You’ll Never Guess What Happens To Your Skin Throughout the Day

Caitlin S. Miller
skin changes Youll Never Guess What Happens To Your Skin Throughout the Day

Photo: ImaxTree

We all know skin can change from season to season—that’s a given. And you likely adapt your skin care routine to accommodate these seasonal disparities. But did you know your skin is more finicky than you ever imagined? It changes daily. And we don’t mean day-to-day. (Although as anyone who’s suffered a random breakout knows, this is true.) We mean throughout one single day. In one day, your skin goes through a series of transitions and requires different attention to address those needs. The research and development teams at Neutrogena recently shared with us just how skin changes during the day and what we can do about this cycle!

In the morning
As to be expected, when you wake up, skin often feels dry and dehydrated. This is due to the trans-epidermal water loss, which hits its peak while you’re catching some ZZZs. And things only get worse as your morning progresses! As you pop in your morning shower, the steam from the hot water can actually do harm to your skin’s barrier. We found out skin’s lipids A.K.A. the fatty good stuff that makes skin plump and hydrated can actually melt at 40 degrees Celsius! (about 72 degrees Fahrenheit) Yikes! Luckily, you can combat this water loss with a nourishing moisturizer. We like Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel with Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 15 ($20, because it supplies skin with a healthy dose of moisture while providing sun protection.  Studies have even shown DNA-repair defense is lowest in the mornings, making skin susceptible to damage. As if you weren’t convinced enough to wear SPF.

In the afternoon
Next, as your day goes on, you’re likely bombard with work emails, cal invites, and a string of phone calls you just can’t ignore. All that stress is not only causing you a massive migraine only a mid-afternoon Starbucks run can cure but, it’s also causing and increase in oil production. And let’s all agree  makeup to slide off (oil production is highest in the afternoon), but it’s causing an increase in cortisol levels. Increased cortisol can lead to, you guessed it, breakouts! And it gets worse. (Sorry!) If you step outside for a minute without reapplying sunscreen, skin is exposed to damaging UV rays and can take three to five days to recover from this damage, however, try as you might, skin won’t go back to “normal.” Once it’s damaged, it’s damaged, so it’s best to reapply SPF throughout the day

At night
If you’re thinking you might be in the clear at night (no sun has to mean you’re safe, right?), think again. If you hit the gym after work, your skin goes through the ringer yet again. Sweat causes skin’s pH level to rise and thus the lipid content to decrease. Oh and P.S. sweaty clothes are a hotbed for bacteria growth and other microorganisms you’d probably rather avoid! Lastly after you’ve showered and hit the sack, you’d be wise to turn off the TV and put the cell phone on mute. Poor or interrupted sleep is a nightmare for skin—think sallow skin, dark under eye circles, etc. To combat this cyclical effect, try StriVectin Overnight Resurfacing Concentrate ($72,, which boasts the NIA-114 technology to deliver hydration and help eliminate dead skin cells.

The good news is, with the proper products and awareness, you can break free of this skin cycle!

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