Timeline of skin cell turnover
Throughout our lifetimes, our skin goes through stages. When we first arrive earth-side, our skin is generally working at its very best. It’s shedding dead cells and replacing them with new, DNA-perfect cells quickly and effectively. That’s why babies and children have that gorgeous, glowy and super soft skin that we are all so jealous of.
Then, about when we hit our teens, all of a sudden that perfect skin suddenly goes haywire. Our hormones kick in which can cause a mass oversupply of oil which overfeeds bacteria that live on our skin, leading to a population explosion and viola; say hello to inflammatory breakouts. Oh, the joys of adolescence!
Eventually most people will get to the point where their hormones settle down and they feel like their skin is under control. Phew! Welcome to adulthood; your skin is going to look GREAT for the rest of your life now, right? Um….
The thing is, once you hit about 25, your skin cell turnover is going to slow down. That means all those dead cells your skin used to shed effectively are suddenly staying there for much longer than they used to. The result? You’re going to end up literally covered in layers and layers of dead skin cells which can flake, feel rough and bumpy, look dull and grey, cause non-inflammatory breakouts like whiteheads and blackheads because they get caught in your pores, stop your expensive treatments getting to live skin cells, and just generally look and feel awful.
Fun fact; by the time you hit your 50s, the dead cells on the outer layer of your skin could have been dead for up to 3 months. Gross, huh?!
How do I get rid of dead skin cells?
We’re so glad you asked!
The answer to getting rid of those dead cells which are taking a free ride is simple; exfoliation.
When we exfoliate, we help our skin to get rid of those dead cells on its outermost layers. This allows those fresher, younger and glowing skin cells you remember from before the slowdown to re-emerge from their dungeon and show their beautiful faces.
Before you go looking for that old tube of apricot scrub you think you have hidden up the back of your bathroom cupboard though, we’d like to introduce you to another variety of exfoliation which delivers even more benefits.
In terms of ease of use, exfoliating tonics are about as simple as it gets! Simply wet a cotton pad with your chosen tonic, then swipe it over your skin and you’re done.
If you’re in the 25+ club and want to speed up your skin cell turnover, you’ll want to choose an exfoliating tonic which contains Glycolic Acid. This water-soluble Alpha Hydroxy Acid, which can be found naturally in plants such as sugar beets and sugar cane, works to break down the “glue” that binds those dead cells to the outer layer of your skin so they can be shed more quickly and easily.
Our range includes two different exfoliating tonics with Glycolic Acid.
Liquid Gold delivers its 5% Glycolic Acid in a low pH setting to maximise its efficacy and is suitable for most skin types. We recommend incorporating Liquid Gold into your routine three nights a week, or alternate nights at most. If you’re new to Glycolic Acid, we’d recommend starting out slower to allow your skin to get used to it.
Instant Facial contains the same amount of Glycolic Acid as Liquid Gold, but its pH is buffered and it also contains a raft of calming botanicals. It’s suitable for all skin types, but if your skin is a little on the sensitive side, this one is likely going to be the better pick for you. As it is gentler, Instant Facial can be used daily if you wish. However, if your skin is new to Glycolic Acid, we would still recommend you start out slower.
What extra benefits does an exfoliating tonic offer?
Where a physical scrub can certainly help to shift any loose dead cells on the surface of your skin, it won’t progressively break down the “glue” that’s sticking them there like Glycolic Acid will. Beyond this, Glycolic Acid is also able to penetrate deeper into the skin where it creates a wave of regeneration in the cells, stimulating both its healing processes which create collagen fibres, and the production of hyaluronic acid. Beyond this, Glycolic Acid also takes other ingredients deeper into the skin with it, further enhancing their benefits.
Unsure which of our exfoliating tonics is best suited to your skin? We’re here to help! Request a live online skin consultation to receive personalised advice from one of our highly trained therapists.