Nov 15th, 2021 ・ Shannon Peter

What exactly are adaptogens?

What exactly are adaptogens?

The buzz around adaptogens has been growing for some time now. Rooted in time-old Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine principles, in recent years, they’ve hit the mainstream as not only a solution to general health and wellness imbalances, but also as a purported skin glow-giver, too. But are they legit? And should you consider adding an adaptogen into your routine and rituals? Read on for the Lion/ne take.

What are adaptogens?

The term adaptogen is given to selected herbs and mushrooms believed to have certain health benefits. The idea is that these substances ‘adapt’ to what the body needs in that moment, helping it overcome bouts of stress and reset its systems to what is referred to as ‘homeostasis’, i.e. a balanced state. Adaptogens are usually available to buy as teas, tinctures, tablets or powders that you can add to food or sprinkle into smoothies, but a handful of skincare brands have started to introduce topical adaptogens into their formulas too.

What are the main adaptogens?

There’s a few you’ll have probably heard of. First, ashwagandha which is an evergreen shrub believed to help ease the symptoms of anxiety amongst other benefits. Ginseng is another, which is reported to boost the immune system.

How do adaptogens benefit the skin?

While much, much more research is needed to firm up any of the claims made in favour of adaptogens, the idea is that these supplements help normalise or balance the body’s stress levels, which in turn will have benefits for the skin, particularly if the imbalance manifests in a rash or other skin condition. Just think about it: when you’re stressed or near burn-out, that shows on the skin. Settle that stress, and the skin should appear brighter and calmer, too.

Adaptogens are also thought to aid the digestion process, which – if true – could have a knock-on effect for the skin and there’s also a very loose correlation between adaptogens and anti-ageing effects.

Keen to find out if your unique skin could benefit from delving into the world of adaptogens? Book a Holistic Skin Session and your personal Skin Mentor will talk you through it.