Why So Many Skincare Products Have Mushrooms in Them Lately
Whether or not you love or hate mushrooms on pizza, the fungi have a slew of health benefits for the body — skin included.
You're probably familiar with hyaluronic aid. The ingredient is popular among skincare brands and dermatologists because it holds an impressive 1,000 times its weight in water. Well, tremella fuciformis, also known as snow mushroom, is a hydrating, plumping ingredient that acts like hyaluronic acid, since it also attracts moisture to the skin. It holds half that of HA, making it an impressive natural hydrator.
While skincare brands have been catching onto the benefits of snow mushroom extract in recent years, it's commonly found in Chinese desserts and has been a longtime staple in Asian medicine and skincare traditions, because it also boasts healing benefits.
"It is also known as silver ear in Asian countries and you can find them as a dessert dish in many Chinese restaurants," says Ginger King, cosmetic chemist and founder of FanLoveBeauty. "It has superb moisturization benefits and also helps with skin brightening. In recent years, consumers do recognize mushrooms are adaptogens that can help reduce stress. Thus the family of mushrooms are being looked upon again."
In addition to hydration, snow mushroom has anti-aging benefits for the skin, too. "The extract has shown in studies to protect against some aging pathways in skin, and to be protective against free-radical damage, making it a potential tool in our daily skincare regimen to decrease wrinkles, fine lines, and even skin tone," says Dr. Rachel Nazarian, board-certified dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC.
If you're looking for more than hydration, snow mushroom is a great option. "Hyaluronic acid alone is great for increasing water content in skin, but snow mushroom extract may also increase natural hyaluronic acid while also increasing other fibers needed for healthy skin, such as collagen and elastin," Dr. Nazarian adds.
Just note that the studies done with snow mushroom extract were done with oral intake, so more research needs to be done on using it topically.
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That being said, a product with snow mushroom, in addition to hyaluronic acid and antioxidants, can give skin a moisturizing boost for every skin type. (Unless you have mushroom allergies.)
Ahead, six products with snow mushroom to incorporate into your routine.
The Best Snow Mushroom Extract Skincare Products
Humanrace Humidifying Cream
Pharrell turned to his longtime dermatologist Elena Jones to consult on his skincare line, Humanrace. The result is three products for a basic routine, including the Humidifying Cream. This moisturizer is inspired by the replenishing effects humid climates have on the skin. The hero ingredients include snow mushroom extract, along with tiger leaf for soothing hydration. No wonder it constantly sells out every time the collection gets restocked.
To shop: $48; humanrace.com
Herbivore Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative Smoothing Serum
Paired with bakuchiol, a plant-based vitamin A alternative to retinol, this snow mushroom-infused serum works to improve skin texture and fine lines while maintaining hydration. Its gorgeous lavender color doesn't hurt, too.
To shop: $54; sephora.com
Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Mask
For even more hydration, Tata Harper's face mask combines multiple sizes of hyaluronic acid with snow mushroom extract. A blend of flowers boost brightness, minimize redness, and adds a subtle, pleasant floral scent.
To shop: $95; sephora.com
Volition Beauty Snow Mushroom Water Serum
The name says it all. With uber-moisturizing and brightening ingredients like snow mushroom, watermelon, and apple extracts, Voilition's serum is like a tall glass of water for extra-thirsty skin.
To shop: $62; sephora.com
Good Light Moon Glow Milky Toning Lotion
"Hydrating" and "toner" aren't two words that usually go together in the skincare world, but that's exactly what Good Light's milky lotion is. The formula is designed to reduce dryness, inflammation, and uneven skin texture.
To shop: $22; goodlight.world
If your skin is dry, then it's definitely ready for this Moon Juice jelly. The serum is powered by snow mushoom, reishi, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate, plump, and smooth skin. Bonus: it also can be used on the lips.
To shop: $58; sephora.com