Mushrooms were the winner of 2020—of course if there was one. While the shroom boom may not be the first thing we remember when we look back on 2020, it will still make the list of things that took over our Instagram feeds.
I’m not talking about the Murano mushroom lamp that went viral or even the cute mushroom jewelry on Etsy that people can’t seem to get enough of. I’m not even talking about your daily Starbuck’s biggest rival, mushroom coffee—I’m talking about mushroom beauty. Yup, mushroom skincare was all the rave in 2020, and it’s not going anywhere, anytime soon.
The use of mushrooms in skincare isn’t new. In fact, mushrooms have been used in Eastern cultures’ skincare routines for centuries. (I know, who even knew that people had skincare routines back then?!) But due to COVID-19, the interest in holistic and alternative wellness practices has taken center stage.
Mushrooms like reishi, chaga, shiitake, cordyceps, and ashwagandha are chock full of adaptogen, antioxidants, and immune-boosting and stress-busting properties. Pay a little closer attention to the beauty scene, and you’ll rarely find a new product that doesn’t have a mushroom listed on the ingredient list.
Mushrooms For Skincare
Mushrooms are powerful both externally and internally. Whether you’re fostering beauty from the inside or outside, make sure to include the fungi in your skincare routine.
As adaptogens, mushrooms help restore homeostasis to the body—a.k.a. balance. When your body is out of balance, all sorts of things can happen like free radical oxidation, leading to wrinkles and aging, breakouts and acne, tired eyes, and a dull complexion.
With a daily dose of adaptogenic mushrooms, you’ll balance hormone levels, reduce inflammation, and become resistant to stress! Brilliant, right?! And there’s science to prove it.
A 2016 study found that mushrooms reduced the severity of inflammatory skin disease, corrected hyperpigmentation, and helped combat aging. A 2017 study found that mushrooms contained ridiculously high levels of two essential antioxidants that can combat aging and boost overall health. And in 2019, another study found that beta-glucan in mushrooms helped strengthen the skin barrier, which is especially important for those with sensitive skin.
Mushroom Skincare Benefits
Here’s the thing: mushrooms are a mysterious breed. When most people think of mushrooms, they think of a portabella or a magic mushroom. But there are over 14,000 species of mushrooms, and not all are safe for consumption or topical use.
The key here is to look for mushrooms that excel in the skincare realm. Some shrooms brighten, some soothe, and some hydrate. And as far as specific mushrooms we’re swooning over goes? Well, we’ve got you covered.
Neutralize free radicals and promote a healthy skin tone with one of the most popular medicinal mushrooms. Chaga mushrooms are three times more effective at fighting free radicals than acai berries. They are one of the most antioxidant-rich foods in the world, and because of their anti-inflammatory properties, they can help tamp down redness, sensitivity and increase blood circulation. With chaga, your skin will finally get that plump, even glow you crave.
Reap the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits with cordyceps mushrooms. When applied topically, these fungi have proven antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that can stand up to free radicals helping prevent wrinkles and skin damage. Even more, these beauties boost collagen and hydrate skin.
Reishi is a powerhouse for soothing skin, strengthening barrier function, and locking in moisture. Those who struggle with sensitive skin as a result of stress can benefit from this mushroom.
Dark spots and scars? Shiitake has got you covered. Brighten skin and even skin tone with this yummy mushroom. Look for topical skincare products with shiitake to help treat hyperpigmentation and fade dark spots.
For ultimate hydration, make sure that you’re getting your daily dose of silver ear mushrooms, also known as tremella mushrooms. Silver ear can help retain up to 500 times its weight in water, making it a highly effective humectant. And we all know that hydrated skin is the best-looking skin. Basically, silver ear will help all of your plump skin dreams come true.
Best Mushroom Skincare Products
This potion is a brilliant combo of reishi mushroom, niacinamide, and acids to help smooth and minimize pores, revealing brighter skin.
This creamy moisturizer uses reishi, ashwagandha, and shea butter to hydrate and reduce inflammation and redness. For a little extra skin-love, this is a fabulous cream for those with dry and sensitive skin.
If you have acne-prone or oily skin, Tata Harpers Clarifying Moisturizer with tremella will help bust breakouts and purify pores while calming the skin and reducing redness.
Get your shiitake on with this CBD-mushroom combo. With 10 powerful plant extracts, you’ll exfoliate and brighten skin. Say goodbye to hyperpigmentation and sun damage, and thank you to shiitake.