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Cell Turnover: Why It Matters & How You Can Maximize It!

Cell turnover is one of the most important skin functions that contributes to a smoother, clearer and more youthful skin appearance.  As we age our cell renewal factor or cell turnover rate slows. Cell turnover is the process in which skin cells travel from the lower or deeper layers to the outermost or superficial layers.  The three layers of the skin include epidermis (outer layer) which provides a waterproof barrier and creates our skin tone.  The dermis (middle layer) sits beneath the epidermis and contains a tough connective tissue, hair follicles and sweat glands.  The deeper subcutaneous tissue (hypodermis) is made of fat and connective tissue.  The top layer of the epidermis is what sloughs or sheds.  This natural progression keeps dead cells from building up on the skin surface.

Slower cell turnover is characterized by a decrease in collagen synthesis and elastin (the building blocks of healthy and taught skin) which contributes to a loss of skin vibrancy, lift, elasticity and firmness.

Cell renewal rates change as we age; infants/toddlers average 14 days, teenagers 21-28 days, middle aged adults 28-42 days and by age 50 the cell renal rate slows down to 42-84 days. The longer the skin takes to shed the more dull and dry skin the skin appears.  The build-up of dead skin cell also makes it extremely difficult for your skincare products to penetrate into the skin.

Exfoliation is essential to removing the dead cells. There are many ways to promote exfoliation like alpha hydroxy glycolic acid that is in SkinCeuticals Glycolic 10 or a retinol.  Chemical peels are also an excellent way to shed these dead cells.

Microneedling often called collagen induction therapy is a great way to build collagen and involves using fine needles to create thousands of tiny invisible puncture wounds to the skin.  These micro injuries stimulate the body’s natural wound healing processes resulting in increased cell turnover as well as increased collagen and elastin production.  Microneedling goes beyond reducing wrinkles and has been show to significantly reduce sun damage and hyperpigmentation. Microneedling can also be supercharged using platelet rich plasms (PRP).