritants, whether in the form of UV radiation from the sun, blue light from the ever-present screens in our life, wind damage, or other environmental irritants. To ward off this damage and keep your skin healthy, your body needs to constantly produce a new supply of skin cells.

The Process of Cellular Turnover

So how does cellular turnover work? Every 28-40 days, on average, a new skin cell is born in the deepest layer of the epidermis. The cell then travels up through the epidermis until it reaches the uppermost layer of the skin. Once the cell reaches this layer, it is rough, dry, flaky — what we consider a dead skin cell.

Young children have a faster cell turnover rate, which explains why babies and little kids  have such bright, soft, luminous-looking skin—their cell turnover rate is twice as fast as adults. They always have new skin cells on the surface. As we age, however, our cell turnover rate slows down. Without cellular turnover, you can get a buildup of skin cells at the surface that can lead to issues such as hyperpigmentation, milia (small white bumps on the skin), and uneven texture.

Acne-Prone Skin

Cellular turnover is also closely linked to acne. In those who suffer from acne breakouts, the cellular turnover process doesn’t seem to be as efficient as those who have minimal if any acne. Acne-prone skin produces more dead skin cells than is typical, and these cells aren’t properly shed.

Skin cell turnover isn’t the only factor that affects your risk of experiencing acne outbreaks. Hormones, age, and environment can also affect acne. Promoting a healthy skin cell turnover process can have very positive results if you have persistent or recurring acne.

How to Encourage Cellular Turnover

While cellular turnover happens naturally, there are certain things you can do to make it happen more quickly. In fact, by disturbing the natural process of cellular turnover, you can encourage it to occur more rapidly.

Exfoliation – Chemical exfoliants such as glycolic acid interact with the bonds between the dead cells and the skin, which helps loosen the cells and encourages them to fall off. Mechanical exfoliants such as scrubs rub the top layer of skin hard enough to physically remove the dead skin cells. In both cases, new cells will come out on top.

Because of the inability of acne-prone skin to naturally shed dead skin cells, exfoliation is particularly important in helping the process along. Regular use of an exfoliant can inhibit the formation of blackheads and blemishes by keeping the follicles free of blockages.

July 11, 2024

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.