By popular demand, mushrooms have been making their way into every corner of our wellness realm. It seems like everywhere I turn, the amount of shrooms being pushed on me is astounding, so these power fungi must be doing something right. I have already tried mushroom coffee – which is now so diffused into everyday life that we have moved on to mushroom tonics and lattes. With the plethora of adaptogen options from mushrooms alone, it’s only logical that this year, the trend has gone topical and crept into our beauty products.
One thing is for sure: the abundance of this natural super substance makes way for it to be included in products both ingested and applied topically. Mushrooms are incredibly complex – some are extremely poisonous, some make you hallucinate (or feel enlightened, depending on how you look at it), and others add a tasty addition to any meal. The magical healing powers of their high concentrations of antioxidants can noticeably boost immunity and decrease inflammation. And as we know, antioxidant rich substances help us combat free radical damage, and in beauty products they increase skin elasticity. Specifically, in the fungi family, Chaga and Cordyceps have the ability to soothe skin, while shiitake can brighten skin and try to fight hyperpigmentation.
Making its way up to head honcho in skin hydration, it is no wonder that ancient Chinese medicine have been using this stuff forever. Aside from its mega-hydrating factor, it acts against free radical damage, boosts cell renewal, and helps our skin’s production of collagen in order to fight against signs of aging. The snow mushroom, a.k.a. silver ear, is the MVP in hydration because it can hold 500 times its weight in water. No wonder shrooms are gaining ground in the fight against dehydrated skin. The beauty brand Volition mixes the snow mushroom with mineral-charged marine water to help detoxify and minimize the appearance of pores in their Beauty Snow Mushroom Water Serum.
Another key ingredient in mushrooms that make it such a front runner in our beauty products is kojic acid, a natural brightening agent, and the amino acid L-ergothioneine, which Dendy Englemen, M.D. notes on Well + Good, “helps exfoliate and prevent cell damage.” She recommends products with ingredients such as shiitake, maitake, and reishi to get the best of the mushrooms benefits.
Moon Juice, our fav cult adaptogen brand, launched a Beauty Shroom line this year when owner, Amanda Chantal Bacon, decided to take skincare into her own hands after turning off from conventional skincare. She was turned onto Biologique Recherché P50, another one of our beauty favs, but wanted to transcribe to her cult followers something that followed Moon Juice’s unique philosophy. One of the products on the Beauty Shroom lineup is the Exfoliating Acid Potion – the mushroom cousin of the P50. Boasting of 25% acid – including AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid), BHA (beta-hydroxy acid), salicylic acid, lactic acid, and glycolic acid – this acid complex helps encourage cellular turnover, unclog and minimize the appearance of pores and visibly reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Their Jelly Serum, on the other hand, contains tocotrienols to combat oxidative stress, silver ear mushroom to lock in hydration and plump skin, and reishi the “antiflammaging supermushroom.”
I have already reaped the benefits of these magical mushrooms in my adaptogens, coffee and diet, so it is only logical that I will add them into my skincare. Adding Moon Juice’s Jelly Serum to my list of “only things I can buy in the US” when I make way this fall.