Melatonin is a hormone generated by the pineal gland in the brain that plays an important function in regulating the sleep-wake cycle.
However, recent research suggests that melatonin may also have an impact on the health of our skin and hair. In this article, we’ll look at the effects of melatonin on skin and hair, as well as how to maximize its advantages.
Table of Contents
- What is melatonin?
- How does melatonin affect the skin?
- Melatonin and skin aging
- Melatonin and skin pigmentation
- Melatonin and skin protection
- How does melatonin affect hair?
- Melatonin and hair growth
- Melatonin and hair pigmentation
- How to increase melatonin levels for skin and hair benefits
- Dietary sources of melatonin
- Topical application of melatonin
- Supplements for melatonin
What is melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone well known for its ability to regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain in reaction to darkness, signalling the body to prepare for sleep. Melatonin levels in the body peak at night and fall during the day.
Melatonin, in addition to regulating sleep, contains antioxidant capabilities and is essential to the body’s immune system. Melatonin may also have an impact on the health of our skin and hair, according to new studies.
How does melatonin affect the skin?
Melatonin and skin aging
As we age, our skin loses elasticity, and wrinkles and fine lines form. This is referred to as skin aging. Melatonin has been demonstrated in studies to help minimize the indications of skin aging by enhancing collagen synthesis and decreasing oxidative stress.
Collagen is a protein that provides flexibility and rigidity to our skin. Collagen production declines as we age, resulting in wrinkles and drooping skin. Melatonin has been proven to boost collagen formation, which can aid in the reduction of aging indications.
Oxidative stress develops when there is an imbalance between the body’s ability to neutralize free radicals and its ability to produce them. Free radicals are molecules that can cause cell damage, including skin cell damage. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that can aid in the reduction of oxidative stress and the protection of the skin from damage.
Melatonin and pigmentation of the skin
Melatonin is also involved in the regulation of skin pigmentation. The amount of melanin produced by melanocytes in the skin determines skin pigmentation. Melatonin has been found to suppress melanin formation and may aid in the reduction of dark patches and hyperpigmentation.
Melatonin and skin protection
Melatonin also has photoprotective capabilities, which means it can shield the skin from UV radiation damage. UV radiation is a major cause of skin aging and skin cancer. Melatonin can help repair damaged skin cells and minimize oxidative stress produced by UV exposure.
How does melatonin affect hair?
Melatonin and hair growth
Melatonin may also have an effect on hair growth. Melatonin has been demonstrated in studies to stimulate hair growth by increasing the anagen phase of the hair development cycle and stimulating the proliferation of hair follicle cells.
The active development phase of the hair follicle, known as the anagen phase, is required for hair growth. Melatonin has been proven to lengthen the anagen phase, which can lead to enhanced hair growth.
Melatonin and hair pigmentation
Melatonin also plays a role in regulating hair pigmentation. Hair color is determined by the amount of melanin produced by melanocytes. Melatonin has been shown to stimulate the production of melanin in hair follicles, which can help restore hair color and prevent premature graying.
How to increase melatonin levels for skin and hair benefits
There are several ways to increase melatonin levels in the body to reap its skin and hair benefits.
Melatonin dietary sources
Melatonin is naturally produced in the human body and helps regulate sleep-wake cycles. It is also available in supplement form, but some foods contain melatonin as well.
Here are some examples:
Tart cherries: Tart cherries are one of the best dietary sources of melatonin. In fact, research suggests that drinking tart cherry juice can increase melatonin levels and improve sleep quality.
Walnuts: Walnuts are a good source of melatonin, as well as other sleep-promoting nutrients like magnesium and tryptophan.
Grapes: Grapes, especially the skins, contain melatonin. Eating a handful of grapes before bed may help improve sleep quality.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes contain small amounts of melatonin, as well as other antioxidants that may promote sleep.
Rice: Some varieties of rice, such as jasmine rice, contain melatonin. Eating rice before bed may help improve sleep quality.
Milk: Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that the body can convert into melatonin. Drinking warm milk before bed may help promote sleep.
Melatonin topical application
Melatonin topical application refers to the application of creams, gels, or lotions containing melatonin as an active ingredient to the skin. These items are often sold as a means of promoting relaxation, reducing anxiety, and improving sleep quality.
Melatonin can potentially be absorbed via the skin and reach the bloodstream when given topically, resulting in systemic effects.
However, the usefulness of melatonin topical application is still being debated because the absorption rate varies greatly depending on the formulation and individual skin.
According to several research, topical melatonin may assist improve sleep quality in persons who suffer from sleep disorders such as insomnia. More research is needed, however, to discover the best melatonin topical dosages, timing, and administration methods.
It’s worth noting that melatonin topical treatments aren’t regulated by the FDA and may contain other substances that cause skin irritation or allergic responses. As with any new skincare product, try a tiny patch of skin first and visit a healthcare expert if you have any concerns.
Supplements for melatonin
Melatonin supplements come in a variety of forms, including capsules, tablets, gummies, liquids, and even sublingual (under the tongue) sprays. They are usually given orally 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime to assist increase the quality and duration of sleep.
Melatonin pills may be beneficial for some people, particularly those suffering from sleep difficulties, jet lag, or shift work sleep disorder. The effectiveness of melatonin supplements, on the other hand, varies depending on factors such as dosage, the timing of administration, and individual variances.
Melatonin, a hormone primarily known for its role in regulating sleep, also has significant benefits for the health of our skin and hair. Melatonin can help reduce the signs of aging, protect the skin from damage, stimulate hair growth, and restore hair color. Incorporating melatonin-rich foods into your diet, using melatonin-containing skincare products, and taking melatonin supplements can help increase melatonin levels in the body and optimize its benefits.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the side effects of melatonin?
Melatonin is generally safe when taken in small amounts and for short durations of time. It may, however, create negative effects in certain people.
Daytime sleepiness, headaches, nausea, dizziness, mood changes, and hormonal impacts are all possible side effects of melatonin.
Before using melatonin or any other supplement or drug, consult with your doctor, especially if you have any underlying medical concerns or are taking any other prescriptions.
- Is it OK to take melatonin every night?
Melatonin is generally safe to take every night for short periods of time. However, it’s important to speak with a healthcare provider before taking melatonin or any other supplement or medication on a regular basis, especially if you have any underlying medical conditions or are taking any other medications.
While melatonin is a natural hormone that the body produces, taking it regularly in supplement form may interfere with the body’s natural production and regulation of melatonin. Over time, this could potentially lead to a decrease in the body’s ability to produce melatonin naturally, making it more difficult to fall asleep without taking melatonin supplements.
It’s also important to note that the optimal dose and timing of melatonin can vary depending on the individual and the reason for taking it. Taking too much melatonin or taking it at the wrong time of day can cause side effects such as drowsiness, headaches, and mood changes.
- Who shouldn’t take melatonin?
Melatonin may not be suitable for everyone. Before taking melatonin or any other supplement or drug, those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, have certain medical problems, or are taking certain medications should consult with a healthcare provider.
Melatonin is also not recommended for children or anyone who have a history of allergies or hormone-sensitive malignancies. It is critical to consult with a healthcare expert to decide whether melatonin is safe and appropriate for you.