Updated: Apr 27
And finally it is Spring! Which also means you’re undoubtedly being bombarded with new information about new diets and new products and new practices and new treatments that are guaranteed to do—fill in literally—any health-related blank. But what if the key to all of this is something that’s not new? Something that’s actually pretty ancient? Something you may not have heard about yet, but definitely something that should be on your radar?
Well, here's the answer: Adaptogens.
Easily one of the buzziest health terms around, adaptogens are also one of the least understood ingredients in self-care. But understanding what they are and how they work might just be the key to getting off on the right foot with your face this year and for years to come.
To qualify as an adaptogen, a herb must be completely safe and non-toxic, it must have broad uses for health, and it must specifically reduce stress, both mental and physical. To put it simply: adaptogens help you adapt. Adaptogens are adaptable to your system’s needs, adapting around the problem, hence the name. They can stimulate the body to enhance stamina or mental clarity (maca or ginseng), offer anti-inflammatory benefits (turmeric), boost immunity (astragalus) and calm stressed-out adrenals (like reishi or ashwagandha), all depending on what your body needs support with. Here are some examples you might be interested in taking notes as they demonstrate a significant adaptogenic activity:
Ashwagandha: Of all the medicinal plants used in India’s several millennia old tradition of Ayurveda, Ashwagandha, or Withania somnifera, is the most highly priced.
Holy Basil: Holy Basil functions as an adaptogen, enhancing the body's natural response to physical and emotional stress. Adaptogenic herbs do not alter mood, but rather, they help the body function optimally during times of stress.
Maca: Maca has been dubbed “Peruvian ginseng,” though it bears no relation to ginseng. But like ginseng, the root increases strength, energy, stamina, libido and sexual function. [you can read Maca: boosting your energy by clicking here]
Rhodiola Rosea: A well studied adaptogen, Rhodiola defends the body overall, and protects general health and well-being. Its anti-stress and fatigue-fighting properties make it one of the most popular botanicals in all of Siberia.
Schisandra: Schisandra is a potent general tonic, decreasing fatigue, enhancing physical performance, and promoting endurance. The berry counters stress by reducing the levels of stress hormones in the blood.
Ok, so what does this all mean for your skin?
Well, you know that anything nasty going on internally will eventually show up on your face — it’s often the site of the first visible sign something is going wrong. And when stress and illness flare up, and your adrenals and immune system respond by working overtime, your skin reflects that.
Sometimes there’s nothing you can do about it. But whenever possible, it’s better to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to the health of your body’s various systems and adaptogens may just be the key.
Taken regularly, adaptogenic herbs can help the body regulate its response to stress which, as has been covered above, is one of the major reasons for imbalances in the body.
Stress => body imbalance + stressed-out body systems = skin imbalance
Not a flawless equation, I know, but it does the job. When you introduce adaptogens into this equation, things chill out a bit and everything lives in harmony, making for peaceful skin.
Why I use adaptogens on my skincare range formulations
When your skin is distracted by stress, it shifts its focus to other things letting important stuff like retaining water fall by the wayside. Certainly, you need to take care of your needs internally by paying attention to what you eat and adding some natural supplements like the mentioned above to ensure system equilibrium. Moreover, using daily adaptogens applied externally to your skin can not only work, but certain ones like Aloe, Blackcurrant Seed Oil and Abyssinian Seed Oil you will find in our skin care range (Facial Protocol) are pretty much customised to ensure skin gets all its vitamins and nutrients, and holds onto that ever-important water to keep its flawless balance.
While certain adaptogens may be better-suited for more targeted issues like the ones I just mentioned, in the overall, they’re not meant to be used as a medical treatment for a specific condition. That relies on your doctor's advice. They boost your overall well-being and keeping your body working in harmony.
Boost your glow naturally,
Love Sonia x