Hot topic: adaptogenic skincare

Protect your skin from winter weather (and ward off aging) with herbal products.

Adaptogens—unique plants and herbs—are getting a lot of play these days. That's because they are believed to help the body to adapt to everyday challenges like lack of sleep, changes in weather, and physical and emotional stress. For example, herbal supplements like ginseng, eleuthero, licorice root, and ashwagandha are said to help ward off stress and depression. They work by stabilizing and restoring physiological functions (like naturally lowering blood pressure and improving oxygen use in the body). And now, adaptogenic properties are being used in skincare products to help balance the skin.

“The skin is one of the smartest organs we have because it is one of the few that is able to regenerate,” says Nicolas Travis, founder of adaptogenic skincare line, Allies of Skin. Their products, she says, provide the essential nutrients your skin needs to heal itself from environmental irritants like pollution and sun exposure. The adaptogens help regulate internal and external inflammation, which causes aging of the skin.

“As the world continues to grow more stressful, toxic, and complicated, we have a growing need for adaptogens in skincare as well as in the general market place," says Kristin Petrovich, president and co-founder of Själ Skincare. Here, three brands that have developed adaptogenic products.

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  • Allies of Skin

    Allies of Skin

    Allies of Skin’s entire range of products is adaptogenic; each one purports to work synergistically with your skin to adapt its function according to your specific needs. The much-beloved 1A All-Day Mask, for example, is the first leave-on treatment mask that forms a breathable anti-pollution shield to prevent pollution particles from sticking to the skin and doing damage. 

    1A All-Day Mask, $89; alliesofskin.com

    1A Overnight Mask, $109; alliesofskin.com

    The 24/7 Kit, $239; alliesofskin.com

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  • Éminence Organics

    Éminence Organics

    Lactic and mandelic acids remove dead skin cells through gentle exfoliation, allowing antioxidant baobab to protect against skin damage caused by free radicals. An all-natural hydroquinone complex from African potato and tara tree helps to lighten those dark spots while licorice root brightens the skin’s overall appearance.

    Éminence Organics Bright Skin Licorice Root Exfoliating Peel, $79; buynaturalskincare.com

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  • Själ Skincare

    Själ Skincare

    Själ’s products integrate herbal and floral rejuvenation ingredients from five continents, exclusive European and Japanese anti-aging technologies, and modern energy science. The newest reformulation of its popular Mineral Källa Energy Tonic offers skin barrier protection and is said to counteract inflammation (or internal issues caused by hormones, diet, stress, etc) through immune-boosting adaptogens (arctic root, Siberian ginseng, and maral root). 

    Själ Skincare Mineral Källa Energy Tonic, $70; sjalskincare.com

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