Melatonin, often taken as a supplemental sleep aid, is a naturally-occurring hormone that signals the transition from daytime to bedtime. It has been recommended to relieve jet-lag as well as insomnia, but now brands are adding the hormone to skin care products.
Recently antioxidant ingredients with anti-aging properties such as vitamin A, vitamin E, niacinamide, flavonoids and polyphenols have been used to rejuvenate skin, reduce inflammation, protect skin from sun damage and soften fine lines. Now, melatonin is being added to the list of topical antioxidants in skin care.
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According to New York-based dermatologist, Dr. Melissa Levin, “Melatonin is actually highly lipophilic which means it can easily penetrate into skin cells and impart important cellular functions such as repairing mitochondrial and DNA damage. It also has been shown to upregulate important antioxidative enzymes which activates further protection against oxidative damage. It has been shown to repair mitochondrial and DNA damage.”
Melatonin has also proven effective in combating free radicals and repairing skin damaged by UV light, allergens, pollutants and irritants. Yet to benefit from melatonin’s anti-aging effects, it must be applied topically. “There is no evidence that oral ingestion of melatonin will impart skin anti-aging benefits. Topical melatonin currently has the most robust data for providing skin benefits as an antioxidant and skin brightener,” Levin says.
One of the brands endorsing melatonin-infused skincare is ISDINCEUTICS, who have launched a line of advanced skincare products that combine vitamin C and melatonin. Melatonik, the brand’s best-selling serum, accelerates the skin’s natural repair process, stimulating cell turnover during sleep.
According to Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology, Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, FAAD, the serum’s combination of antioxidants and botanicals protects and repairs skin from the damage caused by free radicals, environmental pollutants, and UV radiation while you sleep. The serum also includes bakuchiol, an organic botanical that has the same effect as retinol, replenishing collagen and aiding skin turnover.
Other skin care products integrating melatonin into their formulas include:
Dr. Dennis Gross Dark Spot Sun Defense SPF 50 Sunscreen, which protects the skin from sun damage and environmental pollutants with a combination of vitamin C, E and melatonin.
Youth Corridor Ultimate Antioxidant C Boost Serum, a serum created by a top plastic surgeon that contains a blend of antioxidants, including melatonin and vitamin E to prevent drying and lock in moisture.
Peter Thomas Roth Green Releaf Theraputic Sleep Cream Skin Protectant, a night cream that incorporates hemp seed oil with other actives such as colloidal oatmeal to soothe irritation and 2% topical melatonin to accelerate the skin’s rejuvenation process.