For years women have obsessed over expensive face creams, lotions and potions with promises of gorgeously glowing, radiant and youthful skin. We have invested time and money into treatments and procedures to keep us looking younger and the value of the skin care industry reflects our commitment to youthful beauty. According to market research the Global Skin Care Products Market is to Value US$155.44 billion by 2021: Transparency Market Research – That is a lot of product!!
Ancient traditions didn’t have access to the variety of product available to the modern Western world and relied on nature to provide their anti-ageing solutions. For example Indian women laced their food with turmeric and other anti-inflammatory spices to retain their youthful looks. And in Japan, the land of quirky culture and flawless complexions, Japanese beauties traditionally drank cups and cups of green tea and even applied it as a concentrate to acne. They also created matcha which is a form of concentrated green tea (ingesting the whole leaf rather than the seeped loose leafs). Matcha is highly abundant in powerful antioxidants, has skin healing benefits and can even protect against sun damage.
With a renewed interest and extensive scientific studies and research, superfoods and adaptogens are now proving that we can achieve our beauty goals through what we eat. We are now literally eating ourselves younger and more beautiful!
Adaptogens are popping up everywhere now and often featured among the latest “trending foods”. However, adaptogens have actually been healing generations for thousands of years in Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic traditions, it is just to the Western world that they are new.
Adaptogens come in various forms of unique plants and herbs which, when eaten rebalance the bodies stress responses. The power of adaptogens assist the body in naturally tackling the forces and effects that stress has on our physical and mental being. Adaptogens are nourishing for the adrenal glands and can stabilise blood sugar and immune system regulation. They help to restore blood pressure to a healthy level and even rebalance hormones.
Adaptogens aid in restoration of our physical, emotional and mental body. They effectively help the body adapt-to-stress whether it be a physical exerting stress at work or an environmental such as change of climate, it could also be an emotional stress such as a loss of a loved one or dramatic change in circumstances. Stress removes us from our natural state of being, the body moves out of the relaxation response into the stress response which is known as “fight or flight”. When the body is living in a constant state of stress the digestive system shuts down and as it is the largest organ in the body, energy is moved away from digesting food to the arms and legs for quicker movement and to the brain for quicker thinking – the body becomes ready for battle! From this heighten state of stress, health and wellness is effected on many levels which could present itself as a range of digestive issues, skin issues, weight gain, sickness, illness, depression and many other symptoms.
The health of the digestive system effectively is reflected in the health of the skin. An over congested digestive system (the large intestines reflects the skin) will present itself as an congested skin and lack of essential fatty acids in the diet will show up as dry and flaky skin (plus brittle / dry hair and nails). So even the best products out there will not be able to help if the issues are an inside job!
My favourite skin healing adaptogens:
1 – Ashwagandha – A herb that alleviates many of the symptoms of a stressful modern life. It contains alkaloids which are beneficial for the nervous system and eases stress and anxiety,
“Ashwagandha acts on the endocrine system by encouraging hormone balance”, says Dr Ashutosh Gautam, Clinical Operations and Coordination Manager at Baidyanath. Studies suggest a reduction in symptoms such as hot flashes and mood swings during menopause.
It also contains potent antioxidant properties that help protect the skin against free radical damage and slow down the ageing process by firming up your skin for a more youthful look.
Found in I AM Energised
2 – Schizandra – A type of medicinal berry with multiple healing properties. It is a powerful natural skin tonic that can protect the skin from sun, wind, other environmental toxins, allergies and dermatitis.
In 2015 the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health published studies that determine the anti-inflammatory effects of schizandra. The study observed the effect of ear swelling by lowering skin dermatitis, immune cell filtration and cytokine production, which are all markers of inflammatory skin disorders in humans.
For thousands of years this super berry has been treating skin diseases.
Found in I AM Beautiful
3 – Triphala – In Ayurveda it is known as “three fruits” and is made from the combination of three fruit powders. The benefits of this adaptogen are hugely amplified when combined.
Dr. Michael Tierra L.Ac., O.M.D. researched Triphala and reported that it improves the digestive and liver function.
One of the three fruits is also said to contain 20 times the vitamin C of an orange which is essential for collagen synthesis.
Triphala can also be applied topically to the skin to speed the healing of bruises and sunburns.
4 – Maca – A plant from Puru and one of the more popular adaptogens on he market which is known for its energy enhancing and strengthen effects however studies have shown how it can also benefit skin health and act as a protectant against the sun according to the Department of Biological and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Sciences and Philosophy, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru.
Maca can also help reduce the effects of ageing and gives new strength to the skin due to the increase of synthesis components and cell surface receptors.
5 – Rhodiloa Rosea – A herb that seems to have the ability to encourage a firmer, tighter skin, which can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is being called the “anti-aging” supplement of the 21st century!
The Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California-Irvine reported promising anti-ageing when they investigated the effects of Rhodiola on life-span. It has been proposed that Rhodiola can extend longevity and improve health span by alleviating oxidative stress.
Found in I AM Energised.