Have you ever wondered why you look like a plump, glowing goddess in the morning, but your skin is back to crap at night? If your answer was yes, so was mine. I would freak out that my skin was inflamed and red before washing my face at night, but be relieved noticing that the breakouts were more at bay by the time I woke up the next day. These constant changes we are seeing in our skin is due to our natural Circadian Rhythm. You’ve probably heard of the Circadian Rhythm before in regards to your sleep schedule and how your body functions throughout the day. It also impacts your skin! Your skin changes with your Circadian Rhythm and has different functions depending on the time of day.
In the daytime, we are exposed to the sun. While being exposed to the sun, pollutants, smoking, etc, our skin activates a defense mechanism against harmful environmental factors. Those environmental factors are called free radicals and induce inflammation in our skin. Our PH decreases to protect us from those free radicals. The buildup of inflammation from the day shows on our face by the time we have the chance to wash it before bed. In addition, our sebum production peaks in the afternoon and sweat, sebum, and dirt buildup accumulate which will break down our makeup/SPF.
Due to our skin being in fight or flight mode all day long trying to protect us, we should try to help it out a little. I recommend incorporating antioxidants into your routine. Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant to combat free radicals and keep skin bright. Skincare with tyrosinase inhibitors help to fight off environmental factors as well. Never forget SPF as your final step to keep your skin extra protected, as sun exposure contributes to 85% of our aging process.
At nighttime as you sleep, your skin goes into repair mode. It is magically creating new cells and recovering from a crazy day. Cortisol levels from stress decrease because we are blissfully asleep and relaxed. Blood flow increases which aids in product absorption. At night, we obviously are not outside and exposed to the sun. Because we are no longer being affected by environmental factors, our skin has a chance to create more collagen. That increased collagen production explains why your skin is so nice and plump when you wake up!
Nighttime is the best time to use more active ingredients, as ingredients such as retinol, salicylic acid, and glycolic acid can make your skin more photosensitive. Get on a retinol stat if you want to age like fine wine and help increase that collagen production! Make sure you load up your skin with moisturizer as well to avoid transepidermal water loss.
Daytime is to protect, nighttime is to repair. It’s crazy how fast your skin can fluctuate. This is all thanks to our Circadian Rhythm. I cannot stress the importance of sleep enough. Beauty sleep is a real thing!
Thank you for reading!
This article of the Skinsider Scoop was graciously written by Master Aesthetican, Macie Eddy, and edited by the Clean Skin Club team. If you're interested in more from Macie, please shoot us an email, and follow her Instagram - @faceb.ymace