By Dr. Carolyn Ayers, PHD
The sun rises, the sun sets, and another day goes by. From morning to night, you might feel a change from grumpy to productive (often with the help of coffee or tea), and then from productive to sleepy as bedtime approaches. What you might not know, however, is that your skin actually undergoes a similarly wide variety of changes over the course of every single day (and night).
Your body’s circadian rhythm—the rhythm that follows the day/night cycle of the sun—controls not only your energy levels, but also different facets of your skin that can and do affect the efficacy of your skincare routine. To help you harness your skin’s full potential, it’s important to know not only what changes are taking place, but how to best work with them.
That’s why our scientists at Aramore researched each ingredient in our daytime and nighttime supplements and topicals to discover how they might work harmoniously with naturally occurring chemical and biological changes throughout the day, like changes in skin permeability, blood flow, and cell production. Here’s what we found.
One of the most important things to remember about the day/night cycle of your skin is that skin permeability— how readily substances can pass through your skin— is higher in the evening than in the morning. As a result, unpleasant conditions like inflammation and itching can occur much more frequently and with much greater severity at night due to increased water loss through the skin.
To account for this increased skin permeability, we implement herbal adaptogens like holy basil (gotu kola) and antioxidants like olive fruit extract at night. Additionally, we use hyaluronic acid in the morning, giving it all day to be absorbed and incorporated into the skin for increased hydration at night.
Your skin’s blood flow also goes up at night, which can help facilitate easier absorption of hard-to-incorporate compounds. That’s why our night supplement contains turmeric and piperine, two compounds that are relatively difficult to incorporate into the skin. In addition, the increased blood flow at night also allows for topical products to become absorbed more easily through the skin— a real win-win, no matter what you’re applying!
Skin Cell Proliferation
Certain types of skin cells (known as “keratinocytes”) proliferate much more rapidly at night than in the day, with cells dividing and multiplying very quickly. To help facilitate the removal of old cells and make space for the development of new ones, we include Fisetin (found in fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, apples, and persimmons) in our night supplement, which functions as a senolytic—a compound that helps clear away old, unproductive cells.
You can think of your liver as your body’s natural housekeeper: it “detoxifies” your body by removing toxins from the bloodstream, but even this process’s speed varies over the course of a day. Following the theme, liver detoxification is most active at night, particularly between the hours of 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. As such, we include milk thistle— our natural liver detoxifier of choice—in our night supplement to aid the liver in this important detoxification.
Of course, no discussion of circadian rhythms would be complete without mentioning melatonin—a hormone released by your brain in response to darkness that helps regulate your body’s cycle of sleep and wakefulness. You may have heard of melatonin as a natural sleep aid, but did you know that it also has an important role to play for your skin?
Over the course of a day, your skin is subject to an onslaught of “free radicals”—loose electrons that can damage skin and increase signs of aging. Melatonin’s antioxidant-simulating properties are like beauty sleep for the skin. That’s why we include it in our nighttime serum, where it can supplement the natural melatonin in your skin.
A Good Night’s Sleep
Lastly, complicated skin permeability, blood flow, and detoxification aside, it’s important to get a good night’s rest. That’s why ingredients that boost energy and might keep you up at night, like CoQ10—a coenzyme group that helps reduce the visible signs of aging like wrinkles and microrelief lines—stay in our daytime supplements and not our nighttime ones. While sound chemical and biological foundations are incredibly important, it’s also important to remember the practical side too!
Circadian Rhythm and You
Your skin undergoes a lot of changes over the course of a day: skin permeability, blood flow, skin cell growth, detoxification and more all go through daily cycles. By cooperating with your body’s natural clock, Aramore makes the most of each time of day, every day.
For more information about how you can get the most out of your skincare journey, visit us at aramoreskincare.com. While topicals nourish your skin on the outside and support the skin's circadian rhythm with nourishing formulations based on the latest discoveries in Longevity science, dietary supplements work inside your body to start changes at a foundational level.