You might not like mushrooms in your food, but you will love them on your face. The humble fungi have become a massive hit in the skincare world all due to their anti-inflammatory, brightening and antioxidant properties.
Shrooms aren’t exactly a new ingredient, they have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for aeons, but they took their time warming up to the skincare world. These ugly fungi were introduced into the western cosmetic market back in 2005 when Origins embarked on an ionic partnership with integrative medicine expert Dr Andrew Weil. Together, the pair created the Mega-Mushroom line, a range of skincare products aimed at targeting inflammation in the skin.
While most ingredients tend to enjoy their 15 minutes of fame before being overshadowed by the next trend, mushrooms have been tried, tested and stayed as coveted skincare ingredients for the last 16 years.
The five best mushrooms to add to your skincare routine
There are over 14,000 species of mushrooms in the world, and not all of them are suitable for ingestion or topical use. Instead of sifting through every type of fungi to determine which type will suit your skin, we conducted a list of the five best mushrooms to target your skincare needs.
1. Chaga Mushroom
Chaga mushrooms are one of the most popular and widely used in the cosmetics world. They have been proven time and time again to be powerful antioxidants and have even been known to have higher antioxidant properties than acai berries. This free-radical neutralising ingredient can help reduce signs of oxidative stress and keep the skin looking younger for longer. Chaga mushrooms are also anti-inflammatory, helping to promote an even skin tone.
2. Reishi Mushroom
If you typically suffer from sensitive or irritated skin, then the reishi mushroom is the fungi for you. With anti-inflammatory, anti-redness and anti-wrinkle benefits, Reishi mushrooms will leave your skin feeling soothed and calmed. As an added bonus, this mushroom also helps boost barrier function. This is because they contain beta-glucans which attract water from the environment to hydrate your skin, giving you a luminous glow.
3. Snow Mushroom
You might have seen snow mushroomsbefore. This species of fungi is particularly popular in moisturisers for its hydrating and protective qualities. Snow mushrooms, much like the recently popular hyaluronic acid, can hold 450x their own weight in water, and the particles are small, meaning they can easily penetrate the deeper layers of the skin.
Snow mushrooms are also rich in antioxidants, giving them the ability to hydrate and protect the skin.
4. Shiitake Mushroom
While you wouldn’t eat most of the mushrooms on this list, shiitake mushrooms are pretty much full-time residents at the grocery store. When ingested shiitake mushrooms boast strong immune support. But, shiitake mushrooms also contain high levels of kojic acid, which can fight dark spots and even skin tone when used topically.
5. Cordyceps Mushroom
Whether you want to tackle inflammation, oxidative stress or collagen production, the cordyceps mushroom can tackle it all. This multi-tasker skincare ingredient has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities, which help it soothe and hydrate the skin as well as stimulate collagen and elastin.