Renewal: Our skin renews itself - constantly!

Progression of an opening flower to a wilting flower

Change of layers: This is why the skin renews itself

If you have ever come across the word 'exfoliation', you may know that it refers to shedding or renewal. The term is based on the Latin word for exfoliation: 'exfoliare'. So what does this have to do with our skin - how does skin renew itself?

Our skin also peels off, but only the top layer (the horny layer), in our epidermis. The dead skin scales of this horny layer are shed, because they are the end of a division process. This continuous cell division in the epidermis, the so-called epidermis, takes place from the inside out: The water-rich basal cells in the lowest layer of the epidermis are continuously pushed upwards. On their way upwards they slowly dry out, become horny and finally form the uppermost horny layer of the skin. The uppermost (dead) horny cells thus flake off when new skin cells push in from below.

The entire process of renewal repeats itself throughout life, because the skin cells are constantly being regenerated. The skin therefore regenerates itself permanently. And fortunately - it has to be said! After all, our epidermis or horny layer performs a variety of tasks: It protects us from injury, dehydration or UV radiation. So renewal is good! In younger years, skin cells need just under a month for their journey through the epidermis. Only because of this constant renewal can our skin always form a perfect protective barrier. The body's own renewal is therefore vital for us.

Why you should support skin renewal

Although skin renewal takes place in a regular cycle, this slows down over the course of a lifetime and can also be uneven. If you consider that our skin sheds 14 grams of flakes every day, that's 50,000 skin cells per minute or over 5 kilos of skin per year! If there are too many dead horny cells on the surface which are also held together by a mixture of lipids and proteins, irregularities will occur:

  • The skin looks sallow and gray because it can no longer reflect light well.
  • Moisture can also no longer be stored well, and the skin surface feels rough and uneven.

It's high time to boost skin renewal! This is done with the help of mechanical or chemical peels.

Fruit acids: gentle helpers

The use of chemical agents or fruit acids is a proven method to rid oneself of too many dead skin cells and to boost the renewal of the skin. Fruit acids work evenly and are much milder than the term "acid" suggests. The skin is not etched away, but the cell kit between the long dead skin cells is dissolved. In this way, the fruit acids help the horny skin flakes to finally detach from the epidermis and clear the way for new, fresh skin cells.

Of course, you should make sure that you tolerate the fruit acid used! There are big differences between the individual types of fruit acids regarding their tolerance. The rule of thumb is "better mild and regular than occasional and aggressive". Chemical peelings designed for daily use at home usually use between 2 and 10 % fruit acid. Professional cosmetic treatments also use higher dosages.

If you want to try fruit acids on your own but are inexperienced in using fruit acid products, there are two ways to start weaker and slowly get your skin used to using fruit acids:

  • Mix the fruit acid product with your regular moisturizer, or
  • first reduce the interval and do not use the product directly every day.  

We have written a separate blog article about the special properties of different chemical peels.

By the way, HighDroxy has two chemical peels: The FACE SERUM with 10% Mandelic Acid and the PORIFY BHA SOLUTION with 2% salicylic acid.

Mechanical peelings: Better without plastic

Mechanical peelings are characterized by the fact that the skin is freed from dead skin flakes with the help of natural or synthetic granules. The granules are rubbed (gently!) over the skin.

But be careful - if you use too much mechanical exfoliation, press too hard or use a product with sharp-edged exfoliating granules such as ground apricot kernels, you could damage your skin. This is because it is always possible for individual particles to be sharp-edged, so many mechanical exfoliators are more suitable for use on the body than on the face. Who wants to sand their face down? So mechanical exfoliants should not feel "scrubby" at all and should always be used gently and without pressure. Even mild mechanical peels should usually not be used daily, 1-2 applications per week are usually sufficient.

There are very mild mechanical peelings, e.g. from jojoba wax, or from synthetically produced beads. The latter should be avoided for the sake of the environment, because our sewage treatment plants cannot filter out such tiny plastic substances very well. Unfiltered, synthetically produced beads find their way into nature and ultimately into the stomachs of fish and other marine animals. If you prefer to eat fish without plastic in the future, it's better to avoid plastic in scrubs.

Image source: / moragott