What Are Adaptogens and How Do They Improve Your Skin?

Adaptogens are the latest buzzword in the natural health and skincare space, a set of herbs, plant extracts, and natural compounds that experts believe restore balance and regulate stress naturally. Here's a closer look...

Contributor: Dr. Ritu Chopra

When your adrenals are working overtime and you’re breaking out from stressed-out skin, you might be looking for natural ways to prevent fatigue and burnout. Adaptogens could be the answer.

Today, you can find a variety of skin care products that contain adaptogenic herbs and supplements that contain adaptogens to help manage stress. Here’s a closer look at adaptogens and their potential skin benefits.

What Are Adaptogens?

"Adaptogens include herbs, mushrooms, and natural plant extracts that can have positive effects on the skin."

~ Dr. Ritu Chopra

They can be ingested for overall health benefits and also applied topically to the skin to improve skin health. This is why you might seen skincare products made with natural ingredients like ginseng, cordyceps, or gotu kola — all of these adaptogens are linked to soothing the skin, reducing inflammation, and even promoting healing.

How Adaptogens Work for Our Skin

If your weekday routine includes high-stress days at work and compromised sleep, your body and mind may be experiencing undue stress. Many people don’t realize how stress can take its toll on the body and the skin — when the adrenal system is overworked, you might experience fatigue, breakouts, and a lackluster complexion. Adaptogens can combat some of this stress from the inside out.

Ingesting adaptogens can help to reduce inflammation in the body and restore digestive health. For example, ashwagandha can have a calming and soothing effect. Other adaptogens may be linked to delaying skin aging by reducing the effects of environmental stressors and toxins. Adaptogenic herbs like ginseng and aloe vera can also help regulate the body’s ability to manage stress and ward off skin imbalances.

You can find a number of adaptogen-infused microbiome skin care products to help keep your skin balanced and looking healthier. Formulations that contain stress-relieving adaptogens like ashwagandha, maca, and rosemary can be especially effective for maintaining a healthy, radiant complexion -- even when you’re stressed or have compromised on some shuteye.

Whether your biggest skin concerns are acne, rosacea, eczema, or the signs of aging, consider ways to incorporate adaptogens into your daily regimen.

Are adaptogens part of your lifestyle? Share in the comments below!

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