SPRING SKINCARE FORECAST: FUNGI IS OFFICIALLY FABULOUS!
When it comes to skincare, experts agree that mushrooms are… MAGIC. Showing up on the labels of more and more cosmetics, face masks, face serums, and other lotions and potions, mushrooms are deservedly having a major moment. What’s the ‘shroom boom’ all about? Have a read…
First things first, the use of mushrooms in skincare isn’t really something new. In fact, it showed up almost 20 years ago when an integrative medicine practitioner collaborated with a well-known, global skincare brand on a best-selling fungi-packed lotion that’s still flying off of the shelves nearly two decades later.
Extensive studies done over many years have – one by one – built a really strong case for the inclusion of mushrooms in skincare. Mushrooms contain free radical-fighting metabolites, hydrating beta-glucans, dark spot-combating melanin-inhibiting compounds, and high Vitamin D content which repairs and protects against damage. And, because mushrooms also contain triterpenes, polysaccharides, and polyphenols, inclusion of shrooms on the ingredient label promises impressive results for those struggling with rosacea, sensitivity, acne scarring, and compromised skin barriers.
The (Not So) Secret Seven:
While around 150,000 species of mushrooms have been identified (so far) by scientists, there are seven strains that are most commonly used in skincare: tremella, shiitake, cordyceps, coprinus, chaga, and trametes versicolor.
Known as the “mushrooms of longevity,” Reishi mushrooms boast anti-inflammatory properties; contain powerful antioxidant compounds to keep skin looking healthy; and hydrating ingredients that support the all-important skin barrier. This particular shroom has been found to inhibit the melanin-producing enzyme tyrosinase, making it a win for those looking to tackle and prevent discolouration and hyperpigmentation.
Loaded with polysaccharides, Tremella is an excellent moisturiser. In some studies products tested with 0.05% Tremella offered better moisture retention than products with 0.02 percent hyaluronic acid. Research has also shown that Tremella strengthens the skin barrier and helps with wound healing, thanks to its cell growth-boosting properties.
Popular for targeting hyperpigmentation because it contains the tyrosinase-inhibiting compound kojic acid, the Shittake mushroom also has impressive antioxidant and anti-inflammatory qualities, helping to decreases redness while preventing the breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin.
A true all-around powerhouse, antioxidant-rich Cordyceps help to shield the skin from harmful UV rays (offering up to SPF25), while hydrating the skin, reducing dark spots, boosting collagen and elastin production, and soothing inflammation associated with conditions like psoriasis and eczema.
The go-to shroom for protecting overall skin health, the properties found within a Coprinus mushroom neutralise pollution-triggered oxidative stress, decrease inflammation, slow down the aging of the skin, and reduce dryness that may cause skin sensitivity.
Besides its noteworthy skincare benefits, which include anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant claims to fame, some research suggests that ingesting chaga mushrooms may help limit the growth of cancerous tumours. One particular study found that extracts of these mushrooms not only minimise dark spots but prevent melanin production, too.
7. Trametes Versicolor
Sometimes referred to as ‘turkey tail’ courtesy of its fanned-out shape, this mushroom helps to support overall skin health; delivering on both the anti-oxidant and brightening fronts.
Make Room For The Shroom!
The rise in popularity of mushrooms in skincare coincides with growing consumer demand for clean, science-based, multi-functional skincare ingredients. COVID-19 was a catalyst for many of us in terms of how we approach and regard wellness. We have a newfound respect for our health and, as a result, are more likely to invest long-term than pursue a quick fix.
Mushrooms have been around for a long time and aren’t going anywhere. Truth is, they’re tipped to become an even bigger deal in years to come – gaining popularity with each scientific study conducted and each new documented discovery.