Updated: May 1, 2021
Yes, stress and skin are connected. Yikes!
So your kids are driving you up the wall while juggling work at home and now you've run out of toilet paper - welcome stress. Stress can wreak havoc on the body and the skin, but before you stress out, even more, reach for adaptogens.
What Are Adaptogens?
Adaptogens are a group of plants which help our bodies recover from the short and long term effects of stress. When we are stressed, our body goes through three stages alarm, resistance, and exhaustion, also known as General adaptogen syndrome (GAS). Adaptogens help us to stay in the resistance stage for longer preventing us from moving into the exhaustion phase of a crash and burn. Adaptogens allow us to adapt to our stress, increasing resistance to stress, avoids exhaustion and will enable us to repair and prevent long term damage.
How stress affects our health?
When we are tensed or stressed, we release stress hormones, including cortisol. Too much cortisol can lead to inflammation, suppressed immune system, decrease libido, and so much more. Stress can also affect estrogen and testosterone levels which again can lead to acne. Taking adaptogens to keep us in the resistance stage produces a lower amount of cortisol and prevents the long term impact of stress on our health.
In the past, I've experienced all too much of skin reactions, acne and inflammation during stressful periods. While stress is unfortunately unavoidable, I've learnt to manage it and take control of my health and wellbeing. Along with supplementing daily with adaptogens, I practice meditation, yoga, breathe work (recently tried Wim Hof technique - worth it) and spending time in nature. I always up these practices if I feel stress sneaking in.
How to take Adaptogens?
Adaptogens have a wealth of health benefits, and I like to get creative with them. I can pop a pill, or I use powders by adding them to lattes and smoothies. Below are some of my favourite adaptogens herbs.
The 'King of medicinal mushroom'. A powerful adaptogen, antioxidant and immune booster. I take two Purica capsules in the morning.
The 'Queen of Medicinal Mushroom'. I love Reishi mushroom it helps me sleep hella good - like a baby. Reishi can induce relaxation and calm. Reishi is an immune strengthener and supports the health of the heart. I take Reishi a few hours before bed and I switch between blends. If I'm taking a capsule, my go-to is Purica. To enjoy a warming cuppa, I'll go for Harmonic Arts five mushroom blend - because it also contains cacao I'm a sucker for anything cacao (it's a heart opener) and taste delicious. It also contains cordyceps, which is another adaptogen.
Ashwagandha reduces stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha is a staple when I'm experiencing anxiety. An adaptogen I prefer to take at night in a hot drink. I enjoy Harmonic Art's Adapting Gems; it contains adaptogens like Eleuthero, Rhodiola, Licorice root, Holy basil, Reishi alongside Ashwagandha, an adaptogen dream.
I do love my adaptogens, and I notice a big difference when I take them, and for me, they are a staple for a balanced lifestyle, alongside self-care, time to destress and create calm in my life when I need it most.
Stay calm and take adaptogens
With Skin Love