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What is melatonin and why is it popping up in skincare?


What is melatonin and why is it popping up in skincare?
Melatonin has promising beauty benefits and is increasingly being included in new skincare releases.

Melatonin is a hormone made in your brain that helps to control your body’s sleep patterns. It plays a key part in regulating your sleep and wake cycle.

In medicine, a synthetic form is sometimes used to assist in getting a good night’s sleep.

So why are we all of a sudden seeing the label turn up in skincare? It’s being used in many night-use products, but it appears that it’s only to encourage our association with rest and rejuvenation and won’t directly help catch more zees.

Instead, melatonin is being included for its antioxidant properties, helping skin counteract free radical damage caused by stress, pollution, UV and more, that can worsen the signs of ageing.

Applied topically in skincare, it is believed to help stimulate your body’s natural production of key antioxidant enzymes that help negate the impact of free radicals.

Its antioxidant properties are also why melatonin has been involved in a number of other health-related studies.  One area of focus has shown that people with cardiovascular disease have lower levels of melatonin in their blood compared with healthy people. Another study investigates a potential link between melatonin and hair loss.

While there are limited extensive studies on the results of melatonin for skin, indications are that it can have a beneficial effect similar to those of Vitamins C & E.

Many emerging skincare products containing melatonin are for use at night, when skin’s repair process works overtime. But studies have also shown with the right conditions it can also help prevent sun damage when administered before UV exposure.  

L-R: kit:Melatonin Night Balm; Milk Makeup Melatonin Overnight Lip Mask; Mesoestetic melatonin ampoules

Popular options to try now?

NYC based brand Milk Makeup’s popular solid serum stick contains melatonin for its antioxidant properties, as does a reparative overnight lip mask.

Melatonin Night Balm, a cocooning and rejuvenating sleep-in treatment, is also the star of a new skincare line called kit:, developed by MECCA.

“We wanted to formulate a product that was specific to night-time use, that would target overnight the modern skin problems such as dry, dehydrated and stressed skin, and that was a sensorial and luxurious ritual at the end of the day,” explains MECCA’s Marita Burke.

The product highlights melatonin’s inclusion for antioxidant action as well as kangaroo paw flower nectar to improve skin firmness and Japanese grape extract said to help to improve skin barrier function at night.

“The natural fragrance was also developed to enhance the wind-down ritual. It is a meditative, multilayered scent that enriches the end-of-day pause,” says Burke.



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