How to Support Your Skin’s Natural Renewal Cycle
Ever wonder what’s going on beneath the skin when you have a particularly good skin day or a bad one? Lucky for us, our skin actually renews itself every 28 days (FYI, as we get older, that time period gets longer) by shedding dead skins cells and replacing them with fresh new ones.1 But in order to keep our skin’s cell turnover working as it should, we have to practice good skin care habits—and not just the topical kind. Even exercise, diet, hydration and sleep play a part in the health of your skin.
Renewal-Boosting Skin Care Tips
Find your best skin care routine—and stick with it. Regardless of your skin type, you always want to cleanse, treat and moisturize your face both day and night. Sticking to a routine will help remove dead skin cells, nurture the younger ones underneath, and bring healthy skin to the surface every 28 days.
Also, don’t forget your sunscreen! Sunburns damage the genetic material in your skin cells2—and, because of it, will rapidly age your skin.3
Avoid chemical-laden skin care products. Just like the food we eat, the stuff we put on our skin should be rich in nutrients, and not filled with synthetic chemicals that can be potentially toxic for our systems. Look for naturally derived skin care products packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, essential fatty acids and other phytonutrients—because they will help support, not thwart, skin cell renewal. Look at the labels for proof!
Give your products time to work—then re-evaluate. The Internet can be full of conflicting information about this one, so let’s clear the water: Because of your skin’s life cycle, it actually takes six weeks to see the effects of a skin care product. There are no instant results! So we recommend re-evaluating your skin care routine every 2 to 3 months, but no sooner. If you switch products too often, or use too many treatments at once, you might throw off the rhythm and health of your skin.
Feed your cells the good stuff. A healthy diet is crucial for healthy skin. We’re talking lean meats, poultry, fish, fresh veggies and fruits, whole grains, beans and nuts. These foods will give you the vitamins (A, Bs, C, D, E and K) and minerals (copper, zinc and selenium) that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends for healthy skin cell development.4
Drink your eight glasses a day. We all know that water helps flush out toxins in our bodies (thanks, kidneys!), but skin cells also need water to stay plump.4 Keep a large re-useable water bottle handy so you won’t forget to refill.
Keep that body moving. Exercise is obviously good for many reasons—heart, lungs, good mood—but it’s also beneficial for our skin. By increasing blood flow, those lunges and burpees (or whatever activity you’re into) actually help nourish your skin cells. As a WebMD article said, “You can think of it as cleansing your skin from the inside.5"
Get your beauty sleep. As countless doctors will tell you, we all need to shoot for at least seven hours of sleep a night. (Trust us, it’s not an old wife’s tale used to convince kids to go to bed at a decent time). Your skin relies on sleep to repair itself and help create new skin cells. When we’re sleep deprived, our immune systems get run down, which can open the door for a ton of skin issues.4
Your skin’s renewal process is an amazing thing all on its own. But by practicing healthy habits, and incorporating skin care products that support the 28-day cycle, you can make sure it always looks and feels its best.