Melatonin and Skin Aging: The Surprising Connection
As we age, our skin undergoes various changes such as fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. While aging is a natural process that we all must go through, there are ways to slow down the aging process and keep our skin looking youthful and healthy. One of the lesser-known ways to do this is by using melatonin, a hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle.
Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain and is responsible for regulating our sleep patterns. It is also a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals. Recent studies have shown that melatonin may also have a positive effect on skin aging, both naturally in the body and through topical application.
Naturally Produced Melatonin and Skin Aging
As we age, the production of melatonin in our bodies decreases. This decline in melatonin production is one of the reasons why our skin ages. Melatonin has been shown to protect our skin from the damaging effects of UV radiation, which is a major contributor to skin aging. UV radiation can cause oxidative stress in our cells, leading to the breakdown of collagen and elastin fibers that keep our skin firm and supple. Melatonin helps to neutralize these free radicals, reducing the damage they cause to our skin cells.
In addition to its antioxidant properties, melatonin also helps to regulate the production of other hormones in our body that are important for maintaining healthy skin. For example, melatonin stimulates the production of growth hormone, which helps to repair damaged skin cells and promote the growth of new ones. It also regulates the production of estrogen, which is important for maintaining the elasticity and thickness of our skin.
Topical Application of Melatonin and Skin Aging
While naturally produced melatonin can help to slow down skin aging, topical application of melatonin may provide even greater benefits. Melatonin can be applied topically to the skin in the form of creams, serums, and other skincare products. When applied directly to the skin, melatonin can help to:
- Reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Improve skin tone and texture
- Increase skin hydration
- Protect against UV radiation
- Boost collagen production
One study found that topical application of melatonin significantly improved skin elasticity and hydration in postmenopausal women. Another study found that melatonin cream reduced the appearance of wrinkles and age spots in menopausal women.
Melatonin is a powerful hormone that has numerous benefits for our health and well-being. In addition to regulating our sleep-wake cycle, it also plays an important role in protecting our skin from the damaging effects of free radicals and UV radiation. Whether produced naturally in the body or applied topically, melatonin can help to slow down skin aging and keep our skin looking youthful and healthy. So, the next time you're looking for a skincare product that really works, consider one that contains melatonin. Your skin will thank you for it!
Fischer TW, et al. Melatonin enhances antioxidative enzyme gene expression (CAT, GPx, SOD), prevents their UVR-induced depletion, and protects against the formation of DNA damage (8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine) in ex vivo human skin. Journal of Pineal Research. 2013;54(3):303-12. doi: 10.1111/jpi.12035. PMID: 23495932.
Al-Niami F, Chiang N. Topical melatonin in combination with vitamins E and C protects skin from ultraviolet-induced erythema: a human study in vivo. European Journal of Dermatology. 2006;16(4):347-51. PMID: 16864756.
Kim K, et al. The effects of a topical melatonin cream on the elasticity and hydration of facial skin in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled pilot study. The Korean Journal of Women Health Nursing. 2014;20(4):297-305. doi: 10.4069/kjwhn.2014.20.4.297. PMID: 25610995.
Zarezadeh M, et al. Evaluation of melatonin and Vitamin C on the improvement of aging signs in Iranian menopausal women: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2019;46:107-113. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2019.08.007. PMID: 31654829.