How to boost skin cell turnover

We all want fresher looking skin, and there’s an easy way to get it: Boosting your skin cell turnover. This turnover plays an important role in maintaining your skin’s barrier function to protect it and keep it looking fresh, but what exactly does skin turnover mean?

Let’s look at the science.

What is skin cell turnover?

Skin turnover or epidermal turnover is the process of shedding the thin top layer of your skin, exposing fresh skin underneath. In science terms:

Epidermal turnover is the process of the generation of keratinocytes in the basal layer of the epidermis and their eventual loss as corneocytes from the skin surface.”

skin cell turnover and how it works

Image from instagram: @babeandbeauty 

Cell turnover is faster in areas where skin is exposed to the environment, like your face, but slower on unexposed areas, such as your torso.

Most importantly, cell turnover is an important indication of your skin health.

What happens to skin cell turnover as we age?

Epidermal turnover slows as we age. This means exposing that fresh layer of skin underneath takes longer, leaving the ‘old skin’ looking dull on top. The science explains it better:

“Stratum corneum transit time is approximately 20 days in young adults, although it gradually increases with age, lengthening by more than 10 days in older adults.”

How can you increase cell turnover?

This is the million dollar question – How can we boost cell turnover to expose younger, brighter looking skin underneath?

One answer is: Exfoliation

Before you launch into a daily exfoliation regime though, there are a few things you need to know.

Don’t exfoliate everyday

"Exfoliating every day can strip the skin of its natural oils, which can cause breakouts," celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas told Glamour magazine. "It can also cause irritation because you're removing the top layer of skin before it can heal.

Exfoliating too often can cause:

  • Acne breakouts
  • Thinning skin causing wrinkles
  • Red, irritated skin
  • Slower cell turnover
how to exfoliate for brighter skin

In fact, many dermatologists say their patients who complain of irritated skin really suffer from over-exfoliation. This is because exfoliating too much or too vigorously can damage the delicate skin mantle, a thin protective layer over your skin.

Luckily though, over-exfoliating doesn’t affect the underlying layers of your skin, only the top layer. So it’s easy to repair the damage by changing your routine.

How often should your exfoliate to boost cell turnover?

As a general rule, no more than five times a week. And go gently. Instead of using harsh products, choose an exfoliating product that can change with your needs, eg. One that can be both gritty or foaming depending on how much water you use with it.

how to exfoliate


If you’re noticing your skin looks dry, dull and has areas of breakouts, you may need to exfoliate a bit more regularly. But remember, no more than five days per week.

Our exfoliating cleanser are a gentle, safe and effective way to boost cell turnover. DISCOVER THEM HERE.

Samson and Charlie’s exfoliating cleansers can be used as a gritty exfoliating product twice a week, then when rubbed through the fingers, they transform into foaming cleansers with gentle exfoliating properties.

Our exfoliating products are the perfect way to boost cell turnover gently, exposing fresh, younger-looking skin underneath. 

Choose from acne-clearing Blue Tansy and Marine Collagen, or anti-ageing Pomegranate and Paw Paw. 

Click on the image below or click here to discover our gentle, skin-softening cleanser range.