Active Ingredients: Mushroom

Rachel Gibbons Beauty Expert
Active Ingredients: Mushroom

A 'shroom boom in skincare!

Mushrooms don’t just taste amazing but we also know that mushrooms are extremely beneficial for our health. But did you know that mushrooms make great skincare ingredients? Considered to one of the biggest skincare trends in 2020, mushrooms are increasingly being included in skincare and wellness products. The use of mushrooms may seem fairly recent but mushroom-inspired skincare isn’t all that new, brands like Origins have gained cult-following for their Mega Mushroom line.

The use of mushrooms for holistic health and wellness have been prevalent in multiple traditional Eastern cultures and medicinal practices for centuries due to their healing and immunity boosting abilities. Also, many mushrooms are considered adaptogens which help restore homeostatis, meaning that they support the normalization of hormone levels and reduce inflammation in the body.

When applied topically, mushrooms can protect the skin from environmental stresses and regulate troubled skin due to its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that promote soothing and anti-aging functions.

We all know that there exists a wide array of mushrooms, with almost 14,000 known species with some being safe for consumption and topical use while others aren’t. And with this variety, different mushrooms bring different benefits, some nourish, some hydrate and others brighten. Hence, it is important to find the variety that suits your skin best. Below I’ve listed the benefits of some of the more commonly used and seen mushrooms in skincare.



The common benefits of mushrooms

Antioxidant protection

  • Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants that help strengthen the skin barrier against free radicals and environmental threats that usually trigger premature aging and irritation.

Soothes the skin

  • Alongside providing protection, mushrooms are also great for helping to soothe inflammation or irritation caused by skin sensitivities or harmful toxins. Very similar to the health benefits when eating mushrooms.

Lightens pigmentation

  • Mushrooms were originally used as a lightening agent, particularly Shiitake mushrooms as they have a high content of kojic acid. 


Different types of Shrooms

Chaga Mushrooms

One of the more popular mushroom variation in skincare. Chaga mushrooms work well to neutralize free radicals, almost 3X more effective than Acai Berries. The antioxidants also help reduce inflammation and increase blood circulation, promoting a more even skin tone and texture.

Cordyceps Mushrooms

Widely used in traditional Chinese medicines and cooking, Cordyceps are considered a multipurpose shroom. It hydrates the skin, boosts collagen and elastin production and has anti-inflammatory benefits that stems from its antioxidants.

Reishi Mushrooms

Hailed as a the queen of all mushrooms. Reishi is called ‘Ling Zhi” in Chinese which translates to “Mushroom of Immortality”. Reishi mushrooms are particularly beneficial for those with wrinkle concerns. They also support the skin barrier function, helping it better retain moisture and resist pro-irritants. Anyone with sensitive, aging skin can benefit much from them. 

Shiitake Mushrooms

One of the more commonly known and consumed mushrooms. Shiitake is rich in kojic acid which is an effective skin brightening agent that works well to fade pigmentation, scarring and improve the overall skin tone.

Tremella Mushrooms

Also known as Snow mushroom or Silver Ear mushroom, Tremella mushrooms provide a hydration boost that is comparable to the effects of hyaluronic acid, some say it works even better as its particles are smaller than HA making them penetrate deeper into the skin. Tremella is a humectant ingredient that can attract and retain water 500x its weight helping to prevent dehydration and reduce the appearance of folds.

Trametes Versicolor Mushrooms

Also called “Turkey Tail”, Trametes Versicolor Mushrooms isn’t as widely used or known in skincare but that doesn’t mean its benefits are any lesser. Trametes Versicolor is a common ingredient in holistic health to boost the immune system due to its plentiful antioxidants and polysaccharide (PSK) that helps support the immune system and reduce inflammation. It can also improve blood flow and cellular health.

Matsutake Mushrooms

Matsutake mushrooms are also referred to as pine mushrooms or Songyi in Korean. Matsutake is known to prevent the degradation of the extracellular matrix and have the ability to stimulate collagen production, improving the skin elasticity. It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties like most mushrooms.


What to note?

  • As stated above, not all mushrooms possess the same benefits and effects on the skin. Some may work better to hydrate the skin while others may be more beneficial in reducing inflammation. The results can also be due to your skin’s reaction to certain ingredients, therefore it is important to remember that different mushrooms can bear different results.
  • Like all products and ingredients, we advise conducting a patch test prior to application, at least 24-48 hours before.


Products we recommend and where to find them

The INKEY List Snow Mushroom Moisturizer

the inkey list snow mushroom moisturiser

Enriched with Snow Mushroom, this jelly-like moisturizer is great for hydrating, soothing the skin and reducing any looks of redness. The formulation also provides an instant cooling effect on the skin. Perfect for those with sensitive skin.


iUNIK Beta-Glucan Daily Moisture Cream

iunik Beta-Glucan Daily Moisture Cream

This moisturizer promises to brighten the skin, offer wrinkle care and fortify the skin’s barrier. Loaded with natural extracts like Niacinamide, Arginine, Allantoin, Centella Asiatica and Beta Glucan that is extracted from mushrooms! Beta Glucan retains moisture 20% better than hyaluronic acid and improves skin elasticity and recovery.


iUNIK Beta-Glucan Power Moisture Serum

iunik Beta-Glucan Power Moisture Serum

Jam-packed with skin brightening and natural ingredients, this serums works to deliver anti-aging effects like brightening the skin, reducing wrinkles and fortifying the skin’s barrier. Similar to the moisturizer above, this serum contains Niacinamide, Arginine, Allantoin, Centella Asiatica and Beta Glucan that is extracted from mushrooms!


Naruko Taiwan Magnolia Brightening and Firming Night Gelly EX

naruko Taiwan Magnolia Brightening and Firming Night Gelly EX

Press rewind on skin aging. This night treatment ensures to delay aging skin with Magnolia extract and delivers that extra hydration boost with Snow Fungus extract. It also provides brightening effects to the skin with Tranexamic Acid, Arbutin and Ascobyl Glucoside as one of the many skin-benefitting ingredients.


Simple Age Resisting

Helping to fight signs of premature aging, Simple Age Resisting line is formulated with a blend of age defying ingredients like Pro-Vitamin B5, Vitamin E, Mushroom Extract, Oat-Beta Glucan, Chamomile and Green Tea Extracts.

  • Facial Wash: This facial wash helps to moisturize, tone and cleanse the skin of impurities and leaving your complexion that extra clearer.
  • Night Cream: This night cream will allow your skin to recover and repair itself easily whilst your asleep. It regenerates the skin of nutrients and provides the hydration to your skin for a younger-looking complexion.


I hope this blog has helped in any way and possibly helping you find the right shroom for your skin. If you have any questions, feel free to join the conversation below and we'll do our best to get back to you!

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