How Circadian Rhythm Impacts Skin Health
When the seasons change, it is important to help your skin adjust. This not only refers to changes in temperature, but changes in how your body’s circadian rhythm adjusts to less sunlight. The circadian rhythm refers to your body’s 24-hour internal cycle that is controlled by your body’s “master clock.” This process is so seamless that you’re probably not even thinking about it!
This cycle is also referred to as the “sleep-wake cycle.”This process is influenced by external factors such as your environment and light. In addition, circadian rhythms impact your sleep patterns, because the master block controls melatonin production. You might be surprised to learn that this process plays an important role in skin health!
The circadian system’s network makes up many cells, including skin cells. As the cycle shifts between day and night, it impacts your skin as it experiences UV exposure, fluctuating water levels, and temperature shifts depending on environmental factors, such as the weather, pollution, and physical activity. What this means for your skin is that at different points throughout the day, processes to keep your skin healthy are happening! For example, during the day, your skin knows it will be exposed to UV rays and weather. As a result, your skin produces extra sebum for protection throughout the daytime hours.
According to researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Department of Dermatology in New York, “Skin functions are influenced by clock genes, which generate proteins that work in a complex network of molecular feedback loops to generate circadian patterns of cellular functions.” This means circadian network in your skin cells help your skin adapt to change. This is important as skin adjusts to cooler or warmer weather throughout the year and is exposed to different types of weather.
Another study in 2019 found a correlation between skin permeability of the outer layer and the time of day based on circadian rhythm changes. In the evening hours, your skin is more permeable. This means that the nutrients in a skin care serum such as the Navinka Nightly Calibrator will penetrate your skin more effectively at night! Your skin renewal process is also working hard at night as you sleep.
Because your skin is the body’s largest external organ, it contains and produces hormones that are regulated by the circadian system. For example, the synthesis of serotonin into tryptophan can occur in the skin. Serotonin is known as the “happy hormone” because it contributes to a good mood. In your skin, the epidermis and dermis contain enzymes that help essential amino acid tryptophan be converted into serotonin. Furthermore, serotonin has been shown to convert into melatonin due to biological reactions in the skin. This is essential for skin health, because melatonin acts as an antioxidant that helps skin neutralize oxidative agents before they accelerate aging.
Maintaining a healthy skin routine as seasons change is essential, because as hormones fluctuate, it can impact your skin. Unbalanced hormones can lead to acne, oily skin, or dry and itchy skin. For example, during months with less sunlight it is more difficult to receive Vitamin D, especially for people living in northern climates. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of several skin conditions, such as water loss that leads to dry and itchy skin.
In a nutshell, your skin adjusts to changing seasons and the time of day naturally. That’s why it is important to use skincare that is gentle and supportive of this natural cycle instead of aggravating your skin with aggressive skin care, adding more variables for your skin to adjust to.
Using gentle and nourishing skincare products helps maintain skin health when your body adjusts to seasonal changes. For example, the moisturizing T-Zone and Cheeks duo locks in moisture and plumps your skin while penetrating it with nourishing antioxidants (lending a helping hand to your body’s natural processes!).
Cleansing is also necessary to maintain skin health year-round and help it adjust to changes. Double cleansing with the 2-Step Cleanser purifies and calms skin, helping repair it from daily stress. That includes stressors from the changing seasons!
Caring for your skin is important all year. As you transition through the seasons, it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle combined with natural skincare products to support the integrity and radiance of your skin. These actions will ensure you look good and feel good for years to come!
Written by Mellisa Chichester
Staff writer and researcher
Melissa Chichester is a health and wellness writer living in Michigan. She has a passion for skincare and her favorite Navinka product is the Nightly Calibrator.