Thursday 4 April 2019

Melatonin: An Unlikely Antioxidant with Growth Receptors in the Skin

We all know melatonin as a sleeping pill because it is released by the pineal gland in the brain, and helps us fall asleep at night when it is dark. Melatonin is very connected with our circadian rhythm and the environment.  

Recently it was discovered that melatonin’s endocrine properties extend to the skin and hair. Could that be why animals shed their fun in the summertime and grow thicker fur in the winter time? Perhaps.

We do know for sure that there are melatonin receptors in the skin and hair follicles.1Our skin makes the melatonin that is needed to keep our skin healthy and youthful. Taking melatonin orally does not have the same effect and therefore you may see a surgent of melatonin topical products.

Melatonin keeps our skin healthy and youthful by 2 major mechanisms. It has antioxidant effects that neutralize the oxidative damage from the sun2-4, and by stimulating growth receptors in the skin.1

The antioxidant effects of melatonin are so strong, they are thought to be strong and more potent than glutathione2, Vitamin C3, and Vitamin E.4

Melatonin is also being studied in other areas of health, such as neurodegenerative diseases, cancers, and anti-aging in general. 

  1. Kleszczynski K, Fischer TW. Melatonin and human skin aging. Dermato-Endocrinology 4:3, 245–252; July–December 2012; 
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