There’s a new hydration superhero in the skincare industry’s arsenal and it’s the ingredient that’s seen a 120% increase in Google searches over the past year. The ‘shroom boom’ is so much more than a skincare trend with a catchy name. More and more skincare brands are catching onto the plumping, hydrating benefits of the humble mushroom, giving the long-standing hydration hero a run for your money, in the process.
If you’ve struggled with dry, dehydrated skin at some point during your skincare journey, you’ve most probably become a fan of hyaluronic acid along the way. Widely praised – and loved – for its ability to lock in moisture by binding to water molecules in the skin, hyaluronic acid (HA) has been the go-to ingredient for those wanting plumper, more hydrated skin since before #skintok was a mere twinkle in the first YouTuber’s eye. Point is, HA has been top of the hydration class for a long time, without much competition… until now.
Tipped as the next go-to hydrating ingredient – and very possibly the one to de-throne HA from the top spot – mushrooms, in particular the snow mushroom, are proving to possess not only supreme hydrating powers but powerful antioxidant effects, too. Turns out fungi is actually pretty darn fabulous and well worth including into your skincare regime.
Turns out, the ‘M’ in mushroom stands for MOISTURE
Extensive research reflects that skincare formulas containing mushrooms offer skin soothing, softening and brightening effects, but it’s the moisturising effects that make this ingredient a stand out. The impressive hydrating properties of mushrooms are thanks to the presence of naturally-occurring Beta-glucans. Boasting impressive skin plumping and firming properties, Beta-glucans deeply hydrate the skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles, and thoroughly supporting the skin barrier function.
Meet the small but mighty (hydrating) Snow Mushroom
Sounding like something you'd stumble upon in a mystical forest and looking more like a white gelatinous flower than a mushroom, the snow mushroom has been used as a staple ingredient in Asian medicine and skincare, and incorporated in traditional sweet Chinese foods – Anyone up for a helping of snow fungus soup? – for thousands of years.
The powerfully-hydrating Snow Mushroom, sometimes referred to as the Silver Ear Mushroom also known as Tremella Fuciformis, holds 500 times its weight in water, making it an extremely effective skin humectant/hydrator and gaining the weird-looking ‘shroom a great deal of respect within skincare circles.
The Snow Mushroom attracts and locks water into the skin by forming a protective barrier to prevent water loss, and thanks to its small molecular structure, it has the ability to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin. The result is longer-lasting hydration and an instantaneous plumping effect that gets better and better with regular use of products containing this spongy, translucent form of funghi.
Fact: Researchers have found Tremella Fuciformis to have better moisture retention than Hyaluronic Acid.
Ready to add Tremella Fuciformis, to cart?
Whether you opt to incorporate the Snow Mushroom into your routine as an ingredient included in an eye cream, toner, serum, moisturiser or even cleanser, one of the most attractive benefits of the use of snow mushroom in skincare products is that it’s gentle, making it suitable for all skin types – even the most sensitive.
While hydration may be your main motivator for giving this ingredient a try, it also delivers the added bonuses of calming flare-ups and irritation, and treating hyperpigmentation. As we’ve said, while most skin types will tolerate mushroom-derived actives well, it’s always key to investigate your skincare product in its entirety – ensuring that there’s nothing else included in the formula that could get your complexion acting up.