Skin turnover – The secret to achieve baby like skin

Have you ever seen a one-year-old child and thought how beautiful their skin is, wishing as an adult we too have this supple, soft baby skin?

Well, the answer is skin turnover.

What is skin turnover, why is it important, how does it help us, and how to select the best method of skin turnover?

What is Skin Turnover?

Skin turnover is the rate at which a new cell is formed. After every few days, old cells shed or are desquamated, and new cells regenerate from the base of the skin. During maturation, the cell is pushed towards the surface of our body and eventually shaded out, replaced by newer and younger cells. This capacity of our skin to produce new cells depends on our age, and the capacity diminishes as we age. Other factors affecting the turnover rate include intrinsic aging factors (like heredity, illnesses, deficiencies, malnutrition, etc.) and extrinsic aging factors (like UV exposure, pollution, smoking, etc.).

Why is Skin Turnover Important?

To understand the importance of skin turnover, let’s first understand some abnormal skin turnover and how it affects us.

Psoriasis: It is an autoimmune disease where the skin turnover is so rapid that immature cells are exposed to the surface before maturity. This exposure causes irritation, leading to itching. The itching leads to exposing more skin, thus perpetuating a vicious cycle.

Another example of abnormal cell turnover is ingrown hair, where the natural exfoliation of skin or the turnover of cells is lacking, preventing hair from fully growing outward, resulting in it growing inward.

Blackheads are another example, where dried sebum is clogged in the skin, and regular exfoliation can prevent their formation. Blackheads can lead to acne, so preventing them can substantially minimize acne.

Benefits of Improving Skin Turnover and How to Improve It

Improving skin turnover has numerous benefits:

  • Skin looks younger and supple, dewy

  • Delays fine lines and wrinkles

  • Sloughs off hyperpigmentation
  • Avoids blackheads and acne
  • Stimulates collagen
  • Minimizes pores
  • Helps with ingrown hair

Types of Exfoliation:

There are three major types of exfoliation:

Mechanical or Physical Exfoliation: This method uses mechanical force to slough off the upper layer of the epidermis. It ranges from homemade scrubs to treatments with high-grade machines like diamond tip microdermabrasion in doctor’s offices and med spas. Care should be taken to use gentle materials to avoid damaging the skin.

Chemical Exfoliation: Chemical agents dissolve dead cells and the intercellular matrix that holds the cells together. Common exfoliating agents include AHA, BHA, and PHA. This method is not suitable for sensitive skin and may increase the risk of hyperpigmentation if proper sun protection is not used.

Enzymatic Exfoliation: Enzymes such as papain, bromelain, and pancreatin are used to digest dead cells on the surface of the skin. This method is milder compared to chemical peels and is suitable for mature and sensitive skin. It is particularly beneficial for those with melasma, hyperpigmentation, and open acne.

Important Tips:

After any kind of exfoliation, it’s important to use sunscreen and moisturizer to protect the newly exposed younger skin and keep it hydrated and protected.

Simple Homemade Resurfacing Exfoliation:

1 tsp papaya pulp (contains papain enzyme)

1 tsp pineapple pulp (contains bromelain enzyme)

1 tsp clay (absorbs excess sebum)

1 tsp oat mill powder (anti-inflammatory)

½ tsp lemon juice (acts as a brightener)

Grind the pulp to a paste, mix all ingredients together to make a thick paste, add a little water, and massage the face gently in an upward and outward motion for 5-7 minutes. Leave it as a mask for 10 minutes, then wash with lukewarm water followed by sunscreen and moisturizer.



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