What Can Adaptogens Do for Your Skin and Health in a Nutricosmetics Product?
In this episode, we discuss both ingestible and topical skincare supplements for inner-outer beauty. Freelance beauty editor Mara Santilli hosted Daniel Collins, Founder and Director at Forest Spa Finland, a sustainable, holistic skin wellness brand with adaptogenic edible cosmetics and topical skincare products that aim to protect against the effects of stress on the skin.
Daniel gave an overview of Forest Spa Finland’s hero products, inspired by his holidays visiting his husband’s family in Finland and the act of forest bathing and immersing oneself in nature as a wellness practice. The skin wellness duo contains an ingestible Nordic adaptogen supplement paired with a topical skin serum, both of which are naturally high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Daniel pointed out. Together, they work internally and externally to create homeostasis in the body, thanks to the adaptogenic ingredients.
An adaptogen is an herbal supplement that has some sort of balancing components to assist the body in regulating its systems, such as the immune system, and keeping oxidative stress in the cells at bay. Some adaptogens, such as ginseng, are well-known ingredients in supplements, but others are more of a unique ingredient to incorporate into a beauty product or supplement.
The well-known adaptogen ingredients
Forest Spa Finland contains the fairly mainstream adaptogen chaga mushroom, which is extremely high in antioxidants and antiviral properties; the team that Forest Spa Finland works with sustainably harvests the potent chaga mushroom extract from the forests of Northern Finland.
Rhodiola may be another adaptogen that many nutricosmetics consumers are familiar with. It’s known for boosting energy, fighting stress, and helping with cell regeneration, according to studies, which can be beneficial to all the cells in the body, but especially to the skin cells. This ingredient can be found in both the Forest Spa Finland supplement and adaptogen serum formulas, for double the benefits.
The Nordic-specific, rare adaptogens
And now for the adaptogens you may be less familiar with that also have skin health and general health benefits. The supplement is formulated with bilberries, wild berries that are native to the Nordic region, that are similar to blueberries (and also great in pies, Daniel shared!). These berries are packed with antioxidants and may also have antimicrobial properties. Perhaps best known for their potential eye health benefits, bilberries can also help stabilize blood sugar and inflammation in the body.
The brand’s serum contains two other rarer berries: sea buckthorn and cloudberry. Sea buckthorn oil is present in the formula, which is one of the most nutritionally valuable parts of the plants, according to research. The lipid-rich oil contains skin-nourishing fatty acids that may help prevent skin scarring, per the brand’s website. If ingested, the orange berry is a source of carotenoids and dietary fiber, along with vitamin C, which is why it is commonly used as an immune health supplement.
Cloudberry is another berry present in the Forest Spa Finland serum that grows in the wetlands of Northern Finland and isn’t as well-known in other parts of the world. The benefits of cloudberries can include antimicrobial and antifungal properties, which can be beneficial to fighting acne and infection, and anti-inflammatory activity. Because of the high vitamin C concentration, they can be used topically in serums to encourage the brightening of skin. It is also edible, and can be found in jams, jellies, and liqueurs.
Since many nutricosmetics formulas are based more on proteins like collagen, exploring the potential pros of partaking in herbal medicine via adaptogens in edible skincare products is an interesting frontier.