Melatonin – How It Enhances Your Skin and Hair

Written by Drilon Beloshi | Last updated on August 4, 2023

Melatonin is best known for regulating our sleep cycles. Additionally, it also has some interesting effects on the health of our skin and hair.

The brain's pineal gland produces the hormone melatonin. It is an anti-inflammatory and protective hormone. Its ability to trigger cellular repair and regrowth makes the skin firmer and makes it look younger.

Melatonin also helps hair grow, making it thicker and denser. Melatonin can be used in a number of ways, and if we learn more about it, we might find new, natural ways to take care of our skin and hair.

Table Of Contents

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone that is produced naturally by the pineal gland, which is a small endocrine gland in the brain. It is very important for controlling the sleep-wake cycle, also called the circadian rhythm.

Functions of Melatonin

In humans, melatonin regulates the circadian rhythm (our internal body clock) and metabolic activity, as well as sleeping and waking hours. 

young lady in striped pajamas keeps alarm clock girl in sleep mask hugging pillow

Melatonin isn't only crucial for sleep; it's also been used to cure cancer, strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, and safeguard the cardiovascular system.

Sources and Production in the body

yellow pills

Melatonin is mostly made in the pineal gland, but small amounts may also be made in the eye, digestive system, skin, and immune cells. Locally produced melatonin in these tissues has yet to be fully explored for its function and significance. [1]

 It can also be made in a lab and sold as a dietary supplement. Melatonin pills are used to treat sleep problems like insomnia, jet lag, and sleep problems. Most drug stores and food stores sell these vitamins in tablet, pill, liquid, and even candy form. [2]

Melatonin and the Sleep-Wake Cycle

Role of Melatonin in Regulating Sleep

The hormone melatonin plays a crucial role in regulating sleep and waking times. In addition, it promotes restful sleep. The pineal gland secretes melatonin at night to signal the onset of sleep.

young beautiful woman in blue pajamas laying on bed

Melatonin interacts with brain receptors. This aids in maintaining a regular sleep schedule and reducing insomnia.

It reduces your body temperature, makes you feel drowsy, and helps you fall asleep faster. Melatonin regulates the timing and quality of sleep, which is important for maintaining a healthy sleep-wake cycle.

Issues with melatonin synthesis or exposure to artificial light in the evening might make it difficult to fall asleep. This demonstrates the crucial role of melatonin in achieving and maintaining restful sleep. [3]

Relationship Between Sleep Quality and Skin/Hair Health

The body undergoes a variety of restoration and repair activities when you sleep. The skin and hair are only two examples of how these processes may affect an outward appearance. Getting a good night's sleep every night may help in these respects.

Reduced wrinkles may be one of the possible benefits of beauty sleep. A number of proteins, like collagen and elastin, help keep the skin flexible and stretchy.

Lack of sleep has been linked to a weakened immune system, which has been shown to weaken the quality and power of collagen. As a result, your face may develop wrinkles and other signs of damage.

Clear skin is another benefit of quality sleep. The circadian rhythm sets the internal clock and tells the body when it's time to sleep. It also controls how the skin and other systems work.

The rise in core body temperature at night and the extra blood flow to the skin help a serious skin injury heal. Scientists have also found that the body is best at repairing skin cells affected by ultraviolet (UV) rays in the morning.

Damage to the hair's appearance and strength may result from sleep deprivation. High amounts of stress on the body might trigger the production of cortisol if you don't get enough sleep.

When cortisol levels rise, the body makes more sebaceous oil, which is deposited at the base of each hair. Greasy hair may come from an increase in sebum production.

Melatonin as an Antioxidant

Understanding antioxidants and their importance

Antioxidants are important substances that protect our cells from free radicals, which can cause damage that can't be fixed. Free radicals can cause oxidative stress, which can damage cells and even make you sick.

free radical diagram showing how it forms antioxidants

Antioxidants stop free radicals from damaging cells by rendering them harmless. They stabilize the free radicals by giving them an electron, therefore ending the oxidative damage chain process.

Melatonin’s role in combating oxidative stress

Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that significantly reduces the negative effects of oxidative stress. It neutralizes free radicals, which are harmful to cells, preventing further damage.

Additionally, by activating other antioxidant enzymes, melatonin improves their efficiency. As a result, the antioxidant defense mechanism as a whole is improved.

Melatonin aids cellular health, protects DNA from damage, and inhibits the breakdown of crucial proteins by reducing reactive stress. Because of its versatility and ability to penetrate cell barriers, its protective actions against reactive damage are amplified. 

Because of its antioxidant properties, melatonin is beneficial to health in general. It's beneficial to your health and longevity since it may aid in the battle against a variety of illnesses brought on by oxidative stress. [4]

Impact on skin aging and hair loss

As an antioxidant, melatonin helps protect skin and hair cells from the oxidative stress caused by free radicals, which can damage DNA, proteins, and lipids.

In terms of skin health, melatonin's antioxidant qualities help neutralize free radicals caused by UV rays and environmental pollutants. 

This may aid in preventing further damage to the skin, lessening the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and giving the skin a more youthful overall look. The anti-inflammatory properties of melatonin may help maintain healthy skin by reducing inflammation and redness.

In terms of hair health, melatonin's antioxidant action helps prevent oxidative damage that can lead to hair loss, thinning, and graying. Melatonin may aid hair follicle function, stimulate hair growth, and preserve hair's general health and vitality by lowering levels of oxidative stress.

Melatonin and Skin Health

Melatonin’s antioxidant properties and their impact on skin

Melatonin is an effective tool for maintaining youthful skin because of its high antioxidant property. Melatonin's ability to get rid of free radicals helps protect skin cells from damage caused by oxidation. 

This makes fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots less noticeable. Its anti-oxidant capabilities contribute to a more radiant and youthful complexion.

Melatonin’s influence on skins cells and DNA repair

Melatonin has been found to be important for both skin and DNA repair. It stops elements like sunlight and pollutants from damaging the DNA in skin cells. Melatonin assists in the repair of DNA damage and the restoration of normal cellular function.

Because of its potential to stimulate DNA repair pathways, melatonin may be useful for preserving skin health and protecting against mutations.

This maintains the skin's overall health and vitality while helping the skin's natural regeneration processes produce a more youthful appearance.

Role of melatonin in protecting against UV radiation

Melatonin has several purposes, one of which is to shield skin from the sun's harmful UV rays. Melatonin's antioxidant qualities help reduce the stress and cell death that come from being exposed to UV light.

It looks for free radicals that are dangerous and gets rid of them before they can do any harm. Melatonin has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which could help reduce inflammation caused by UV exposure. 

Melatonin keeps skin cells healthy and safe from damage from UV light by reducing reactive stress and inflammation.

Melatonin’s influence on skin aging and wrinkles

Wrinkles and the signs of aging skin may be affected by melatonin. Melatonin's ability to scavenge free radicals contributes to its anti-aging effects by lowering the skin's oxidative stress.

Collagen and elastin are proteins that help keep skin supple and tight, and melatonin may boost their synthesis. This may help keep your skin looking fresh and young by minimizing the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

Melatonin’s potential as treatment for skin disorders

Melatonin might be able to help with skin problems like eczema and acne. Because it is anti-inflammatory, it may help with eczema signs like itching, swelling, and soreness.

Melatonin may also help stop toxic damage to the skin and speed up the mending process because of its antioxidant properties.

Melatonin's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties may help treat acne by reducing inflammation, controlling sebum production, and stopping acne-causing bacteria from spreading. 

Skin problems can be caused by sleep disruptions, so melatonin's ability to control the sleep-wake cycle may be good for skin health in general.

Melatonin and Hair Health

Melatonin role in hair growth and follicle regulation

Hair growth and follicle modulation are two areas where melatonin might be helpful. The hair-growth cycle is stabilized as a result. Hair follicles include receptors for the sleep hormone melatonin.

Hair follicle stimulation is possible. The hormone melatonin has been linked to increased hair growth. It has the potential to lengthen the hair's anagen (growth) phase and shorten its telogen (resting) phase.

The impact of hair growth on hair pigmentation

Melatonin has also been shown to play a role in how hair changes color. Since melatonin has been found to have an effect on melanocytes (the cells responsible for generating pigment), it is possible that it plays a function in maintaining hair color.

The amount of melatonin drops with age, which is linked to graying hair. Taking melatonin pills or using hair care items with melatonin in them may help fix or stop gray hair.

But more research needs to be done to fully understand how melatonin affects hair color and how it can be used.

Stimulates hair growth and preventing hair loss

Another area of study is the potential effect of melatonin in stimulating hair growth and preventing hair loss. Melatonin might be able to stretch the growth (anagen) phase of the hair cycle and activate the cells in the hair follicles. [5]

Melatonin's ability to fight free radicals may also stop damage to hair cells and hair loss. Melatonin has shown promise as a possible therapy for increasing hair growth and decreasing hair loss, but the exact ways it works are still being studied.

Melatonin’s potential in combating hair loss and promoting regrowth

The capacity of melatonin to both stop hair loss and promote new growth has been demonstrated. Inhibiting 5-alpha-reductase, the enzyme that changes testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), may be useful against hair loss.

It is possible that melatonin's capacity to inhibit DHT may safeguard hair follicles and prevent their reduction in size. Melatonin's antioxidant properties may help protect hair follicles from oxidative stress, fostering an environment conducive to hair growth.

Using Melatonin for improved thickness and strength

Melatonin supplements are being considered because they might help hair grow and get stronger. Increased keratin production and maybe increased hair follicle cell division have both been linked to melatonin.

With these changes, hair may grow thicker and stronger. But more research is needed to find out if melatonin works and how to use it best for these hair benefits.

Melatonin in Skincare and Haircare Products

Market Trends and Availability

Melatonin's potential health benefits and ability to control sleep have made it more popular as a dietary supplement. Melatonin has been on the market in many different forms in the past few years.

These include tablets, pills, gummies, and even treatments for hair and skin.

You can buy melatonin pills in many places, such as pharmacies, health food stores, and even online. It's important to know that different countries have different rules about how melatonin pills can be sold and labeled.

Choosing melatonin-infused products wisely

When buying melatonin products, it's important to know as much as you can about them. Try to buy well-known brands that are made in an accredited facility and have been separately checked and found to be effective.

Consider what the product is made of, how much of it you need, and if it comes with anything extra. A doctor can help you choose the best melatonin product for your needs and make sure it doesn't mix badly with other medicines you may be taking.

Step-by-Step guide to incorporating melatonin into skincare routine

Melatonin is a useful supplement that you can add to your skincare regimen. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  • Step 1: Find a good skin care product with melatonin and use it. Look for products that include melatonin as an ingredient.
  • Step 2: Use a mild facial cleanser and wash your face gently. Remove any makeup, dirt, or pollution that is still on your face.
  • Step 3: Pat your face dry with a clean towel. Make sure the towel is still a little damp before moving on.
  • Step 4: As directed by the manufacturer, the melatonin skin care product should be put on the fingers or palm.
  • Step 5: The melatonin product should be put on the face and neck with light, upward strokes. Apply the coating carefully and evenly to the target areas.
  • Step 6: Putting pressure on the face in a circular manner helps the product sink in. Give the product enough time to work its way into the skin.
  • Step 7: Use your regular moisturizer, sunscreen, or other skincare products.
  • Step 8: Consider what the product's manufacturer says about how frequently to use it, as well as any other instructions.
  • Step 9: Wait until the product is fully absorbed before putting on additional makeup.
  • Step 10: Using the melatonin skin care product regularly over time will let you judge how well it works. Always keep in mind that your experience and results may vary from that of others.
  • Step 11: Watch how the melatonin product makes your face react. If it causes skin sensitivity or other problems, stop using it and see a doctor.

Combination approaches for maximum benefits

To maximize the benefits of Melatonin supplements, consider the following approaches.

Melatonin pills may be used orally to help regulate sleep and improve general health. In addition, you may use melatonin-based topical treatments directly to your skin or scalp.

Using melatonin products regularly is the only way to keep a steady amount of melatonin in your body or on your hair and skin.

Use melatonin products as part of a balanced hair care plan that also includes light shampoo and conditioner, regular deep conditioning treatments, and less exposure to heat and chemicals.

Melatonin's benefits can be improved by living a healthy life. This means eating well, getting enough exercise, and learning how to deal with stress.

Natural Sources of Melatonin

Foods that naturally contain melatonin

Some foods contain natural melatonin, and consuming them before bed may help you sleep better. Note that these meals shouldn't be used as your only source of melatonin because of their low melatonin levels.

 Instead, they should be incorporated as part of a healthy diet. Natural food sources of melatonin are:

  1. Tart cherries
  2. Walnuts
  3. Almonds
  4. Bananas
  5. Rice (jasmine rice and rice bran)
  6. Tomatoes
  7. Oats
  8. Barley

Herbal supplements and their melatonin content

Melatonin can also be found in products made from herbs. Some plant goods, like valerian root and chamomile, may contain melatonin as well as substances that help the body make its own melatonin.

Many people seek the calming and sleep-inducing benefits of herbal remedies, the melatonin content of which varies greatly.

The uniformity and quality of herbal supplement brands might vary, therefore it's important to buy from a trustworthy retailer.

Lifestyle practices that promote melatonin production

The natural production of melatonin in the body may be aided by making good lifestyle choices.

Your internal clock will work better if you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This includes days off. Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool so you can sleep there. This will help your body make more melatonin, which will help you sleep better at night.

Use electronic devices as little as possible, especially in the hours before bed, because the blue light they give off may stop the body from making its own melatonin.

Before bed, do activities that help you relax, like reading, taking a warm bath, meditating, or deep breathing exercises.

Regular exercise, especially in the morning, could help you sleep better by making your body make more melatonin.

Don't drink too much coffee, smoke, or drink too much alcohol, since these things can all mess with your body's normal sleep cycles. Due to the potential disruption of sleep caused by digestion, heavy meals should be avoided close to bedtime.

You may raise your body's natural melatonin levels via stress reduction techniques like yoga, meditation, and journaling.

Exposure to natural light helps control the circadian rhythm and the production of melatonin, so try to spend some time outside every day, especially in the morning.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can melatonin supplements improve skin and hair health?

Melatonin supplements have been shown to help people sleep better, which has been linked to better skin and hair health.

It has also been shown to improve skin and hair health directly, although more research is needed. 

What are the potential side-effects of melatonin supplementation?

Taking melatonin supplements might make you feel drowsy dizzy, nauseated, give you a headache, or even cause your blood pressure to change for a short time.

Some people taking medications or suffering from conditions already may be adversely affected. It is recommended to consult a professional before starting a new supplement. 

Are melatonin-infused skincare products effective?

Melatonin's anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics make it a good choice for skin care.

However, the effectiveness of melatonin's topical use in skincare products is still up for debate. To know for sure how much better skin health they can make you feel, we need further research.

Is it safe to use melatonin supplements long-term?

Melatonin may be safe to use for an extended period of time. People have used it safely for up to 2 years.

However, it does have certain drawbacks of which you should be aware. Take melatonin at least 4 hours before bed, and don't drive or handle big machinery.

How long does it take to see results when using melatonin for skin and hair?

Melatonin may have different effects on hair and skin for different people. Since melatonin is primarily responsible for regulating sleep, any advantages to skin and hair health may be delayed or indirect.

With constant use of melatonin supplements, a healthy diet, and a skin care routine, you can make slow but steady progress over the course of weeks or months.

Can melatonin improve sleep quality in individuals with insomnia?

Melatonin supplements may help people who have trouble sleeping fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Melatonin makes you feel calm and tired, which helps you fall asleep. However, its usefulness may change depending on the individual.

Are there any dietary restrictions while using melatonin?

There is no need to alter your diet while taking melatonin. But for the best health, it's always best to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet. Heavy meals or stimulants consumed close to bedtime may counteract the sedative effects of melatonin in some people.


It's possible that melatonin might enhance the condition of your hair and skin. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which may aid in maintaining healthy skin.

Even though we don't know how melatonin directly affects skin and hair, we do know that the hormone helps regulate sleep habits, which is good for both skin and hair. 

Using skin care items with melatonin and living a healthy lifestyle may make your face clearer and your hair better.

Melatonin provides an intriguing new avenue to explore in the quest for healthy hair and skin, although further study is required.


[1] Pandi-Perumal, S. R., Srinivasan, V., Maestroni, G. J., Cardinali, D. P., Poeggeler, B., & Hardeland, R. (2008). Melatonin: Nature's most versatile biological signal? FEBS Journal, 275(19), 2813-2838. Retrieved from

[2] Ferracioli-Oda, E., Qawasmi, A., & Bloch, M. H. (2013). Meta-analysis: Melatonin for the treatment of primary sleep disorders. PLoS ONE, 8(5), e63773. Retrieved from

[3] Cajochen, C., Krauchi, K., & Wirz-Justice, A. (2003). Role of melatonin in the regulation of human circadian rhythms and sleep. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 15(4), 432-437. Retrieved from

[4] Melatonin as antioxidant, geroprotector and anticarcinogen. (2006, April 17). Melatonin as Antioxidant, Geroprotector and Anticarcinogen - ScienceDirect. Retrieved from

[5] Fischer, T. W., Trüeb, R. M., Hänggi, G., Innocenti, M., & Elsner, P. (n.d.). Topical Melatonin for Treatment of Androgenetic Alopecia. PubMed Central (PMC). Retrieved from

About the author 

Dr Drilon Beloshi is a hardworking and passionate doctor who enjoys research, writing, and teaching. Conducted scientific research in the field of endocrinology.

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