If you haven’t yet heard the buzz about adaptogens, you may be missing out. These plants are reputed to help the body deal with stress. Commonly used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, they boost the body’s natural ability to adapt to environmental conditions. Incorporating succulents into your spa’s skincare offerings is one way to offer clients the benefits of these adaptogenic ingredients. Aloe vera, for example, is a popular adaptogen that has long been used to treat burns and heal cuts and insect bites.
According to Rhonda Allison's Shannon Esau, it also helps accelerate collagen production and provides immune-stimulating properties. While aloe vera has long been used to heal the skin, other succulents are also proving to be beneficial. “Blue agave extract is another powerhouse succulent in skincare,” says Esau. “It is rich in ‘good’ chemicals, namely tigogenin, which has antitumor properties; kaempferol, a flavonoid that helps reduce the risk of certain diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease; and saponins, a class of chemical compounds with antimicrobial and antifungal benefits.”
Prickly pear, a popular anti-aging ingredient, also helps guard the skin from environmental damage. “Stone Crop, one particular type of succulent, is also touted for its brightening properties,” says Eminence Organic Skin Care’s Natalie Pergar. “With regular use over time, succulents can reduce the appearance of dark spots.”