There’s no doubt about it, adaptogenic plants are one of the wellness world’s favorite ways to optimize our brains, mood, and now our skin. Adaptogens are excellent balancers for the body and are relatively new to Western culture, though they’ve been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine and ayurvedic practices. When taken internally, they’re known to help bring systems into equilibrium.
Recently, skin care formulators started wondering whether they can work wonders on the skin, too. As it turns out, the answer is yes!
In skin care, adaptogenic ingredients like mushrooms and some herbs help to fight inflammation, hydrate dry skin, and calm the look of redness or irritation. If you’re not sure where to start, fear not: We put together this handy guide to help you select the best adaptogenic mushroom for your skin’s needs:
Reishi is a mushroom that can help with blood sugar balance when taken internally. It also helps assuage feelings of stress or anxiety. In skin care, reishi is known to fight inflammation and helps skin adapt to stress, making it an ultra-calming superhero. Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Treatment Lotion contains reishi, which helps to soothe and boost skin’s visible resilience and hydration. Its watery consistency is gentle enough to use even on sensitive skin.
The same way adaptogens are a boost for your smoothie, think of these potent ingredients as a boost for your skin care.
Chaga is another mushroom known for being loaded with antioxidants and stimulating the lymph—which is part of an increasingly important holistic system that also includes the skin. Research dubs this system "a new organ," saying it plays a role in managing our well-being and may be the explanation of why alternative treatments like acupuncture can be effective. When used on the skin, chaga helps to calm and soothe the look of redness and irritation, visibly firms it, and boosts the look of elasticity for a youthful glow.
Packed with antioxidants that allow it to target inflammation, ashwagandha is a root, a nightshade, and also sometimes referred to as Indian ginseng. Ashwagandha is known to help with stress levels and has traditionally been used to boost compromised immune systems. When it comes to skin, Youth to the People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream is a hydrating moisturizer that utilizes both reishi and ashwagandha to calm stressed-out skin, help fight the free radicals from daily stressors like skin-damaging UV rays, and keep skin looking youthful.
Rhodiola is known to help with concentration and focus. Be careful, though—many people who swear by rhodiola say that they take it during the first part of the day because its effects can be intense and long-lasting, which can keep them up at night. Not surprisingly then, rhodiola counters skin fatigue and helps to give skin a boost of energetic suppleness.
5. Snow mushroom
The snow mushroom, also called silver ear mushroom, is a hydration powerhouse. Much like skin care’s top moisture-maintaining ingredient hyaluronic acid, the snow mushroom holds 500 times its weight in water. Volition Beauty Snow Mushroom Water Serum can help deliver hydration into the skin for a fresh-faced, dewy glow, while helping to minimize the appearance of pores.
The same way adaptogens are a boost for your morning coffee, smoothie, or tonic, think of these potent ingredients as a boost for your skin care, delivering powerful calming benefits to your body where stress shows up the most—your skin.