This Is Why It’s so Hard to Escape the ‘Daytime Blemish Blues’

Photo: Stocksy/Sergey Filimonov
This might be your first time hearing about the "daytime blemish blues," but you probably already know exactly what it is. After waking up in the morning, everything looks top-notch: all that redness is gone, the zit that showed up a couple days ago is barely rearing its ugly (white)head, and any bumpiness in the skin is hardly detectable. Then as the day goes on, those blemishes become increasingly more visible. So why does skin look best after waking up?

The daytime blemish blues is a term coined by a Reddit user who couldn't help but ask the masses if they, too, experience the problem. Not surprisingly, others also chimed in about the changes that pop up in the mirror midday, saying they've been on the hunt for answers.

According to Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, it checks out—and answers you will receive. "Our skin is busy repairing itself overnight with increased cell repair and regeneration occurring, so there's truth to 'beauty sleep' and waking up with great skin," she says. "Overnight is also a time when skincare products have a chance to set in, so the skin reflects those benefits when you wake up." (Although, if you're using more aggressive products like retinol that can cause irritation, even so-called beauty sleep can't leave you feeling bright and shiny every day.)

Unfortunately, those benefits only last so long. Dr. Garshick says during the day, any build-up of dead skin, excess oil, dirt, and the effects of UV and pollution exposure can dull your skin. "Additionally, during the day as we're more active, our superficial blood vessels dilate, which makes the skin more red and can make some scars and blemishes more noticeable," she says. Another culprit may be any makeup and pore-clogging skincare products you have on your face, says board-certified dermatologist Caren Campbell, MD, which "can cause clogged pores, inflammation, and bumps and acne."

Since you can't stay in bed all day long—even in the name of perfect skin!—there are some tactics you can use to keep your complexion looking as great as possible, despite everything working against it. Dr. Garshick recommends wearing sunscreen and using topical vitamin C with antioxidants to help protect your skin and fight against free radical damage. In addition, Dr. Campbell recommends using non-comedogenic products to prevent bumps and acne, as well as avoiding spicy foods and alcohol. "They can cause the dilation of blood vessels in the skin, which can cause redness and irritation," she says.

With these tricks up your sleeve, you might just be able to put an end to the daytime blemish blues for good. Until then, morning selfies all the way.

Here's everything you should know about vitamin C serum:

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