Beauty has been going green in more ways than one. In addition to more vegan, cruelty-free products, we’re seeing ones that are packed with superfoods plus fruits and vegetables. Similar to food and wellness trends, there are certain buzzy ingredients that seem to be everywhere. Watermelon is one of the hottest ingredients for summer, with the juicy fruit showing up in everything from masks to serums. Pomegranate, avocado and almost every leafy green have enjoyed their time in the spotlight. Now it’s the divisive mushroom that’s popping up in skin care launches, making it a perfect candidate for the next It ingredient.
Whether you love eating them or fall into the camp of people who find mushrooms too earthy to eat, you’ll like them in beauty routines, promise. When it comes to skin care, mushrooms can be pretty magical — which is why they’ve been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years. According to Dr. Lamees Hamdan, founder and CEO of Shiffa, it’s the variety of mushrooms to choose from that makes them interesting. “There is no one hero mushroom,” she says. “Different varieties have different properties.” Hamdan suggests looking for a product that has a blend of at least three different mushrooms to get the most benefits.
In general, mushrooms are popular in skin care because they soothe, soften and provide mega moisture. Some, like reishi, are “super antioxidants,” Hamdan says. Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skin Care Collection, says that tremella fuciformis, aka snow fungus, has the ability to retain moisture in skin even more than hyaluronic acid. It also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and has been proven to accelerate wound healing.
In addition to knowing whether a product has oyster, enoki, chaga, portobello mushrooms or another variety, Hamdan says it’s helpful to know the extraction method of the mushroom as well as what part of the mushroom is used because products that typically use the whole mushroom are best. In terms of specific products, Vargas says mushrooms are mostly found in serums, masks and moisturizers.
There’s no need to go foraging beauty aisles on a hunt for fungi. We’ve gone ahead and rounded up the best mushroom skin care products so you can see for yourself just how good ‘shrooms are.