Are Mushrooms Your New Skincare Saviour?


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Mushroom skincare is everywhere right now!

It’s the latest “It Girl” ingredient, but unlike a lot of other flash-in-the-pan trends, there is science behind this one.

Professor Caitriona Ryan, Consultant Dermatologist and Co-Founder of the Institute of Dermatologists was kind enough to walk us through the trend and help us figure out what we need for our skin.

What is mushroom skincare?

The benefits of mushrooms in skincare are vast, as they are a powerhouse of nutrients, packed with antioxidants, polysaccharides, vitamins B and D, antioxidants, amino acids, with intense hydrating and brightening properties.

Reishi mushrooms are king for the skin! They have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, reducing inflammation and free radical production, to limit premature ageing and redness of the skin. They are also packed full of amino acids, particularly lysine, and leucine, which help stimulate collagen production and decrease fine lines. Their polysaccharides enhance hydration and improve barrier function.

Shiitake mushrooms are rich in kojic acid, which is known to help brighten and even out skin tone. This makes them particularly useful for people with hyperpigmentation or age spots.

Chaga mushrooms have high levels of antioxidants, which help protect the skin against free radical damage and premature aging. They also improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Cordyceps contain large amounts of beta-glucan polysaccharides, which hydrate and improve the skin natural moisture barrier, and anti-inflammatory properties to decrease skin inflammation.

Tremella mushrooms are rich in hyaluronic acid to hydrate the skin and antioxidants that help protect the skin against free radical damage and aging.

Lion’s Mane mushroom also contains antioxidants that help protect the skin against premature ageing, and can improve wound healing, texture and the appearance of wrinkles.

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What are the benefits to using mushrooms in your skincare?

Hydration and Barrier Support

The polysaccharides in mushrooms, particularly beta-glucans, have a considerable hydration capability which helps the skin to retain moisture, leading to a plumper, glowing skin, smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles. These polysaccharides also strengthen the skin’s barrier, protecting it from external irritants and reducing sensitivity.

Anti-Inflammatory and Healing Properties

Mushrooms have long been recognized for their anti-inflammatory effects, making them ideal for treating conditions like acne, rosacea and eczema. The anti-inflammatory properties of mushrooms can soothe irritated skin, reduce redness, and promote healing. The Reishi mushroom, in particular, is celebrated for its calming effects, making it an excellent ingredient for those with reactive or inflamed skin. Mushrooms also have a very high antioxidant content, making them ideal in skincare to combat free radicals, which are unstable molecules caused by environmental stressors such as UV radiation and pollution that can damage skin cells, leading to premature aging. Mushrooms like Chaga and Reishi are particularly rich in antioxidants, offering a protective shield against these environmental stressors to prevent premature ageing.

Brightening and Anti-Aging Effects

Shiitake mushrooms are rich in kojic acid, a natural compound that inhibits the production of melanin to lighten hyperpigmentation and even out skin tone, particularly dark spots and sun damage, to give a more luminous complexion. The antioxidant properties of mushrooms can also help to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, promoting a more youthful appearance.

Pic: Pexels

What skin issues do mushrooms target?

Those with inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, psoriasis and eczema can benefit from mushrooms that have anti-inflammatory mushrooms such as Reishi, Tremella, Chaga, and Lions Mane taken as oral supplements or applied topically.

What are the best types of products to use?

FabÜ Skin Glow – €29.99

Origins Dr. Andrew Weil Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Cream – €62

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting & Refining Serum – €72

Pai Tri-Mushroom Super-Soothing Booster – €19

Youth to the People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream – €20.95