Written by Hayley Wood for Apoterra Skincare
“Cell turnover” is often discussed in the skincare industry as a tip for looking younger – an action phrase on how to obtain younger looking skin with the most youthful and glowing complexion. Today, we want to discuss what cell turnover actually is in order to understand how to best exfoliate & how to support your skin’s natural rejuvenation process.
What is cell turnover?
The skin is a living organ which holds different and important natural functions that often go unnoticed. One of those unnoticed functions is how we shed dead skin cells all the time (what do you think is in those dust bunnies under the bed?). Our skin is also constantly regenerating - just think of how quickly a paper cut heals.
Let’s look skin deep to learn how these functions occur:
- DERMIS (aka lowest layers of the skin) New skin cells are born here. The dermis is responsible for most skin cell functions like sweating and blood circulation. Once these new cells are born, they slowly make their way up to the epidermis.
- EPIDERMIS (aka the top layers of the skin) There are 5 layers of the epidermis that the new skin cells mature through where they eventually die and naturally shed off. Creating a full cell turnover.
Cell Turnover Rate
Cell turnover rate is mostly impacted by age which is why increasing cell turnover is a frequent tip for looking younger. When our cell turnover slows down, our skin can lose its youthful glow, so naturally we reach for products and procedures that accelerate the speed of cell turnover and create younger looking skin. Eventually, this can become a practice in which we become addicted to the fresh feeling and don’t give our regeneration enough time to compensate.
This natural cyclical process of cell turnover changes throughout our lifetime:
Is there such thing as too much cell turnover?
There is a fine film on top of the stratum corneum (top layer of the epidermis) called the acid mantle which is composed of dead skin, sweat, sebum, and healthy microbes. This acid mantle is quite fragile and can easily be disrupted by harsh products and procedures created to achieve faster cell turnover & younger looking skin. This is why knowing how to best exfoliate your face is so important.
It’s also important to note that if cell turnover is promoted without the proper regeneration of cells, this can lead to sensitivity and damage to the skin. Too much facial exfoliation & disruption of natural cell turnover can usually cause inflammation in the skin in the form of bacterial acne or even trap proteins like melanocytes to cause discoloration.
FINDING THE BALANCE: The key to a healthy glow & younger looking skin is to keep the acid mantle intact while promoting natural cell turnover.
How to support this natural function & encourage younger looking skin
In order to support the natural function of cell turnover & encourage youthful skin without over-stressing our skin, an important tip is to evaluate both health and lifestyle habits. This allows your body to fully regenerate when cells are naturally desquamated (aka shed):
- Through movement and sweat, you are allowing your body to flush out waste through sweat and lymph.
- Having a nutrient rich diet will continue to fuel your body’s functions to create new and healthy cells (aka younger looking skin!).
- Through rest, you are recalibrating all of your detoxification organs which work hard for you during the day.
- Finally, a simplified daily skincare routine helps support the skin’s natural cell renewal functions without enforcing a harsh change. Check out our Apoterra Cell Renewal Protocol below!
Apoterra Cell Renewal Protocol for Younger Looking Skin
Even though all of the Apoterra products are crafted to help create balance with your skin’s unique needs through plant-based ingredients, we wanted to highlight our faves for a Cell Renewal Protocol:
- Daily Cleansing: our facial soaps are formulated to help gently cleanse the skin from the natural build up we accumulate during the day without stripping your acid mantle.
- Hydration Mist: our pH balanced toning mists provide hydration while cooling the skin. This step also helps prep the skin for absorption of nutrients (nourished skin = younger looking skin!).
- Daily Serum and/or Balm: once your skin is cleansed and misted, it’s time to feed it with balancing and nourishing ingredients found in our natural face serums and balm.
- Weekly Exfoliation: to help support your natural turnover and glowing, younger looking skin, the Hibiscus Exfoliating Mud provides a gentle face exfoliation for weekly use.