Preventing skin ageing with adaptogens

Adaptogens: what they are

Adaptogens are useful to counter skin ageing. Yet, what exactly is an adaptogen?  

Though it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years with a meaning of “superior booster”, the term has been used in the Western world only since the mid-twentieth century. Typically plant-derived and described as remedies to boost energy, health and stamina, adaptogens allow the body to counte adverse physical, chemical and biological events by adapting to environmental stressors. A more recent scientific description defines them as "substances having the ability to normalise body functions and strengthen systems compromised by stress. They are reported to have a protective effect on health against a wide variety of environmental assaults and emotional conditions” (EMEA/HMPC/102655/2007).

Adaptogens: what they do

Adaptogens do not work specifically on a certain body organ, but boost all physiological defences of the body, by strengthening them and promoting their active adaptation, to better manage periods of stress and change or challenging daily work, thereby avoiding the negative effects. In addition, this increase in the adaptive ability towards stress occurs regardless of stress type (be it chemical, physical, biological or psychological) and, since it does not target any specific body system, it works to favour the mechanisms our body has to regulate and preserve homeostasis.       

To be defined as such, an adaptogen must have two key characteristics:

  • An adaptogen must have a normalizing effect, meaning it must have a rebalancing effect on body physiology, regardless of imbalance type,  
  • An adaptogen must be non-specific, meaning it must work comprehensively, both towards stressors and the target.   

Adaptogens: where to find them

Adaptogens are extracted from plants and mushrooms that grow in inhospitable areas of the planet, such as deserts, mountains or barren land. Such places have difficult environmental conditions, which have increased the the adaptive ability these plants have.   

Known and used for centuries in both Eastern and Western traditional medicine, adaptogens have been used for several years in herbal products and food supplements, where they are claimed to have energy-boosting and adaptogenic effects that leads to increased well-being of the body and a global improvement of immune defences. Ginseng, Ashwagandha, Rodiola rosea, Eleutherococcus and Schisandra are examples of the numerous adaptogens that can improve body defences, especially important upon change of season, boost our concentration to perform better in our jobs and study or simply feel better and not allow daily stress to become a burden.            

Adaptogens to counter skin ageing

Thanks to their ability to strengthen defences and support body functions, adaptogens can counter the aggression and effects of all types of stress, including oxidative stress and its negative influence on skin ageing. In these terms, adaptogens are an effective tool to counter skin ageing, both from the inside, by taking them in food supplements, and from the outside, through state-of-the-art cosmetic treatments, designed specifically for the skin needs of people in their 40s.     

The BioNike laboratories has investigated the extraordinary potential of adaptogenic phytoactives to develop DEFENCE SKINERGY, a range of products that works to reactivate the energy in the skin of women in their 40s, thereby offering comprehensive defence against the effects of stress, such as early ageing signs, loss of elasticity and a dull complexion. 

DEFENCE SKINERGY Reactivating Cream, suitable for normal/combination skin and DEFENCE SKINERGY Reactivating Balm, ideal for dry and very dry skin, are the 24-hour cream treatments based on the special Adaptogen Complex, a set of adaptogenic extracts from mushrooms - Reishi and Shiitake - particularly rich in sterols (Reishi) and beta-glucans (Shiitake). This special complex protects skin cells from environmental pollution and oxidative stress and stimulates epidermal turnover, reactivates the bioenergetic capacity of cells, thus improving skin defences against the effects of stress and preventing skin ageing.       

In addition, to enhance and potentiate the cream treatments, the range also includes DEFENCE SKINERGY Reactivating Concentrated Ampoules, an ultra-concentrated serum contained in precious single-dose ampoules and based on the Adaptogen Complex Plus, which includes a poweful adaptogenic extract from Schisandra. The red berries of this plant, typically growing in China, represent a “superfood” due to its energy-boosting and adaptogenic effects. The schisandra extract is rich in polyphenols, called schisandrines, as well as omega 6 and 9 fatty acids. Schisandra has exceptional effects on skin as well, since it strengthens the dermal-epidermal junction, increases the production of energy in fibroblast cells in the dermis - thus boosting their vitality, and reduces oxidative stress induced by urban pollutants.