How does your Circadian rhythm affect your skin?

Have you ever noticed that in the morning your skin looks its best, or a little oily in the afternoon and by the evening those fine lines and wrinkles look deeper?

It’s not your imagination, it’s your circadian rhythm.

What is Circadian Rhythm?

Circadian rhythms are distinct periods of biological activity that occur when we are awake and when we are asleep, controlled by the way the body’s biological clock responds to light and dark. Each and every cell in our body has a circadian rhythm.

What this means for your skin is that at different times of the day, different processes are occurring. When our clock is disrupted, it’s our skin that reflects this imbalance first. During the day your skin cells switch on to protect themselves against environmental stresses, such as pollution, heating, air conditioning and exposure to UV light, all of which contribute to ageing. This peaks between midday and 3 pm.

At night while you are sleeping, skin cells go into restore mode, the cells are in regeneration mode which means repairing day time damage, growing new cells and bringing fresh blood to the surface for cycling oxygen and nutrients leading to a boost in hydration. Cell regeneration increases double the rate while our collagen production rises. Your skin reaches its peak reparative state between 10 pm and midnight. So, if you are not getting the sleep you need when you need it, your skin will suffer.

Studies have shown that lack of sleep, which is either the result of a disrupted circadian rhythm, or a cause of it, results in increased fine lines and wrinkles. In saying that, don’t stress if you have had a few sleepless nights, it’s when it becomes chronic that these side effects occur. It is recommend to receive at least 7-9 hrs sleep a night for your body to function at its best. Anything less, your body will not naturally be able to go through the repairing process and rejuvenate. According to studies, you can not compensate for lost sleep!!

You can also give your skin a helping hand with products that help your skins circadian rhythm function in a healthy way.

At night my go to night moisturisers are:

Dermalogica's Sound sleep cocoon. It boosts radiance by replenishing the hydration skin loses throughout the day and delivers active ingredients at night, when skin is at its most receptive and encourages restful sleep with essential oils. Smooth over face and neck as the last step of your night time regimen, over toners and targeted treatments. You may also layer Sound Sleep Cocoon over your preferred moisturiser to further enhance overnight hydration.

Revitalising treatment gel-cream transforms skin overnight by optimising nighttime skin recovery. Motion-activated essential oils work all night to promote deep, restful sleep for healthier-looking skin.

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Medik8's Advanced night restore. This nourishing night cream gently recuperates the skin after a long day. As twilight falls, the skin cells are at their most active and ready for overnight repair. Advanced Night Restore uses a Midnight Repair Complex, combining Saskatoon Berry, a cell repairing peptide and Dragon Fruit extract. These 3 exceptional antioxidants tackle free radical damage which has occurred throughout the day’s exposure to UV rays and pollution. Nourishing Ceramide 1 and 3 are combined with naturally occurring skin lipids to deeply restore the skin's barrier. This boosts the skin’s natural protection against skin-ageing ready for the next morning. The night cream is optimised for use with vitamin A serums. N-acetyl glucosamine works in synergy with retinol to boost the production of hyaluronic acid, helping to firm, plump and encourage a youthful-looking complexion.

An intensely moisturising antioxidant night cream with a calming botanical fragrance including lavender, sweet orange oil and neroli.Skin feels smooth and plump, while the gentle aroma prepares you for a restful night’s sleep.

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Medik8 Advanced Night Restore

Make getting your beauty sleep a priority to give your skin it's best chance to look and feel it's best. If you need help or advice about your skincare concerns or goals, we would love to help you. Reach out to us via our complimentary online skin consultation or call us on 1300 30 25 35.


Susan is one of our Senior Skin Experts and has a serious passion for making sure that everyone has the right product and regimen for their individual skin. Being in the industry for 30 years, Susan has seen significant change in the cosmeceutical industry and loves learning about how these new developments can help her clients get amazing results. As a mum of two amazing daughters, Susan understands the demands of life and being able to get the maximum results for minimum time.

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