Cellular Turnover: The Science Behind Healthy and Youthful Skin

Cellular Turnover: The Science Behind Healthy and Youthful Skin

Cellular turnover is often referred to, by skin care professionals, as the holy grail of healthy skin. Certain skincare products boast their ability to increase cellular turnover for younger, more vibrant-looking skin. Yet, when hearing these things, many of us are left with more than a few questions. What exactly is cellular turnover? How does it affect my skin? How can it be used to the benefit of my skin? This blog is here to answer these important questions and help you use the science of cellular turnover to achieve youthful and rejuvenated skin! 

What is Cellular Turnover? 

Cellular turnover is the body’s natural process of shedding dead skin cells from the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis) and replacing them with newer, healthier cells. Skin cells begin fresh and full of moisture at the bottom layer of the epidermis. Yet, as they mature, they move through the layers of the epidermis and become older and drier as they get closer to the skin’s surface. Once these old, dull cells reach the skin’s surface the body sheds them away, renewing the skin’s outer layer. This cycle continues to occur, over and over again, throughout our lives. 

The process of cellular turnover is impacted by many external factors, including UV exposure, environment, diet, stress levels, smoking habits, etc. However, the most influential factor in the rate of cellular turnover is age. The natural process of cellular turnover becomes progressively slower as we age. 

Here’s a science-backed timeline of how quickly the process of cellular turnover occurs based on age:

Children: 3-5 Days

Teens: 10-21 Days

20’s: 14-21 Days

30’s: 28-45 Days

40’s: 45-60 Days

50’s+: 60-90+ Days

How Does Cellular Turnover Impact My Skin? 

Your body’s rate of cellular turnover directly impacts the appearance of your skin. The more time it takes for the body to complete the cellular turnover process, the more dry and dead skin cells build up on the skin’s surface. This results in visible signs of aging, such as dull, dry, or wrinkly skin. A buildup of dead skin cells can also clog and stretch pores, causing breakouts to occur even past your teenage years. 

How to Speed Up Cellular Turnover? 

Getting older doesn’t have to mean immediate aging for your skin. Luckily, there are several ways to accelerate your cellular turnover rate, which keeps skin looking young and healthy even as you age.

1. Exfoliation

One of the best ways to speed up your cellular turnover rate is by exfoliating your skin. Exfoliation removes dead skin cells from the skin’s surface, leaving behind healthier cells and stimulating the cellular turnover process. 

One way to exfoliate is by trying products with exfoliating ingredients, like glycolic acid or salicylic acid, which both help to separate and remove dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. 

You can also do physical exfoliation, which uses scrubs with tiny grains and particles that rub off dead skin cells. But always be wary of over-exfoliating, as this can cause irritation and redness. Most experts advise exfoliating no more than two to three times per week for optimal results. 

2. Retinol

Retinol, a Vitamin A compound, has been used as a central ingredient in many skincare and anti-aging products. Retinol works to increase skin cell turnover by facilitating the removal of dead skin cells. Retinol also produces collagen, a protein that helps maintain skin elasticity and hydration. Retinol can be drying or irritating for some skin types or when used in excess, so make sure to use it sparingly or, when in doubt, check with your dermatologist to see if it's right for you.

3. Hydration Supplements

Skin supplements can also be used to help facilitate cellular turnover. Our Lilium hydration supplements are designed to hydrate at the cell level, keeping skin cells hydrated during the turnover process. Lilium supplements contain natural ingredients like vitamin A, vitamin C, collagen, and zinc, all of which help to hydrate, regenerate, and rejuvenate skin from the inside out. Since age directly relates to your speed of cellular turnover, those who are older may take longer to see results when taking Lilium, so we recommend taking it for a minimum of a month to start seeing results. But, once you do, the health and hydration of your skin will speak for itself! 


Cellular turnover is an essential process for our skin. It’s important to understand this natural cycle and the impacts it has on our body, in order to keep our skin happy and healthy for years to come!


Dermato Endocrinology: Skin Anti-Aging Strategies | Molecular Biology of the Cell: Epidermis and Its Renewal by Stem Cells | Verywell Health: How Cell Turnover Links to Acne Development | Healthline: How to Remove Dead Skin from Your Face | Healthline: Everything You Need to Know About Premature Aging | Healthline: The Secrets to Deciphering - and Stopping - Skin Purging | Healthline: How Often Should You Exfoliate Your Face?
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