Why should you only use retinol at night?
Skincare products offer amazing benefits for your skin. Some offer protection from UV rays and environmental stressors, while others repair damaged skin, minimize fine lines and wrinkles, lighten dark spots, and help fade acne scars.
Retinol is considered the golden ingredient when it comes to anti-aging. It can actually do all the above! It is known to fight wrinkles, brighten and promote clarity in the skin. It basically addresses any and all skin concerns and can help all skin types achieve a healthier, more youthful appearance.
If retinol can do so much for the skin, why should it be reserved for nighttime use only and what products should be used during the day?
To answer this question, let us break down the internal skin schedule that takes place in your body during the day and at night. Understanding what happens to the skin during the day versus at night will explain why certain products, like retinol, should be used at night to maximize results and to protect the skin.
Let’s start with the body’s internal schedule.
Skin and the Circadian Rhythm
Have you ever heard of the circadian rhythm? The circadian rhythm is the natural rhythm of your body. This rhythm alternates between sleepiness and alertness at usual intervals.
It is commonly known as the "internal clock” and is controlled by a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. The circadian rhythm harmonizes with the cycle of daytime and nighttime.
During the night, when there is darkness, the hypothalamus receives a signal from the eyes. It then sends a message to your body to release melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone that makes your body feel tired and triggers your brain that it is time to catch some sleep.
The circadian rhythm significantly affects our physiological, metabolic and behavioral processes. With that said, our skin, which is the biggest organ of our body, is also significantly affected.
The epidermis, which is the outermost layer of the skin, is vital in protecting the other organs of the body from environmental stressors such as UV rays, pollution, oxidation and other physical harm.
The epidermal cells have an internal clock which allows the cells to anticipate periods of stress and repair.
Here are some circadian rhythms of the skin during the day:
- The body temperature is higher during the day, but there is minimal evaporation of water from the skin.
- Skin elasticity increases.
- The skin produces more sebum midday.
- The blood flow in the skin decreases.
- The thickness of the skin on the face and arms decreases during the day due to gravity.
- There is swelling and puffiness, which makes wrinkles and fine lines less noticeable.
- The pH level of the skin is at its peak in the afternoon.
Here are some circadian rhythms of the skin during the night:
- The body temperature is lower, but there is an increase of evaporation from the skin.
- Cell repair of skin damaged from the sun and environmental stress is significantly boosted.
- The skin has higher permeability.
- There is a decrease in cortisol levels.
- The pH level of the skin is minimal.
Understanding the body’s circadian rhythms and how it relates to the skin will help you decide which skincare products are best used during the day and which should be used at night.
So, what is the deal with retinol during the day?
Retinol is a potent ingredient known as vitamin A. It enhances collagen production and repairs damaged skin cells. It makes the skin plump and smoothes fine lines and wrinkles. It also reduces blemishes and improves the overall skin tone. Retinol works best when used at night because it drastically increases the skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
During the day the skin is exposed to harmful elements such as UV rays, dust, and other pollutants. Your skin needs protection. Aside from sunscreen, a high quality antioxidant-filled serum will help protect your skin, fight free radicals and will not have adverse reactions when in contact with sunlight.
For your nighttime skincare regimen, try our NEW Retinol Moisturizer. An anti-aging night cream that provides intense hydration while smoothing and softening visible signs of aging for a more rested and youthful appearance.
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