Melatonin is one of the latest trendy skincare ingredients that supposedly helps restore and improve skin tone, while helping to combat signs of aging. While the hormone helps improve the body’s sleep and wake cycle, there has been evidence that it furnishes antioxidant properties that rival that of vitamin C and E. All day long, your skin encounters damaging free radicals, thanks to pollution and UV exposure. These face foes can alter the skin’s DNA, resulting in photo damage and even cancer. In order to neutralize free radicals, your body makes antioxidants, with the help of antioxidant enzymes. “Melatonin stimulates your body’s natural production of these enzymes. And, according to a study in the journal of drugs in Dermatology, these melatonin-induced antioxidants are more effective than those from the ever-popular vitamins C and E.

Likely Effective for

  • Trouble falling asleep at a conventional bedtime (delayed sleep phase syndrome). Taking melatonin by mouth appears to reduce the length of time needed to fall asleep in young adults and children who have trouble falling asleep. However, within one year of stopping treatment, this sleeping problem seems to return.
  • Non-24-hour sleep wake disorder. Taking melatonin at bedtime seems to improve sleep in children and adults who are blind.

Possibly Ineffective for

  • Athletic performance. Taking melatonin shortly before resistance exercise or cycling doesn’t appear to improve performance.
  • Involuntary weight loss in people who are very ill (cachexia or wasting syndrome). Research shows that taking melatonin each evening for 28 days does not improve appetite, body weight, or body composition in people with wasting syndrome from cancer.
  • Diseases, such as Alzheimer disease, that interfere with thinking (dementia). Most research shows that taking melatonin does not improve behavior or affect symptoms in people with Alzheimer disease or other forms of memory loss. But taking melatonin might reduce confusion and restlessness when the sun goes down in people with these conditions.
  • Inability to become pregnant within a year of trying to conceive (infertility). Taking melatonin does not appear to improve pregnancy rates in women undergoing fertility treatments.
  • Sleep disorder due to rotating or night shifts (shift work disorder). Taking melatonin by mouth does not seem to improve sleeping problems in people who do shift work.

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