Hearing the word melatonin may automatically take your mind to sleep and relaxation, right? It’s a hormone we naturally produce in the body that regulates our sleep-wake cycle, aiding our bodies to unwind from all the daily stresses we take on.
Having been used as an alternative for sleeping pills over the years, melatonin is a more natural and harmless answer to help combat all of your relaxation difficulties – seems too good to be true for the millions of Americans who suffer from problematic rest.
To add to the positives, recently it has been noted that this soporific supplement has seen some huge benefits when it comes to anti-aging and skin care. That's right: melatonin benefits skin too! Whilst we have been supplying our bodies with a boost of this brain-made hormone to help combat our sleepless nights, it has also been working wonders on our skin rejuvenation too – or so people think…
Here are Cel, we have looked into the effects of melatonin on our skin and if there is any truth behind the idea of this hormone helping us to both drift off better and give our ageing skin a boost of youth.
As said above, melatonin is a hormone that your body naturally produces in the pineal gland situated in your brain – although it also develops in other areas such as eyes, gut and bone marrow.
Commonly known as the ‘sleep hormone’ due to the chemicals it provides us to aid sleep, it has quite a large misconception when it comes to how hormone helps our bodies.
Alone, melatonin will NOT make you fall to sleep. Instead, it will send signals to your mind and body, informing you that it is night-time, and you should be drifting off to sleep.
Once the messages have been sent to your brain, the body will begin to relax and unwind, resulting in a perfect physical and mental state for sleep.
This hormone works in partnership with your body’s normal circadian rhythm – your natural body clock. With melatonin, you can regulate this cycle, along with supporting your blood pressure, other hormone levels and the temperature of your body .
As the sun dips in the sky, turning light to dark, your body’s natural levels of melatonin will begin to rise – informing you that it is time to sleep (depending on your sleeping schedule).
We have skin cells all over our bodies that also produce this sleep-inducing hormone. When produced, the hormone acts as a suppressor, counteracting many stressors that attack our skin daily; UV damage and premature ageing. As well as working as an antioxidant, the melatonin can help protect the skin's cellular DNA from most free-radical damage, helping to keep your skin youthful and healthy.
When it comes to looking after our skin, free radicals and overexposure from the sun are two of the most common aggressors, with UV damage being one of the main causes of premature ageing.
As melatonin can help fight these, there is no wonder so many people are applying cream and lotion-based products containing this hormone to prevent these damaging effects. By applying the melatonin topically over the surface of your skin, this will allow it to penetrate the epidermis (skin layer), supporting the skin's capacity for regeneration and renewal while you’re resting.
Now, melatonin has some wonderful qualities, but when it comes to anti-aging, is it really everything you think?
Although we have just looked into the positives of the hormone, there are still some elements that might not be as sought after and like most amazing things in life, there are some downsides to using this hormone on your skin.
When applied to the skin it can activate melanocytes, which can eventually darken areas of the skin, causing pigmentation. When you’re trying to reduce the visual effects of ageing on your skin, developing dark spots is the last thing you’ll want. If you’re someone who suffers from an uneven skin tone, or you’re actively trying to brighten your skin tone, staying clear of melatonin is advised.
It is incredibly normal to want to avoid the inevitable changes brought on by the ticking clock. If there is a way to postpone the odd wrinkle or two, most of us would jump at the opportunity, right?
Applying a sleep-inducing hormone to your face doesn’t have to be the only answer. An alternative such as a face mask that brightens and rejuvenates tired, dull skin or an eye serum that promotes younger-looking skin and supports cell regeneration will help reduce the obvious signs of ageing, and is much better for your skin, body and overall health.
The first signs of ageing begin around our eyes, neck, and hands – so these are the places to target as early as your 20s.
It is easy to be scared and rush into putting a new ‘fad’ on your skin because it is said to be the best new thing, but always do your research to work out if particular methods are really right for you.
So, yes, melatonin also controls pigmentation changes in the skin, which in turn causes the skin to change colour. You can point to melatonin and its relationship with skin colour when looking at the paler skin colour of elderly people and those who battle with sleep conditions like insomnia.
Although it is thought of as a new anti-aging supplement, the overuse of the hormone could cause other complications.
With the added risk of drowsiness, headaches, and depression, there are other ways you can achieve your youthful goals with the bonus of support your skins regeneration without having to worry about side effects.
When applied topically to the skin at night, the benefits on your sleeping pattern can seriously change your life for the better. As for using melatonin for skin: to reduce the visual effects of ageing, we suggest avoiding it if you're looking for a long term measure and instead, invest some time into finding different, less risky products and skincare methods.