The Science of Cell Turnover & How to Encourage It

Cell turnover—just another example of how our body naturally takes care of itself. But did you know there are many things you can do to help that process along? From the art of proper exfoliation to diet, lifestyle, and skincare rituals, it’s easier than you think to give your skin’s cellular renewal process a helping hand. Vibrant skin for the win. 


Understanding Skin Cell Turnover

Skin cell turnover, or epidermal cell turnover, is a natural process in which old, dead skin cells are shed from the skin's surface to make way for newer, healthier cells. This constant renewal of skin cells is essential for maintaining a more youthful and radiant complexion. Our skin's outermost layer, the epidermis, is composed of multiple layers of cells, with the oldest cells residing on the surface. As these cells age, they become less efficient at retaining moisture and protecting the skin, making it crucial for them to be regularly replaced by fresh, vibrant cells.

Cellular turnover is a process that happens naturally, but as we age, it slows down. When we are children, the skin turns over about every 14 days and extends to every 60 to 90 days as we hit our 50s. And while cell turnover happens naturally, it is affected by various factors, including sun exposure, stress, hormones, diet, and overall health—this is where you come in.


Promoting Skin Cell Turnover

Here’s how you take the reins and make positive changes to your diet, lifestyle, and skincare regimen to bolster your body's natural processes.

  • Diet and Lifestyle Tips: Maintaining healthy choices is essential for optimal skin regeneration. Incorporate regular exercise, a nutrient-rich diet, reduce stress factors, and always protect your skin from environmental factors like UV rays and pollution. Boost your skin's vitality with nutrient-dense foods high in antioxidants, such as blueberries, strawberries, apples, ginger, and turmeric, as well as ample protein from nuts, seeds, beans, fish, and other high-quality protein sources. These dietary changes may enhance your skin's radiance and overall health.
  • Exfoliation: Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the skin's surface. You can achieve this through mechanical or chemical exfoliants. Mechanical exfoliation involves using scrubs or exfoliating tools, while chemical exfoliation uses acids like glycolic or salicylic acid. Proper exfoliation accelerates skin cell turnover, improves circulation, and enhances the absorption of skincare products. Remember, it's essential to exfoliate safely to avoid damaging your skin. Always consider your skin type and thickness before choosing exfoliation methods. If unsure, consult a skincare professional who can provide personalized recommendations and guidance. A professional consultation can ensure you use the right products and techniques for your unique skin needs, leading to a healthier and more radiant complexion.
  • Skin Care Products: Studies have shown that botanical ingredients such as green tea, papaya extract, jojoba oil, rosehip oil, coconut oil, coffee and citrus extracts like orange peel have demonstrated their ability to enhance skin health and support skin regeneration. Also, look for ingredients such as licorice, mulberry, and essential oils with basil, oregano, and thyme. 


The Benefits of Skin Cell Turnover

The true winner in the skin cell turnover game is your skin’s overall health and appearance. Firstly, it helps keep your skin youthful and vibrant by reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. Additionally, regular turnover promotes an even skin tone and texture, and helps reduce acne scars and other blemishes. And it aids in maintaining proper skin hydration and preventing clogged pores, which can lead to breakouts. The turnover process also facilitates the removal of toxins and impurities from your skin, leaving it clearer and more radiant.