The benefits of melatonin on the skin

Published August 24, 2021, 10:15 AM

by Dr. Kaycee Reyes

From sleep to skincare

Melatonin is usually associated with sleep, but this time, not anymore. Ever heard of melatonin for the skin? This may be a recent trend, but with its promising anti-aging effects, it could stay in the skin care game for longer. Find out if melatonin can offer not only better sleep, but better skin too.

Melatonin is a hormone responsible for regulating your sleep-wake cycle. This is the hormone that tells your body that it is time for bed or time to wake up. Melatonin decreases during the day (or when exposed to bright light) that cues the body to keep itself up. It slowly increases as nighttime approaches to signal the body to sleep.

Available as a supplement, melatonin also helps those with sleep problems, such as insomnia, and other conditions that may alter one’s sleep schedule such as jet lag or shift-work disorder. Melatonin also helps in other bodily functions, however, such as working as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. Now, research is beginning to show its potential in countering the effects of ultraviolet radiation and pollution on the skin when applied topically.

While topical melatonin can generally be used during the day or night, some experts advise to use melatonin-induced skin care as part of your nighttime routine—when the body’s melatonin is at its peak too—to amp up skin cell repair while the body rests and replenishes itself as well.

This happens as melatonin encourages antioxidant components to fight free radicals caused by these wrinkle-causing factors. Moreover, it hunts for free radicals and destroys them too. And because it can help fight against sun damage, premature lines and wrinkles are avoided as well.

A study by Sheuer (2016) investigated the effects of different doses of melatonin on the skin against sun-induced erythema in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study among 23 healthy volunteers. It was found that higher concentrations of melatonin does provide protection on the skin against sun-induced erythema.

Another study by Goldberg et. al (2018) tested the effects of topical melatonin with bakuchiol (with retinol qualities) and ascorbyl tetraisolpalmitate (vitamin C derivative) among 103 healthy females with different skin types for 28 to 84 days and concluded anti-aging effects and overall improvement in skin hydration, firmness, and reduced wrinkles.

While topical melatonin can generally be used during the day or night, some experts advise to use melatonin-induced skin care as part of your nighttime routine—when the body’s melatonin is at its peak too—to amp up skin cell repair while the body rests and replenishes itself as well. A beauty sleep, literally!

Melatonin-containing skin care is now available in the market, and it works even better when combined with other powerful antioxidants such as vitamins C and E. More studies, however, are needed to conclude melatonin’s anti-aging benefits and risks, including possible pigmentation. It may also counteract with products that you are currently using, so check with your dermatologist first or do a skin test prior to usage.

 
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