Structure and function of skin
The skin is the largest immune organ of the body, covering the body’s entire surface. It consists of two mutually dependent layers - the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis serves as the principal site of interaction with the environment, helping protect the body from environmental exposure, bacteria, toxins and UV radiation.
Skin cell growth follows a natural inside-out growth pattern. Keratinization, the maturation and migration of skin cells, begins in the innermost layer of the epidermis and continues outward, ending in the outermost layer of the epidermis, known as the stratum corneum. As new cells are pushed outward, the dead cells making up the stratum corneum break away and are sloughed off in a process known as desquamation. The processes of cellular regeneration, keratinization and desquamation can take about 6 weeks on youthful, healthy skin.
On damaged, stressed or mature skin this desquamation process can take longer, up to 12 weeks. This is the reason all skin care products need time to work. The cells underneath the surface are the cells that are actually benefitting the most from your favorite products and as they get pushed up and outward they should be healthier if you are using good products.
Skin care companies call this process cell turnover or renewal to use layman's terms. We want our skin cells to turn over at an optimum rate, not too slow and not too fast. When a product is claiming it helps promote cell turnover, it is saying that since your skin is mature, it needs help with more rapid desquamation which gives you newer, younger skin sooner.
However, skin cannot change overnight no matter what products you use. If it has taken years for your skin to look the way it does then it will take time to change its biochemistry. Since you have no way of knowing how long your skin's dequamation process takes, give all your products at least 3 -5 months (or 2 jars of moisturizer) before trying something new. If you keep switching brands you may give credit to a new cream for your radiant skin when it was actually the cream from the previous 12 weeks that did all the work.
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