How To Use Your Skin's Internal Clock To Hack Your Skincare Routine

When thinking about skincare routines, we often think of them as either daytime or nighttime routines. Depending on the circumstances, we apply our daytime skincare routine as soon as we wake up and apply our nighttime routine right before bed. This normalized routine has led to many brands marketing certain skincare products as either daytime or nighttime items. While this streamlines your routine throughout the day, it's worth wondering whether it's using our body's internal clock to its fullest potential.

The last time you heard talk about an internal clock was when researching your sleep. Also known as the circadian rhythm, the Sleep Foundation defines your internal clock as a 24-hour clock that takes cues from your environment to help tell you when it's time to go to bed or wake up. Your internal clock for sleep is crucial for you to receive restful sleep and prevents you from waking up groggy or sleep-deprived. The skin's internal clock functions in a similar matter, although used differently. Knowing how your skin's internal clock works might give you the key to glowy and healthy-looking skin.

What's your skin's internal clock?

Like your sleep, the skin's internal clock is determined by signals sent to your brain's master clock. This master clock takes in various factors and determines when your skin produces sebum, fixes your skin barrier, and protects against outside aggressors. According to Rosafa Skincare, this function of the skin is no different from the job the master clock performs for other aspects of the body. Based on what we know about circadian rhythms and the skin's internal clock, during the day, your skin works to increase its sebum production, protection, pH, and recovery of the skin's barrier. At night, your skin works to repair and regenerate new skin cells.

Prevention mentions that just like outside factors can interrupt your internal clock when it comes to sleep, your lifestyle habits can also interrupt your skin's internal clock. Factors like blue-light exposure, stress, and unhealthy eating habits can interrupt your skin's clock and the essential functions it conducts. By interrupting your skin's clock, your skin isn't protecting or regenerating itself as it should, which can help cause acne or other skin issues. This internal clock in your skin is why many suggest eating healthy, exercising, and getting a good night's rest if you want better skin. To use your skin's internal clock to hack your skincare routine, you need to ensure your internal clock is well-regulated.

How to plan your skincare around your skin's clock

Besides stressing the importance of a healthy lifestyle, your skin's internal clock can help to plan an optimal skincare routine. Knowing how your skin works around the clock can tell you what ingredients you need at certain times. Because your skin is working on protecting skin from UV rays during the day, Eudelo recommends adding an antioxidant sunscreen to your daytime routine. This sunscreen will supplement the natural protection your skin is producing. During the day, you want to focus on protecting your new cells that regenerated during the night. With all the work your skin does at night, it's normal to have dehydrated skin when you wake up. This is the perfect time to add hydrating products back to the skin.

At night, your skin's clock takes a different role. Instead of protecting, your skin is at work repairing DNA and regenerating new skin cells. Rabbia Aslam, creative director at HC MedSpa, explains to Byrdie, "It is vital to effectively remove all impurities before applying your nighttime skincare products; we recommend active ingredients such as retinol...Circadian rhythms in the skin affect the biology of appearance and also have a profound effect on the absorption of applied treatment products." To help your skin's nighttime clock, try adding richer and more moisturizing products to help aid damaged cells.