Why Is My Skin Cell Turnover Slowing Down?

Why Is My Skin Cell Turnover Slowing Down?

Our skin never stops changing, it evolves with us through life, facing new challenges as we age. One of the biggest barriers that becomes more prominent as we leave youth behind is the slowing down of our skin cell turnover rate. Common when venturing into perimenopause, the skin’s lifecycle starts to need a little more support to shed, repair and renew. In this article, we explore exactly why cellular turnover slows down and how to increase it naturally for a revitalised glow.

Understanding skin cell turnover and skin cycling

Our skin is the biggest organ in our body, continuously going through cycles of change. Its cells constantly replace themselves, shedding to make way for fresh, regenerated tissues. This physical, natural process helps keep our skin smooth, glowing and youthful. While this inherent exfoliation happens regularly when we’re young, this alters as we age. Studies have found that the typical 28-day cell turnover window increases from 30-50% by the age of 80. A slowing of the cell turnover rate can lead to a build-up of dead skin cells, which can make mature skin look dull and lacking glow.

Reasons cellular turnover slows down


In our younger years, skin cells regenerate with ease, requiring little intervention for a consistently radiant complexion. However, as we age the process becomes sluggish, leading to a regular build-up of dead skin cells and slower repair. This cyclical process alters slightly the older we get, with people over 50 taking as long as 84 days to complete a full skin cell turnover.

Hormonal changes

A shift in hormones can affect an array of bodily functions, including our skin's cellular turnover. Closely linked with those going through puberty, perimenopause or menopause, changing hormone levels can disrupt a balance in skin cycling, leading to increased breakouts (for those going through puberty) and uneven texture, dullness and hyperpigmentation.

Sun damage

Years of sun exposure without adequate protection not only leaves you at risk of serious health issues but also affects your skin cell turnover rate. Sun damage slows the rate at which old cells can shed and replace themselves, leaving behind hyperpigmentation, dark marks and dull, dry skin.

Environmental stress

Our daily environments can also affect our skin’s ability to renew. Pollution and harsh weather can also play a contributing factor in slowing down cell turnover rate. This is due to the creation of oxidative stress, which damages skin cells and can cause premature cell death, disrupting the natural progression of cell regeneration.

Lifestyle habits

Making unhealthy lifestyle choices, like a poor daily diet, little exercise or regular smoking and drinking can also negatively affect your skin’s ability for natural renewal. Nutrient deficiencies hinder our body's ability to repair and replace damaged cells.

Skipping out on skincare

Neglecting a regular skincare routine can have a notable impact on your skin cell turnover rate. For example, without regular cleansing and exfoliation dead cells can accumulate on the skin’s surface. By not embracing active ingredients like retinoids that help support cell renewal, you might also be slowing your natural ability to restore and renew.

How can I boost my cell turnover rate?

1.   Keep up a consistent skincare routine, tailored to your needs

One of the main ways you can help to naturally boost your skin cell turnover is by establishing and maintaining a skincare routine that meets your needs. This should include the use of gentle chemical exfoliants that help to slough away dead skin cells, triggering the generation of fresh tissues. Our Glycolic Facial Cleanser has been formulated especially for perimenopausal skin experiencing a slowdown in skin regeneration. Featuring a healthy dose of glycolic acid, this daily cleanser seamlessly buffs away dead skin to make way for a smooth, glowing complexion.

2.   Hydrate, inside and out

Staying hydrated is crucial when looking to increase cell turnover, so make sure to not only keep water close but focus on a moisturising skincare regimen. Regularly using nourishing products helps to maintain the skin barrier, which in turn helps with healthy cell function and regeneration. Dehydrated skin is also more prone to dryness and flakiness, triggering a further build-up of dead skin cells. Hydration plays a central role in our Alivio range, including our most moisturising products in your daily routine:

3.   Wear daily sun protection

Unprotected sun exposure can damage skin cells, affecting and slowing down turnover, especially as you get older. Prolonged time spent in harsh UV rays without the protection of SPF accelerates the symptoms of ageing, breaking down collagen proteins and elastin. No matter the season or weather, make sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen each morning, topping up every few hours if you’re spending time outside or in water.

4.   Exercise regularly

Outside of skincare, leading a healthy, active lifestyle is essential when looking to boost your skin cell turnover rate. Invest time into a daily exercise routine - anything that gets your heart pumping and body moving. This will increase blood circulation which delivers oxygen and nutrients to cells, helping them function optimally. Regular exercise also works to reduce feelings of stress, which can also negatively impact the rate of cell turnover. With this in mind, also consider carving out time for mindful activities like meditation and yoga.


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