what is the hayflick limit?

Leonard Hayflick observed that cells dividing in a cell culture divided about 50 times before dying. This limited number of times that a cell can divide before it loses its ability to replicate is called the Hayflick Limit, in his honor. The knowledge of this limit has raised concern that peeling the skin may cause the epidermal cells to reach the Hayflick Limit faster, making it appear old sooner.

Leonard Hayflick (image courtesy of theoriesofageing.wikispaces.com)

Leonard Hayflick (image courtesy of theoriesofageing.wikispaces.com)

Althought the Hayflick Limit is real, we luckily have stem cells in our skin that are able to produce new cells to replace the expired cells. Unlike regular cells, stem cells do not have a Hayflick Limit. Because these skin stem cells continuously replace the terminated cells, it is not possible to perform too many exfoliation treatments.

The Hayflick Limit has an important purpose: it is the process by which our bodies control the production of mutant genes by limiting the number of times the DNA of a cell can be replicated. The Hayflick limit is a good thing. It ensures that old cells are destroyed before they can mutate and cause cancers.

So, fear not! PCA SKIN peels performed by licensed professionals will not cause your skin to appear old before its time. Instead, they help keep the skin’s cell turnover rate at its optimum, giving skin of any age a healthy, youthful glow.


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