These are the hours when your cosmetics are most effective

Is there such a thing as the right time to apply beauty products or when your cosmetics are most effective? According to science, timing is everything. It’s so essential that you should look at your watch before using cosmetics on your skin.


Have you ever heard about chronobiology and the circadian rhythm? There’s a whole new world in the beauty industry inviting us to add to our beauty routine sleeping with masks, gloves and socks.  Based on scientific studies including a Medicine Nobel Prize work, “The molecular mechanisms that control circadian rhythm”, we know now that our skin cells focus on different things at different times of the day. During the daytime, the cells work in defending and protecting the skin against external aggressions like ultraviolet rays. At night, the cells can repair the damage and regenerate the skin.

Circadian Rhythm

Skin cells follow the circadian rhythm, which is an almost 24-hour cycle in the physiological processes of all living beings. The circadian rhythm controls the hormones we produce, notably cortisol and melatonin.

Infographic that shows when the cosmetics are more effective

These hormones have an effect on the cosmetics we use. For example, after 6 p.m., when melatonin starts coming into action, beauty treatments to repair and regenerate your skin and fillers that form collagen work better. On the other hand, it would make no sense to apply at night an anti-oxidant product which protects tissues against the oxidation that cortisol causes during the day.


Use anti-oxidants like Vitamin C that helps lower the production of melanin and protects your skin against environmental aggressions and free radicals. Moisturisers with sunscreen protect your skin against ultraviolet rays. Use them every morning, no matter the season or your skin type. Retinol is not compatible with exposure to sunlight that makes the molecule highly unstable and less effective, plus, it makes your skin easier to burn. So, i

f you must use a product containing retinol during the day, make sure to apply a broad-spectrum minimum SPF 30 over it.


When you sleep, the body temperature and the horizontal position increase the blood flow, which helps you oxygenate the cells, drain and eliminate waste and fluids. It is the right time to apply anti-cellulite creams, leave-in hair lotions, and all products containing active ingredients that promote the regeneration and nutrition of the skin. Creams with retinol, glycol acid or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) work more efficiently at night, especially during the “Golden Hours”, that period between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. or the REM phase of sleep, that is when tissues are better repaired and regenerated. The cell turnover that happens while you sleep improves skin radiance.

Remember, time is on our side, at least in our beauty routine 😉


Photos via Shutterstock and Wikimedia