Have you heard of adaptogens? If you haven’t, they’re a group of ingredients like herbs and other plant extracts that help your body’s ability to resist the damaging effects of stress. Believe it or not, aside from reversing the effects of stress on your body, adaptogens also have been found to counteract inflammation and irritation, which is why skin care companies use it for products designed to soothe skin.
When you are stressed, your body releases cortisol, a hormone that wreaks havoc on your body, and it starts to show on your skin in the form of breakouts, dark circles, irritation, redness or wrinkles and fine lines. By adding adaptogenic herbs to your skincare products you will be able to reverse these issues and reveal the glow that’s hidden beneath that stress.
What Are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are a special group of herbs that are known to help your body adapt to stress in the environment. When you are dealing with a stressful situation, adaptogenic herbs help maintain and restore balance, regulating your physiological response to help prevent your body and mind from jumping into overdrive when dealing with a stressor. This in return, helps protect your skin from stress and the damage of hormones like cortisol that stress causes.
When you deal with chronic stress, this is the cycle going on in your body: You are faced with a stressful situation. Your body releases hormones in response meant to deal with the potential threat. These hormones are activated through your adrenal glands. When adaptogenic herbs are introduced, they help support the adrenal glands, allowing them to respond to this process more efficiently.
There are plenty of adaptogenic herbs that can be used to help promote healthy skin, and the two that are used for this recipe are ashwagandha and reishi. Ashwagandha soothes and protects against dry, rough skin. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and estrogen present in the ashwagandha root help to keep the skin supple by stimulating the collagen production and increasing the natural skin oils.
An important herb in traditional Chinese medicine, reishi, which translates to “spiritual potency,” is known as the herb of immortality. It helps reduce skin inflammation, puffiness, wrinkles and free radical damage while promoting cell regeneration to help reverse the signs of aging. Mix that with coconut oil, almond oil and shea butter you have the perfect cream to moisturize your skin.
DIY Adaptogenic Moisturizing Cream
This lotion is primarily composed of water that you will infuse. For this recipe, you’re going to need to make an infused oil and an infused herbal water. Both require you to place each infusion over a double boiler to help them absorb the natural ingredients from your adaptogenic herbs. Once you do this, you are ready to make your facial cream.
- 1/4 cup almond oil
- 1/4 cup of ashwagandha infused oil
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons beeswax
- 1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil
- 2 tablespoon shea butter
- 1 cup of reishi infused water
- Essential oils of choice (optional)
- Place all the oils except for the vitamin E oil in a glass jar and add the beeswax. Bring a pot filled about 3-4 inches of water to a simmer.
- Put the jar, without the lid on, in the pot, and let it sit there until the ingredients have melted. Stir occasionally.
- Once the mixture has melted and all is evenly combined, let it cool.
- Let it sit at room temperature and with a hand mixer slowly add your infused water to the mixture and blend until the cream hardens.
- Add in the vitamin E oil, close the jar’s lid and store in a cool place.
- Voilá, you have your very own facial cream.
This facial cream is gentle enough to apply morning and night after washing. If this cream is placed in the fridge, it can last for up to two months, or if it is left out it will last about three weeks. When used on a consistent basis you will notice a huge improvement in the complexion and texture of your skin.
Recipe inspired by Organic Authority.