How Cell Turnover Works for Mature Skin

Skin cell health is at the heart of our skincare formulations. A natural process that changes as we age, a healthy turnover of cells promotes firmness, radiance and elasticity.

There’s a science to skincare, and the biological functions of this organ can seem overwhelming at points. However, fundamental to radiant skin is a healthy moisture barrier – without it, you won’t be able to achieve that sought-after glow.

While we’re young, our complexion enjoys rapid skin cell turnover. As this process slows down with age, it’s important to continue encouraging the skin cell turnover rate, in order to retain luminosity. Without supplementing and strengthening this vital component of regeneration, visible signs of stress including fine lines, wrinkles, sagging in skin alongside acne-related issues can occur.

We all know the importance of looking after skin, but very few of us understand the biology behind this organ, or which ingredients can motivate it to continue renewing itself at a youthful pace. Ahead, we break down this biological phenomenon and reveal how to speed up skin cell turnover through anti-ageing skincare, with steps like anti-ageing serums alongside supportive ingredients.

What is skin cell turnover? 

Otherwise known as the ‘keratinocyte life cycle’, cellular turn over may sound complex – but is actually a fairly basic part of skin health. Skin turnover time can be more simply understood as the life cycle of skin cells. For those in their 20s, the average cycle of skin cells is between 20-30 days. During this time each cell moves from the deeper layers of skin and eventually reaches the top layer – called the stratum corneum – once they mature. Throughout our life, this cycle continuously takes longer to complete. From our teenage years when cell turnover occurs every 14 days, the cycle of producing fresh cells slows down to around 60 days in our 60s. This has visible consequences for skin, which without proper care, can become permanent.

Why does skin cell turnover matter?

While ageing skin changes should be celebrated, protecting long-term strength is vital to maintaining healthy skin. The healthiest version of our skin constantly rejuvenates itself, and there are steps we can take to both encourage skin cell renewal and refresh skin ourselves. As cells die, they become hard, rough and flaky, affecting the texture, skin tone and moisture levels of skin. This can cause dullness and dehydration and exasperate certain skin concerns like blemishes and sensitivity. To ensure strength and protect skin against future stressors, it is important to encourage cell turnover.

How to encourage cell turnover

Alongside naturally occurring exfoliation, there are a range of cell turnover products and habits that help to maintain the rate of skin rejuvenation. Skin cell turnover isn’t just affected by age – the nutrients we apply topically, our diets and our lifestyle habits all affect the standard of skin renewal. To look after your skin and encourage turnover rates, we’ve compiled the best ingredients and routine below.

1. Use an anti-ageing serum

A powerful ingredient in our anti-ageing serum that helps to reduce visible stress and prevent new symptoms are antioxidants. Renowned for their ability to address damage to skin caused by UV radiation and pollutants, antioxidants help to restrengthen skin, which in turn can assist in improving skin cell turnover rate. They’re one of the most powerful ingredients in your anti-ageing arsenal. Age Perfect Cell Renewal Midnight Serum is our next generation antioxidant serum, made with a patented antioxidant recovery complex. This day and night serum can be used to replenish skin cells and hydrate skin. To increase luminosity in skin during the day, Age Perfect Cell Renewal Regenerating Face Serum contains micro-reflectors alongside vitamin B and black truffle extract, which reinstates radiance whilst prolonging skin’s vitality.

2.  Implement retinol into your skincare

Alongside antioxidants, implementing retinol into your skincare regime can help to address ageing and blemish-prone concerns. As rapid skin cell turnover decreases, wrinkles, age spots and fine lines increase. To reduce this, retinoids increase skin cell turnover through the presence of collagen in skin – which quickens the cycle of superficial skin cells. Laser X3 Pure Retinol Night Serum is a night serum formulated with pure retinol, to deliver visible results. As retinol can make skin sensitised to UV rays, we suggest using it at night or with high coverage SPF in the day. 

3.  Increase healthy lifestyle habits

Alongside ageing, the cell turnover rate slows due to certain environmental and behavioural factors. Some of these stressors are avoidable, and others less so. Triggers can include:

  • Pollution
  • Sun exposure
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Hormones

To assist your anti-ageing serum in delivering visible skin improvement, implement positive daily habits. Skin health is holistic – by getting enough sleep, wearing broad spectrum SPF each day and eating a nutrient-rich diet, radiance and bounce in skin can be increased. Supplement your antioxidant night serum and natural cell cycle with exfoliating face scrubs, and ensure that skin is always properly hydrated with a nourishing face cream.

Loved this guide? Keep reading to discover the truth behind anti-ageing creams.


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Look towards <u><a href="" target=_self>powerful anti-ageing ingredients</a></u> with proven results. <a href="" target=_self>Retinol</a> (and retinoids in general) have been touted as a powerful and effective anti-ageing ingredient in recent years – and we’ll tell you why that hype is deserved. So what are retinols and retinoids, and how can they be used to improve the appearance of your skin? Read on to get the lowdown on what retinol and other retinoids do, and how you can incorporate these effective <u><a href="" target=_self>anti-ageing ingredients</a></u> into your <u><a href="" target=_self>skin care routine</a></u>." } }, { "@type":"ListItem", "position": 4, "url" : "", "item":{ "@type": "Article", "mainEntityOfPage":{ "@type":"WebPage" }, "headline":"How To Brighten Skin", "image":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"", "height":900, "width":2000 }, "datePublished": "2021-02-11T11:41:00+00:00", "dateModified": "2023-06-20T01:56:09+00:00", "author": { "@type": "Brand", "name": "L'Oréal Paris" }, "publisher":{ "@type":"Organization", "name":"L'Oréal Paris", "logo":{ "@type":"ImageObject", "url":"", "width":189, "height":60 } }, "description":"There’s no escaping the <u><a href="" target=_self>ageing</a></u> process — growing older and wiser should be something that we’re proud of! 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