While mushrooms are not exactly a new ingredient, they have gone under the radar in terms of their benefits and uses within skincare. This ingredient has mainly been used in holistic wellness and traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, but now it is in high demand within natural skincare and has become the focus of many products.
Here a few of the types of mushrooms commonly used in skincare today and their benefits:
REISHI: Anti-inflammatory, anti-stress & anti-ageing
Skin concern: redness, inflammation, traditional signs of ageing
Reishi is an ultra-hydrating and protective ingredient that is kind to sensitive and inflamed skin. It is an ideal match for dry/sensitive skin as well as acne prone skin. This ingredient can restore moisture, reduce redness, fight free radicals, and can improve fine lines and wrinkles.
Used in eye serums/cream, facial mist, day/night face moisturiser
Fun Fact: Its commonly referred to as the ‘mushroom of immortality’.
TREMELLA: Ultra hydrating & rich in antioxidants
Skin concerns: Dryness, dullness, discolouration
Tremella is known to provide long-lasting hydration to the skin. It acts much like hyaluronic acid pulling moisture to the skin which in turn can improve elasticity and give a more youthful appearance. Due to its high levels of Vitamin D it can help lighten age spots, acne scars and help reduce hyperpigmentation. Overall, it can stimulate cell turnover which promotes a more even and brighter skin.
Used in cleansing gel/milk, face serums, facial mist, eye cream, day/night face cream, sheet masks
Fun fact: Studies have shown that Tremella mushrooms have better water retention than hyaluronic acid. It is also known as snow mushroom, silver ear mushroom and snow fungus.
SHIITAKE: Brightening & evening out skin tone
Skin concerns: Dullness, dark spots/skin discoloration, skin conditions such as melasma, acne scarring, hyper pigmentation
Shiitake mushrooms are one of the most familiar varieties and are more well known for their use in Japanese cuisine. They are rich in B vitamins and have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Shiitake are also rich in kojic acid, an ingredient that helps block the enzyme that produces melanin. The use of this will in turn assist with the lightening of hyperpigmentation of all kinds. Shiitake overall encourages faster skin renewal and increases the skins elasticity as a skin brightener.
Used in brightening masks, night face creams, face serums
Fun fact: The shiitake mushroom is considered a symbol of ‘youthfulness and longevity’
CHAGA: Anti-inflammatory, protective, & regenerative
Skin concerns: Inflammation from skin condition (eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea), uneven skin tone
Chaga mushrooms are loaded full of antioxidants and can be beneficial to those suffering from conditions such as acne, eczema, dermatitis, or rosacea. These antioxidants fight free radicals that can damage the skin and will help prevent the onset of inflammation. It is also rich in betulinic acid which acts like an antiseptic and can help with healing wounds.
Used in: day/night face moisturiser, facial spritz, facial scrub/mask
Fun facts: Chaga is 46 times richer in antioxidants in comparison to blueberries. It is also very popular consumed as a tea for its immune balancing benefits.
MAITAKE: Anti-inflammatory & collagen stimulating
Maitake is not as commonly used but is still a powerhouse in terms of its skin benefits. It contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can hydrate and brighten the skin which in turn can improve skin elasticity and stimulate collagen.
Used in: Day/night cream, eye serum/cream, face mask
Fun fact: Maitake translates from Japanese as ‘dancing mushroom’.
CORDYCEPS: Anti-inflammatory & rich in antioxidants
Skin concerns: dry skin, skin conditions such as eczema, signs of ageing
Cordyceps is a powerful source of antioxidants, that can help with hydration, boost elastin production and has shown promise in treating inflammatory conditions such as eczema. The high dosage of antioxidants helps fight one of the biggest causes of ageing -environmental damage- by reducing the skin damaging inflammation.
Used in face/eye serum, face moisturiser, face scrub/mask
Fun fact: Cordycep mushrooms were once commonly taken as supplements by athletes as it said to increase endurance, energy, and stamina.
Mushrooms are experiencing a major moment and is believed to not just be a trend, but an influential ingredient that is here to stay for the long haul.
Interested in using mushrooms in a formulation?