Time Change: A Sneaky Skin Ager

By molly / 18 December 2023

Time Change: A Sneaky Skin Ager

Did you know that daylight savings—or traveling between time zones—can have a negative impact on your skin?

When the body is subjected to a sudden and significant shift in its natural circadian rhythm, it scrambles to reset that internal clock. And that stress can elicit an inflammatory response in the body, triggering acne or rosacea flare ups, as well as accelerating skin aging. This disruption also almost always leads to sleep loss, which is bad for your complexion because most skin repair is done overnight. Sleep deprivation can lead to moisture loss and lowered pH levels, leaving the skin both dehydrated and sensitized. So, what can be done to counteract all of these negative effects? Not traveling between time zones is not a realistic (or appealing!) option. Ditto for picking up and moving to a whole new location just because they don’t practice daylight savings. But there are some behavioral tweaks that can help minimize the impact of time change on our circadian rhythms—as well as specific skincare strategies to mitigate the fallout for your skin.

Shift your sleep schedule in advance

If possible, try to shift your bedtime forward or backward in fifteen-minute increments ahead of the time change. The goal: By the time you have to switch time zones (or set your clock forward or backward), your sleep schedule will have mostly adapted. And even if you can’t execute a perfect prep plan (especially if you’re about to fly to the other side of the world), incrementally inching toward the new time in advance is still healthier than switching cold turkey in one night.

Expose yourself to as much daylight as possible

Experts believe that natural light exposure—especially first thing in the morning—can help reboot your circadian rhythm, making the transition go faster.

Cut back on caffeine

Using caffeine to curb fatigue messes with your adenosine levels (the chemical that makes you feel sleepy) and may further compromise your ability to adapt to a time change. And even if you do stop drinking coffee or tea at lunch, caffeine can stick around in your system for up to ten hours and may be the reason you’re still staring at the ceiling at 11 p.m. So, try to limit caffeine consumption to early morning (at least until your body clock has been reset).

Put down your phone before bed

Similar to caffeine, the blue light that emits from your smart phone disrupts your bedtime body processes. In the case of blue light, it inhibits production of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep. So, to allow the natural increase of melatonin in the evening, put down your phone (or tablet or laptop) at least 30 minutes before bed—and keep it face down so the flashing light of alerts doesn't disturb you overnight.

Replenish and rehydrate

Because sleep deprivation can cause dehydration, it’s important to drink plenty of water (obviously!). But it’s also crucial to up topical hydration to prevent trans-epidermal water loss—especially at night when the skin’s barrier is most permeable. Pour Moi’s lineup of six climate-centric Day Creams, three Serums and one all-weather Night Cream ensures you are always replenishing your skin’s moisture at concentrations that are ideal for your current climate (especially important if you’ve just criss-crossed time zones). Pour Moi also boasts travel sizes of its Day Creams so you can easily pack more than one and toggle as you travel! Upping exfoliation a few days prior to a time change is also helpful because it will get rid of dead skin cells and enable topical moisturizers to easily penetrate and replenish the skin. Pour Moi’s Clarifying Polish is blended with sugar, encapsulated antioxidants, and our Geo-hydradynamic Complex to gently, effectively clear debris and dead cells from the skin’s surface.

Up the fight against inflammation

An inflammatory response to stress caused by a disrupted internal clock is normal—but not good for your complexion. Inflammation, plus an out-of-whack pH, can result in breakouts, extra-sensitivity and noticeably duller skin. To dial down these negative effects, look for products that contain pH-balancing or anti-inflammatory ingredients, such as Pour Moi’s Hydrating Balancers (Rich) and (Light). Both formulas boast Citric Acid and Sodium Hydroxide to balance pH levels and Pro-Vitamin B to quell inflammation, and each may be used twice daily to help fight inflammation around the clock.

Use products that support your skin’s own circadian rhythms

During the day, the skin’s main objective is protection; at night it’s repair and replenishment. Using topical products that support those functions will help your skin reach optimal health, even when your body is battling the after- effects of a time change. So, during the day, apply protective products that contain antioxidants to battle environmental aggressors. All six of Poir Moi’s Day Creams and all three Serums contain powerful antioxidants, vitamins A and E. Then, at night, repair and treat with a product like Pour Moi’s Night Cream, which was scientifically designed to partner with your skin’s natural nightly repair process. Active ingredients include: rejuvenating retinol, brightening vitamin C, skin-softening squalane and shea butter, and Pour Moi’s proprietary Geo-hydrodynamic Complex.