Revealed: How your body clock influences your complexion and can be managed to make you look YOUNGER
- Skin cells are regenerated overnight, making people look youthful first thing
- A good night's sleep makes skin brightness peak at around 10am, a study found?
- Oil production is at its highest between midday and 3am, causing greasiness
- Afternoon is when skin has battled against the elements and can look dull
- Evening is when skin is most permeable and absorbs products at its best?
Our body clocks influence our complexions and can be managed to make people look younger. ?
The generation of new skin cells overnight, along with morning 'plumpness' hiding any wrinkles, typically makes people look at their most youthful first thing in the morning, according to neurophysiologist and This Works skincare ambassador Professor Gaby Badre.?
A good night's sleep also makes skin brightness peak at around 10am, a study found.
Yet, oil production is at its highest between midday and 3am, which can cause skin to develop a greasy layer.
By afternoon, skin has likely endured pollution, air conditioning, central heating or UV exposure, which can cause it to look a little lacklustre.
Yet, evening time is when skin is at its most permeable, which enables optimal absorption of any skincare products' beauty-enhancing ingredients, before the body's largest organ can rest and recover overnight.
In a piece for Get The Gloss, numerous skin experts discuss how our body clocks influence our skin's condition throughout a 24-hour period and how to keep it looking at its best.
Experts explain how our internal body clocks control our complexions and can be managed
How is skin related to our body clock??
Skin - it can go haywire on us without warning, as anyone suffering from the likes of acne, sensitive skin or eczema will know.
Of course skincare and diet play a key role in keeping skin healthy, but the impact our body clock (circadian rhythm) has on our skin, both within a 24-hour cycle and long term, as well as how we shape our lifestyles around the ticking of said clock, represents a seriously exciting area of research that we are only just touching upon.
Three scientists were awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine for their discovery of a gene that determines the body's daily rhythms, with implications on how we understand the development of disease, and how we can synchronise our internal body clock with our external environment to optimise our health and wellbeing.
How this plays out for our skin is not yet fully understood, but below is what we do know about how the skin functions in a 24-hour period, and how you can harness this to maximise your skin health.
Our circadian rhythm dictates that body temperature rises around dawn and, to make things a bit more complicated, our skin cells have their own individual body clocks, which are regulated by a 'master' clock in our brain.
This rise in body temperature triggers our 'wake cycle' yet at this stage our sebum levels, while rising, are relatively low.
Meanwhile, as Professor Badre explains, chances are once we have rubbed our bleary eyes, our skin looks freshest first thing.
She said: 'The epidermal (skin) stem cell creates new cells replacing the aged ones. This proliferation occurs mainly late at night – early morning, when the body is supposed to be at rest and not disturbed. Hence the importance of keeping a sleep-wake schedule.
'The skin appears more attractive in the morning after a good night sleep, probably due in part to the proliferation of new cells at night.'
Shiny new skin cells may not be the only reason for a plump morning glow.
Professor Badre added: 'There is a daily periodicity of wrinkle appearance. In the morning, after a night's sleep, the face may swell masking wrinkles.?
'During the day, due to gravity fluid shifts to the lower part of the body reinforcing the appearance of wrinkles in the evening.'
The generation of new skin cells overnight makes people look at their most youthful first thing
According to Professor Badre, this is when you are at 'peak face'.
She said: 'Skin hydration (namely water and glycerol) is necessary to maintain a protective barrier against infection and dehydration.?
'The water content of the skin has a daily rhythm with minimum loss, through the pores of the skin, in the morning and an increased water loss during the night.?
'The water content of the outermost layer of the skin (with cells containing keratin, a fibrous protective protein) and the oily surface on the skin are important factors in the appearance and function of the skin.?
'High-water content and a low sebum (oil) secretion are considered main features for a good skin.
'The brilliance of the complexion (skin tone, luminosity, brightness and transparency) and texture of the facial skin have been reported to exhibit a daily rhythm with a best appearance in the morning; according to a study peaking around 10am.'
All well and good if you're adhering to your body's natural circadian rhythm, but if you are one of the 50 per cent of Britons experiencing disturbed sleep, that mid-morning radiance may be evading you.??
Fibroblasts sounds pretty dynamic by name, which is apt considering these particular skin cells are the body's paramedics, rushing to wounds quickly to promote healing.
The ability of fibroblasts to work effectively seems to ebb and flow in a 24-hour cycle.
A study of 118 burns patients treated within the NHS found that injuries sustained at night took almost a month to heal (28 days), while those suffered during the day healed over an average of 17 days.?
Further investigation concluded that fibroblasts are at their most powerful and efficient during the day, but are far less active at night.
In theory, researchers estimate this discovery could help us schedule surgery and treatments according to patients' body clocks, which could optimise healing potential and possibly even save the NHS money in the long term.??
As for other less exciting noontime skin activity, if you think are experiencing a T-zone oil spill, you are not imagining it.
Professor Badre said: 'There are glands on the skin producing an oily, waxy substance (sebum) which waterproofs and lubricates the skin and hair.?
'Sebum also protects the skin against infections. Enzymes on the skin's surface gradually decompose the sebum.
'The glands secreting sebum have a day rhythm in terms of oil excretion; many scientific authors have demonstrated an excretion peak around midday (12pm-3pm) with the lowest levels in the late evening.?
'Increase in skin temperature may cause an increase in sebum excretion; skin temperature is affected by several external and internal factors (blood pressure and blood flow may peak at this time), as well as hormone levels causing seasonal and daily variations.'?
By afternoon, skin has likely endured pollution and air conditioning, and can look a little bit dull
Come afternoon, your skin has likely weathered the greatest onslaught from environmental factors including pollution, external temperature, air conditioning, central heating and UV radiation, all of which can throw skin cells' natural 'clocks' into a spin.
Protecting yourself by way of SPF and possibly dabbling in some anti-pollution skincare options could help to ward off damage, and extra defences are always a good idea in terms of preserving the skin barrier pre-evening, when natural skin defences are at their weakest.
Nonetheless, according to Professor Badre, skin cells' DNA repairing capabilities are strong in the afternoon, with cell synthesis most commonly taking place in the afternoon and evening.
You are actually the most likely to sustain sunburn-induced cell death after early morning UV exposure compared to an afternoon sunbathing session according to the skin's circadian rhythms, however, this is of course dependent on the level of exposure and whether you have worn SPF in the first place.
Your skin's barrier is becoming more permeable, which is bad news in terms of irritants and pollutants, but good news as far as product penetration is concerned.?
The concept of a night cream, it seems, is not just beauty brand marketing, as it is while you are winging your way into evening that your skin is most likely to reap the rewards of any reparative molecules you are feeding it, as Circadia founder Dr Peter Pugliese attests that skin cell proliferation (the creation of new cells) is 20 to 30 per cent higher in the evening and at night than during the day.
Evening is when skin is at its most permeable, which enables optimal absorption of products
Itchy and scratchy? Apparently this is the most common time to experience skin irritation and inflammation, and the reasons are often twofold.
Professor Badre said: 'If you experience itchy skin, it is likely to be exacerbated at night, and this can be related to the circadian rhythm and changes in skin physiology and its barrier function which is more permeable in the evening compared to the morning.?
'It has been suggested that water loss and increased skin blood flow may contribute to the increased itching experienced at night by eczema sufferers.
'Controlling external temperature can help, as heat is known to aggravate itching. Nocturnal itching may also have a psychological component; exacerbation due to lack of external stimuli and boredom.'
So if you're tossing and turning due to itching, there could be a vicious cycle underway.?
Applying any prescribed medicated or soothing creams pre-bedtime will not only help to keep itching to a minimum, but will also be better absorbed last thing in the day, which alongside a cool bedroom environment, could help to exterminate the itch.?
Opt for richer creams if you're prone to dryness too.?
To end the 'a day in the life of your skin' adventure, as long as you are not experiencing a nocturnal flare-up, the wee hours offer the greatest opportunity for skin repair and recovery, providing you are getting enough rest.
Dr Sara Palmer Hussey, founder of Lumity anti-ageing supplements, said: 'If we can respect and support our circadian rhythm, by not pushing its boundaries with poor sleep patterns and shift work, our health, including our skin health will thank us for it.?
'The disruption of our circadian rhythm results in increased oxidative stress and accelerated ageing.?
'It also disrupts the secretion of melatonin, an endogenous antioxidant and sleep hormone, that plays a vital role in the repair cycle of sleep.?
'Another vital hormone disrupted is Human Growth Hormone, considered by many as a fountain of youth for its crucial role in repairing and renewing all tissues in the body, including the skin.'
Easier said than done if you work nights, are a new parent or suffer from regular bouts of insomnia, but regular exercise, exposing yourself to light and dark at the right times of the day, and establishing a wake-up and wind-down routine can help.??
This article was originally published by Get The Gloss and reproduced with their permission.?
Most watched News videos
- Heartbreaking footage shows helpless puppies rescued from tar
- Busted! Package thief caught after her getaway driver flees
- Everyone is trying the latest trend: Invisible box challenge!
- New invisible box jump trend takes Twitter by storm
- Hospital video: North Korean defector undergoes life-saving surgery
- Sir Elton on stage in Barcelona just hours before his mother died
- Moment thrill seeking base jumpers leap from 530ft Beachy Head
- Disturbing video shows teen hurling a cat into the street
- Horrifying moment dashcam shows lorry ploughing into two cars
- Heroic neighbours rescue woman after attack by two dogs
- Cruise ship sprayed down after passengers struck down by gastro
- Earl Kimrey charged with the death of 3-year-old Mariah Miller
The comments below have not been moderated.
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.
By posting your comment you agree to our house rules.