Adaptogens are the subject of a lot of beauty and wellness buzz, but odds are you’re not really sure what they are. A cornerstone of traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, these ingestible herbs are thought to promote the body’s natural processes and optimize balance by helping the body “adapt” to external aggressors such as stress—and it’s no wonder adaptogens are beginning to pop up in skincare. Whether you turn to an adaptogen supplement to increase energy and reduce fatigue, or topical adaptogen skincare to ward off skin damage and enhance healthy radiance, here are five products to try right now.
Moon Juice Blue Beauty Adaptogenic Protein
Mixed into a smoothie, oatmeal, yogurt, coffee or just about anything else for that matter, this rice-based protein powder is infused with ashwagandha, amla and blue spirulina adaptogens to help reduce stress and maintain energy as it supports the skin’s youth-imparting collagen. Use it in its own or combine with any of Moon Juice’s “Dusts” to boost antioxidant protection, focus, physical stamina, libido and your overall mood.
HUM Nutrition The Big Chill
We could all use a break from the stress of day-to-day life—and so could our skin. Featuring calming rhodiola, this once-daily supplement helps reduce the body’s response to stress, including the production of a hormone called cortisol that’s been linked to breakouts and age-inducing inflammation. As an extra bonus, this root extract has been clinically proven to enhance focus in demanding situations, and who couldn’t use that?
Plantioxidants Chaga & Ginseng Reparative Serum
Packed with adaptogen-rich chaga mushrooms and ginseng, this USDA-certified organic serum helps reverse visible signs of sun damage and boost the skin’s natural production of collagen to even out skin tone and enhance firmness while smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. With a high concentration of plant-based antioxidants (as all Plantioxidant products are), this serum also protects against the free-radical damage that leads to further signs of aging.
Youth to the People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream
Packed with ashwagandha, rhodiola, holy basil and reishi mushrooms for adaptogen benefits plus calming pentapeptides, this rich moisturizer helps the skin stand up to environmental stress caused by UV exposure and pollution as it boosts skin hydration. Ideal for skin on the drier side, this vegan, paraben-free, fragrance-free moisturizer works wonders on sensitive or irritated skin.
You know there’s something to adaptogen-based skincare if dermatologist Dr. Ellen Marmur included these ingredients in her new smartphone-driven product line, and this range of serums and masks harnesses the power of natural yet high-tech actives. With three product categories geared toward inflamed, stressed/fatigued and sensitive/post-procedure skin, you can mix and match based on your skin’s needs to create a customized treatment regimen—and the iOS app features a skin quiz that creates a customized treatment “session” and even gives you a soundtrack to enjoy while you’re masking.