What’s The Deal With Melatonin-Infused Skincare?
You might have taken a melatonin supplement to help you fall asleep at night (those melatonin dreams can be wild), but did you know this ingredient is formulated into topical skincare products, too? And here’s the thing: Its benefits have zilch to do with catching some good shut-eye. Scroll onward to learn all about melatonin skincare benefits – including some juicy scientific deets – and whether this ingredient is right for your skin. We’re also showcasing a handful of melatonin skincare products worth your coin.
What Are the Benefits of Topical Melatonin Skincare Products?
So, if topical melatonin products don’t help with sleep, then what do they do? “In skincare, melatonin is typically used for its antioxidant abilities, helping neutralize the sun’s residual free radical damage,” explains board-certified dermatologist Dr. Audrey Kunin. “It also helps support collagen production and rejuvenate your skin.”
The proof is in the scientific pudding. A 2020 study published in Dermatology Therapy found that night cream formulated with melatonin delivered a noticeable improvement in signs of sun damage and skin reactivity. And another recent study, this one from 2019 published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, also said that topically applied melatonin (and its metabolites) offered notably potent defenses against skin damage caused by external stressors. We love to hear it.
Who Can Use Melatonin Skincare?
Dr. Kunin tells us that melatonin-infused skincare products are safe for everyone. It’s particularly worthy of your regimen if you’re concerned about premature signs of aging like sunspots, fine lines, wrinkles, and skin laxity. Many products are also formulated for nighttime use because of melatonin’s ability to repair (and perhaps even its association with sleep in general). However, Dr. Kunin says, “It can be used like a vitamin C product twice daily to help neutralize UV rays and free radical damage.”
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Our Fave Melatonin Skincare Products
The skincare sphere has seen a recent rise in melatonin skincare products, perhaps due to the hearty scientific info that’s surfaced. Eager to give this ingredient a spin? Here are some of our faves.
Melatonin is the star in this solid serum by Milk Makeup. Meant to be applied before going to bed, it’s an overnight treatment that helps you wake up with bouncier and smoother-looking skin. Along with melatonin, it’s also formulated with silk tea extract, hyaluronic acid, and a blend of superfruits including acai and goji berry.
If you’re OK with a splurge, then consider ISDIN’s Melatonik Overnight Recovery Serum, $165. This clinical-level product is one of Dr. Kunin’s top recommendations, and it was also the recipient of InStyle’s Best Beauty Buys award for 2022. The silky serum helps restore your skin while you rest via a powerful combination of melatonin, bakuchiol (a gentle retinol alternative), and vitamin C.
For a more wallet-friendly option, slather this melatonin-doused nighttime cream from Bad Habit. In addition to delivering all that antioxidant goodness, it’s made with glycolic acid to gently exfoliate for brighter, smoother skin, as well as hyaluronic acid to plump and hydrate. Best of all, it smells dreamy – literally – via lavender and chamomile essential oils.
The rest of your body deserves some skincare TLC, too! This moisturizing body lotion from Asutra is packed with melatonin and magnesium to calm and soothe while helping your skin look great from the neck down.
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Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. Although some brands allow affiliate links, we never take payment to review products, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.