Mushroom Madness: Skin-Care Products Featuring Fungus on the Rise

Kim Kardashian - 2017 NBCUniversal Upfront - Getty - H 2017
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The "It" ingredient of the season is the all-powerful 'shroom, but its only magic lies in what it can do for your complexion.

There’s nothing illegal or psychoactive about the type of mushrooms with which skin-care brands are increasingly dosing their facial and body formulas, but they are a bit magic. Kim Kardashian was actually an early adopter of ‘shroom-addled beauty potions, having admitted to using Japanese mushroom facial peels featuring "reishi," known in Chinese medicine as the herb of immortality (it translates to “spiritual potency”) and acclaimed for reducing skin inflammation, puffiness and wrinkles while encouraging cell regeneration.

It’s just one of many wonder-working types that are popping up more and more in powerful products, such as the clean New Zealand–based brand Sans [Ceuticals], whose Bio Active Body Exfoliant ($40) uses the same mushroom (along with vitamin E and ginseng) to boost hydration, minimize pores and plump the dermis. According to founder Lucy Vincent, reishi calms dry and itchy skin, making it a go-to winter ingredient, and acts as an anti-inflammatory, calming redness, reducing flakiness and balancing sensitive skin.

Soothing is the name of the game when it comes to REN Clean Skincare’s Evercalm Ultra Comforting Mask ($38), which is the first facial product ever formulated with white mushroom extract, which contains natural painkillers that work quickly to soothe and calm even the blotchiest, most irritated dry skin. The ingredient’s capabilities to stop irritation and destress the skin immediately is why this is the perfect pre-red carpet salve that can noticeably take down redness in just 10 minutes. Unlike other masks, it is actually meant to be used in the morning or daytime as opposed to at night. Mushrooms aren't only taking root in the beauty business, as Whole Foods has tapped medicinal mushrooms as a top food trend in 2018.

Many types of other superfood mushrooms appear in products like Purlisse’s Blue Lotus Seed Mud Mask ($48), featuring an extract that brightens the skin tone, and the day and night Cyberderm Nu-Shroom Hydrafill Serum ($38), which is chock-full of silver ear mushroom extract, a hyper-hydrating natural version hyaluronic acid that can hold up to 500 times its weight in water. 

Tremella mushrooms, popular in K-beauty products (such as Earth’s Recipe Moisture Bound Cream, $43), are also renowned for dousing the complexion with hydration while lending major antioxidants, too. Crave Skincare, which also features CBD, uses tremella in several formulas (40 Winks Eye Serum, $60) for its superior moisturizing properties.


Earth’s Recipe Moisture Light Cream is a lighter version of the popular K-Beauty show Get It Beauty favorite, Moisture Bound Cream. . . This is the version that’s better suited oily to normal skin compared the original Moisture Bound Cream. . . It contains the radiance-boosting tremella mushroom extracts like the rest of the “moisture” line from Earth’s Recipe, as well as fermented beans and yam extracts to soothe stressed skin in a smooth lightweight formulation. . . It’s currently on sale at . . . Cheers to beautiful skin . . . . #readytobemused #bemusedkorea #koreanskincare #kbeauty #radiantskin #beautifulskin #beautyflatlay #skincareflatlay #slaytheflatlay #skinthusiast #greenbeauty #sensitiveskin #getitbeauty #earthsrecipe #abskincare #beautytalk #beautycommunity #abcommunity #hydration #skincaretalk

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Shunly Skincare’s AHA+ Rapid Exfoliator uses Kombucha mushroom extract to help resurface and renew cells ($69), and from an ingestible perspective, Amina Mundi’s Adaptogenic Immortality has no fewer than seven types of fungus including anti-aging shiitake and cordyceps for immune support ($32).

Says Adrienne Kaler, Borghese director of marketing and product development, “Mushroom extract has become increasingly popular in skin care because of its antioxidant properties.” The brand touted by supermodel Mariacarla Boscono releases its new Advanced Fango Active Mud Mask this spring ($48), a twist on their iconic bentonite clay product that adds chaga mushroom extract to take it “a step further to address environmental concerns such as harsh weather and pollution. It’s like a breath of fresh air!” A “survivalist plant,” chaga helps boost the skin’s resilience and leave it more refreshed.  


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