Zoe Devine_Skinstitut

Skinstitut expert, Zoe Devine explains how to keep your face nice in winter

Winter can be rough on your skin, from your face to your hands and legs and everything in-between, but that doesn’t mean you can’t handle it like a professional.

That’s why you need Skinstitut, an Australian skincare brand that uses some effective additions in each of its products to give your skin what it needs, without any downtime.

Skincare expert, Zoe Devine explains the ins-and-outs:

How does cell renewal affect the skin?

Skin is both the largest and fastest growing organ of the body. It renews itself approximately every 28 days. By the age of 50, the 28 day process can take up to an extra 10 days. Cell turnover slows in conjunction with deceleration of cellular metabolism.

Once skin renewal slows down, what can happen to the skin?

The slowing of skin renewal can result in:

    • A dull lack lustre complexion
    • Appearance of the signs of ageing
    • Rough skin tone
    • Skin discolouration

What factors can affect cell renewal?

Unsurprisingly, our age will dictate cell renewal. It’s only natural for it to slow as we get older. For example, we can see there are distinct differences by age group:

    • Babies: 14 Days approximately
    • Teenagers: 21-28 Days
    • Middle Age Persons: 28-42 Days
    • Those 50 and Older: 42-84 Days

Besides age, other factors such as genetics, lifestyle, environment, personal care and medical history can play a role in cell renewal.

To put this into perspective, we simply need to look at a baby’s skin. In comparison to an adult it is soft, smooth and clear. An infant will have much faster cell turnover resulting in less build up. Additionally, as cells are shed and replaced at a much faster rate, it leaves little opportunity for the general wear and tear a more mature skin will experience, as an infant’s skin is exposed to environmental elements for a much shorter period of time.

As we age, there are changes that occur deep within our skin that have an effect on skin cell renewal including the weakening of blood vessels (in the dermis) plus the flattening out of dermal papillae. As dermal papillae flatten this reduces the surface area between our dermis and epidermis meaning less nutrient transfer. The cells in the lowest part of our epidermis (Basale layer) then suffer from reduced nutrient and oxygen supply.

We also need to be cautious with sun exposure as UV light has the ability to damage cells in the Basale layer thus slowing down their rate of cell division and renewal.

Can we help our skin to re-create a soft, smooth, radiant appearance?

Having a healthy, well-maintained barrier function is the first step in assisting adequate cell renewal. This will contribute to a smoother appearance while serving to protect the lower layers of our skin.

To maintain a healthy barrier function this simply involves using the correct products for your skin (especially moisturiser) and avoiding anything in the lifestyle that could impair the skin barrier (such as aggressive over exfoliating, stripping products, hot showers etc).

To improve skin cell renewal thereby creating a radiant complexion regular exfoliation is highly beneficial. This will assist in smoothing the skin at the surface level through surface removal of dead skin. This in turn triggers cell renewal at the lower layers of skin.

How does cell renewal work and how can we facilitate this process?

Epidermal cells are formed in the Basale (Germinative) layer. In their approximate 28-day journey keratinocytes move upward through the next four layers to the outer most layer of the epidermis, the stratum Corneum, these cells undergo modifications to their structure, filling with keratin, flattening out and losing water.

At the end of their travels upward the cells finish as flattened out, dry ‘scales’ or corneocytes, that are eventually desquamated from the surface of the epidermis. Corneocytes are pushed up from the Basale layer by new, fresh corneocytes, like a crowd is pushed forward by the people at the back.

By the age of 50, this 28-day process will take around another 10 days to complete because corneocytes are being produced more slowly. Cellular metabolism has slowed down significantly and contributes to the appearance of ageing skin by this time.

Specific Skinstitut products are designed to speed up the process through surface cell removal and/or Basale cell layer stimulation. Understanding the correct choice of product and the ingredients it contains is vital since overuse or the wrong choice could lead to sensitivity and even increased sebaceous activity as more superficial layers of cells may be removed than is necessary for the particular skin being treated.

Are there any visual clues we should look for when assessing our skin in regards to skin renewal?

The process of cell renewal in the papillary and reticular layers of the dermis is responsible for the outward appearance and texture of the skin.

Considerations when looking at skin texture:

    • Excess keratinisation (this could lead to blockages in follicles for susceptible individuals)
    • Loss of structural integrity
    • Loss of adhesion or resilience
    • Small pillows above the eye fold (Glycation)
    • Uneven skin appearance with a sheen that reflects the light (this is a build-up of dead skin cells)

Which Skinstitut products will help contend with challenges of slowed cell renewal?

L-Lactic Cleanser – Gentle chemical exfoliation which enhances epidermal shedding and increases cell turnover allowing for increased product penetration. This cleanser is milder option for skins that are new to alpha hydroxyl acids. Ingredients include:

    • Raspberry Fruit Extract – Extremely cleansing, provides additional antioxidant support for environmentally stressed skin
    • Goji Berry Extract – a rich source of – vitamins, minerals & antioxidants
    • Seaweed Extract –known for its moisturising properties as it has the ability to react with protein and form a protective gel on the skin, protecting us from moisture loss through evaporation. Seaweed is known to be naturally rich in wide range of vitamins.


    • Deeply hydrates and nourishes
    • Exfoliates and decongests
    • Reduces irritation and sensitivity
    • Strengthens skin integrity
    • Improves skin radiance, texture and tone

Skintitut L-Lactic Cleanser $45_HR

Glycolic Cleanser 12% -Glycolic acid works as an exfoliant, removing dead skin cells that have accumulated on the surface of the skin. The build-up of these dead cells accentuates fine lines and pores, dulls the appearance of the skin and produces a rougher skin texture. Glycolic Acid generates amazing improvement for sun damaged skin. Old cells detach more rapidly uncovering smoother, finer texture, and more supple skin. As lines and wrinkles become less apparent, the skin becomes more youthful in appearance.

Skinstitut Glycolic Cleanser_$45

Glycolic acid loosens the glue-like substance that holds layers of skin cells together. With use of a glycolic, the ‘glue’ becomes loosened and thickened dead skin is sloughed away, leaving newer skin cells with a smoother texture and healthier appearance on the surface.

Glycolics, such as the 12% Glycolic Cleanser and 14% Glycolic Scrub, have also proven to be excellent for unclogging pores, which decreases the tendency for acne to appear. Ingredients include:

Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) – known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties and is often used to treat acne and its symptoms.

Retinol- Retinol is a form of Vitamin A that promotes cell renewal in the skin by increasing collagen and elastin production. Skin appears smoother with a clearer, lifted and more even skin tone. It reverses, prevents and repairs the appearance of skin damage. Retinol can be used on most skin types, especially aged, break-out and pigmented skin. Ingredients include:

    • Peptide – SYN®-AKE – softens the appearance of fine lines an facial contours
    • Encapsulated Retinol
    • Plant Extracts – reduces swelling and soothes reactivity of sensitive skin
    • Peptides – protects skin against environmental stressors such as pollution and provides antioxidant support
    • Hydrogenated Olive Oil – excellent emollient capability, restores suppleness

Skinstitut Retinol $45_HR

Hydrating Mask – Intense hydration for moisture and radiance, for all skin types and conditions, especially dehydration.


    • Purifies and soothes stressed, dull skin
    • Nourishes and repairs damage caused by dehydration
    • Improves luminosity and radiance
    • Plumps and smooths fine lines
    • Ideal as a weekly skin boost or a pre-event prep

Ingredients include:

    • Multi Vitamin Concentrate- contains a combination of various vitamins and plant extracts designed to moisturise, replenish, strengthen and soothe the skin cleanses and provides additional antioxidants support for environmentally stressed skin
    • Shea Butter
    • Trehalose- sugar found in plants and fungi. It works on stabilising the cell structure by wrapping and capturing water molecules to allow the skin to maintain constant hydration.It allows the skin to retain moisture that it would otherwise loose, creating dry skin and increasing the signs ageing signs.

See more at the Skinstitut website.

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