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How Do Adaptogens Like Rhodiola Benefit Skin?

By Kaitlyn McNab, she/her

It’s hard to imagine any life growing in the rocky crevices of icy mountains or on the sides of sea cliffs at dangerously high altitudes—but then again, adaptogenic plants like rhodiola are used to defying expectations. Rhodiola’s ability to adapt in uncompromising conditions and provide relief from environmental stressors makes it the perfect ingredient for sensitive, winter skin. It’s time to take a deep dive into the star power of this golden-flowered plant.

Rhodiola belongs to a class of plants, herbs, and mushrooms called adaptogens that grow in extreme climates. Rhodiola grows in cold regions of the world, including the Arctic and the mountains of Central Asia. Adaptogenic plants have been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years due to their holistic benefits, and today they are often integrated in health foods and natural supplements. Adaptogens like rhodiola can address stress, anxiety, and inflammation, and help us adapt to changes in our own environments. 

When used in skincare, rhodiola alleviates a wide variety of stress in the skin, including dryness, redness, itchiness, and sensitivity. Sensitive skin can be a genetic predisposition, or a condition created by environmental stressors like harsh weather or the overuse of intensely active skincare products. Rhodiola can help repair the disrupted microbiome of the skin, and also help prevent the damage of these stressors from returning. 

In short: rhodiola will literally teach your skin to adapt to stress.

Rhodiola is only one of the adaptogens in Youth To The People’s proprietary adaptogen blend,  working together with ashwagandha and reishi, two powerful healing herbs and mushrooms that reduce fatigue and dehydration. These three ingredients hype each other up, essentially increasing each other’s efficacy. 

This adaptogen blend is the driving force behind YTTP’s Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream and the Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist. Though designed with dry and sensitive skin in mind, all skin types can benefit from this duo—they won’t clog pores or feel heavy. 

With powerful ingredients like hyaluronic acid, encapsulated shea butter, and a pentapeptide that ensures maximum moisturization, the Adaptogen Mist is as potent as a serum. The Adaptogen Cream is just as intensive, with weightless, ultra-hydrating ingredients like squalane that work to strengthen the skin’s protective barrier. As a result of being formulated without silicone and dimethicone, two ingredients that can prevent products from penetrating the skin as deeply, the benefits of rhodiola provide an immediate quenching effect.

The long-term benefits of rhodiola are rooted in its preventative attributes. Over time, your skin will appear less red and better retain moisture—that could look like your skin reacting less to the elements or powerful ingredients, or needing only a nickel-size amount of moisturizer instead of your usual dollop. 

Adaptogenic plants like rhodiola are a masterclass in flexibility and resilience. They take in what they need, learn from their surroundings, and grow stronger despite how severe their environment may be. Rhodiola not only survives, but thrives. Offering the benefits of adaptogens to your skin means making resilience a new step in your skincare routine. 

After all, an ever-changing world requires responsive, intelligent skin.

Written by Kaitlyn McNab for Youth To The People




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