This is a translation of my German blogpost Hinter den Beauty-Kulissen… ProTec Ingredia Proudly Presents: Adaptogene für eine gestresste Haut. Enjoy!
In cooperation with ProTec Ingredia // 35 platforms, 200 exits, over 3.5 million travellers per day – that is Shinjuku Station in Tokyo. Unlike public transport in other capital cities, everyday operations at Shinjuku run almost always smoothly thanks to the station’s highly efficient organisation. During rush hour, however, Shinjuku is as unpleasant as New York, Paris or the Ruhr area in Germany. Whether it is by train, bus or car, travelling is usually pure stress! The daily commute, a hectic environment, time pressure and constant interaction with social media cause ongoing stress in the body. This new Chapter of my beauty series introduces several interesting plant ingredients that can help reduce the effects of stress on the skin.
What stress is
A key fact about stress might surprise you: Essentially, stress reactions aren’t a bad thing. They help us humans adapt to changing environments. For a brief time, stress helps our organism become especially efficient. In dangerous situations, this is essential for survival. When external or internal stressors affect us, the nerves in our body cause it to release stress hormones. Stress only becomes dangerous when the body is constantly under attack by stressors. Without essential relaxation periods, our physical and emotional balance can become permanently skewed. The results are physical and psychological problems. The effects of stress are also directly visible on the skin.
With adaptogens against stressed skin
Over the last years, adaptogens like healing mushrooms, ginseng or ashwagandha have become very popular in the nutritional supplements category. The term “adaptogenic” was coined in the middle of the 20th Century: It describes plant ingredients that help the body adapt to increased stress levels, boosting the body’s natural defences and protecting the cells from the effects of stress reactions. In cosmetic ingredients, adaptogenic substances work also well because they help make skin more resilient against inner and outer stress.
Moss: A master of adaptation
Mosses are truly skilled in adapting to stressful situations. The tiny green plants are incredibly resilient: They can resist direct sun exposure and heat as well as cold or frost, and can even survive microbial attacks. Mosses have specific properties that very few plants possess: When moss is injured through external factors – for example, by cutting into the plant – it grows young cell tissue (the so-called protonema) so that a new plant can develop. The ingredient MossCellTec™ No.1 from Mibelle Biochemistry is based on the strong adaptability of moss. Studies have shown that the biotechnologically manufactured moss extract improves the vitality of the skin’s cell nuclei to help reduce the effects of urban and climatic exposure on the skin.
Algae power against stress
For billions of years, algae have developed strategies to cope with dryness or UV radiation. Their stress resistance also makes these plants interesting for the beauty industry: French active ingredients manufacturer Codif was inspired by the defence mechanisms of the one-celled microalga Emiliania huxleyi and developed Idaskin. After external stress like UV exposure or air pollution, Idaskin regenerates the skin barrier twice as fast and helps it to rebalance itself.
Scientific studies show that our skin’s microflora is affected by stressful situations. The pH value changes and the skin tends to develop redness. In its active ingredient Actibiome, Codif combines a brown alga, a green microalga and mineral-rich marine source water with an exopolysaccharide. Bacterioplankton release these special sugar polymers to protect themselves from stress. After one week of regular usage of Actibiome, the skin has fewer red patches and looks more even-toned – even when stress levels are elevated.
Stress and its effects on the body are also the focus of Codif’s active ingredient B-Shape. Studies have shown that a hectic and stressful lifestyle can impair lipolysis (fat cell reduction in the body). B-Shape is based on an extract of the red alga Polysiphonia brodiei which boosts lipolysis in the skin’s fat cells. This can help to reduce undereye swellings, for example.
The stress hormones that are released when we feel under pressure increase the oxidative stress within the body. Too many free radicals can cause the skin to become quite literally thinner and drier. This is where Rejuvaveen from UK manufacturer Oat Cosmetics comes in. This active ingredient is manufactured from oat which contains antioxidant beta-glucans and the essential amino acid tryptophan, a precursor to the calming neurotransmitter serotonin. Rejuvaveen regenerates the stress-weakened skin barrier and protects the epidermis from density loss.
Codif’s active ingredient Areaumat Perpetua helps to release relaxing molecules, the so-called ß-endorphins. The complex is based on an extract of Helichrysum, the immortelle plant, which has an immediately soothing effect on the skin and helps to reduce inflammation. Stressed-out sensitive skin in particular benefits from this active ingredient as Areaumat Perpetua makes the skin less reactive and strengthens its barrier function.
TiMOOD™ from Mibelle Biochemistry is manufactured from timut pepper and focuses on the skin-brain connection. Timut pepper (Zanthoxylum alatum) isn’t real pepper – it’s a close relative of Szechuan pepper berries. TiMOOD™ helps to boost the neuronal function of the skin so it looks more even-toned and glowing, with fewer red patches and impurities. At the same time, dopamines are released which demonstrably improve emotional well-being.
The ingredients from Mibelle Biochemistry, Codif and Oat Cosmetics are available to trade customers through the German distributor ProTec Ingredia.
In the next chapter, we’re celebrating the 50th chapter of my Beauty Soap. Stay tuned!