As it turns out, your body timing affects not only your mood or hormones, but also the condition and wellbeing of your skin. Learn how to use chronobiology to your advantage.

When you go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day, your inner biological clock adjusts to the rhythm of your life. Your skin reacts similarly and it has different timing and different functions in certain periods of the day. And as it turns out, learning the schedule of your skin helps you to adjust your care routine to it.

CIRCADIAN RHYTHM = INTERNAL 24-HOUR BIOLOGICAL CLOCK

From the Latin “circa” – about, “dies” – day

You might have heard the term circadian rhythm in the context of sleep. It is known that the body clock dictates our sleepiness and wakefulness, but a similar mechanism happens in the skin cells as well.

Meet chronobiology – a new field of biology dedicated to the research of internal clocks. Scientists are sure that the solar rhythm affects not only our mood, sleep pattern, body temperature, hormones or metabolic rates, but also overall skin health as well.

There is no doubt that all the cell types in the skin follow the functional circadian timing, and even more – they appear to act in concert to engage rhythmical functions in the skin.

CLOCK, INTERRUPTED

We all know how important sleep is for our overall health and looks,
but how does a disorganised circadian rhythm really affect the skin’s wellbeing?

Cells in the epidermis are most active during the night, when generating new cells replace aged ones. This means that disrupted sleep hugely affects our look and the appearance of the first unwanted lines (under our eyes).

It is found out that there is a difference in the transepidermal water loss of women who have good quality sleep versus those who have poor quality sleep. Research carried out in 2013 by Schernhammer, Han, Qureshi and Li, found out that rotating night shift work that messed with the lifestyle actually increased the risk of psoriasis among American women.

Some visible signs of sleep deprivation are dark shadows and puffiness under eyes (lack of sleep makes blood vessel dilate leading to dark circles, it also creates poor water balance that builds up the puffy eyes), sallow, lacklustre, dehydrated skin (missed sleep increases the levels of cortisol which triggers inflammation. That breaks down the proteins in skin that keeps it radiant and smooth), skin infections and cold sores (sleep deprivation impairs the immune system) and premature aging (chronic stress harms the integrity of the collagen in skin).

LIGHT IS POWER

Visible light is the most powerful “clock” entrainment cue in humans, initiating the hormonal and neuronal signals that coordinate various physiological processes in the body.

In this context we must mention the digitalisation of our planet and all the side effects it has on your skin. The HEV light, a.k.a. blue light along with the lack of sleep are one of the biggest disruptors of our natural circadian rhythm. When the bright artificial light enters the eye, it stimulates the retina, which sends signals to the brain that it is daytime. This affects the release of the hormones that control our sleep-wake cycle. The blue light also generates more free radicals that highly accelerate the ageing process, causing uneven patches of pigmentation in the skin and other problems.

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