Mushrooms tend to divide a room when it comes to culinary affairs. A bit of a ‘Marmite’ foodstuff, you’re either fiercely pro-shroom or vehemently against.
The good news however, is that no matter how you feel about mushrooms, you can still enjoy their magical benefits through skincare – a hunger for them in your pasta dish not required.
Hailing from traditional Chinese medicine, searches for mushroom benefits have been up 150% in the past 12 months, according to Google trends. And it’s not just ways to incorporate them into your diet that have been gaining traction; it’s your skincare routine that’s bound to benefit.
So is it actually worth investing in ‘shroom-filled goods in your stash?
What are the benefits of mushrooms in skincare?
Mushrooms are naturally full of antioxidants, making them excellent skin protectants against environmental aggressors (we’re talking the likes of pollution). They are also anti-inflammatory, so can calm skin and soothe issues like redness and hyperpigmentation.
In addition to this, certain mushrooms are also apoptogenic, meaning they help the body to adapt to stress. Stress is the silent assassin of good skin, making the ingredient excellent all-round.
Which mushrooms should you look out for?
Now, I’m certainly not suggesting you go forth and forage your own (unless that’s your thing), but you may want to keep an eye out for certain species of mushroom in your ingredient lists.
There are a whopping 14,000 species overall, so how on earth do you choose? Here’s which are most often used in skincare and why:
Cordyceps: These are most commonly known for their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
Tremella: In the market for more hydration in your routine? Tremella mushrooms work brilliantly, as well as for plumping the skin.
Shiitake and Reishi: Both forms have apoptogenic powers and are ultra-anti-inflammatory, making them ideal for hyperpigmentation issues.
What are the best mushroom skincare products?
Here’s how to get your mushroom fix:
A shroomy face oil
Herbar, a brand that harnesses the power of mushrooms, debuted with its holy grail product: a silky smooth facial oil with tremella and reishi. It’s calming, soothing and protects skin from environmental aggressors. Oh, and it comes in a pretty Instagrammable bottle.
A nourishing cream
Youth To The People’s cream (which comes in a handy travel size) is deeply nourishing and comforting, in part thanks to its inclusion of fermented reishi mushroom. The ingredient helps to tackle fine lines, dehydration, redness and irritation.
A silky cleanser
I adore a cleansing oil, so this one by Kora Organics is at the top of my wish list, particularly because it uses tremella (snow mushroom) to leave skin feeling hydrated post-cleanse. If you usually feel a bit ‘tight’ in the face after you’ve removed your makeup, this one’s for you.
A powerful yet soothing lotion
One of the OG trailblazers of the mushroom skincare movement, Origins has an entire range dedicated to the ingredient. A brilliant entry point to the line is its Soothing Treatment Lotion, which is designed to be used post-cleanse to treat irritation or sensitized skin. Its major power players? Reishi mushroom and fermented chaga mushroom.
A calming serum
Want to try mushroom skincare on a budget? Fear not; Beauty Bay has you covered. This affordable serum utilises not one, not two, but three different types of mushroom to calm irritated skin, along with ultra-hydrating cica; another wow-ingredient.