Mushrooms: The New It-Ingredient
The benefits of incorporating shrooms into your skincare and wellness routines.
Text by Başak Ulubilgen
In the world of gastronomy, mushrooms are for everyone and you can find them on basically anything. You can have it on pizza at a little joint in New York City, or you can have it inside a delicious risotto at a restaurant overlooking the Italian Riviera. In most cases, mushrooms can transform a simple dish. This is also the case, nowadays, with skincare and wellness products. Yes, mushrooms have been around the perimeter of beauty for centuries. But over the last few years, they’ve been having a renaissance of sorts as more and more brands, old and new, started using mushroom as a star ingredient in some of their best-selling products. But how did this versatile and weird-looking ingredient make its way into our daily skincare routines?
The use of mushrooms in wellness regimens has been known for a long time. They were used recreationally for medicinal properties, especially in Traditional Chinese Medicine, also known as TCM. According to the book, The Clinical Use of Mushrooms from a Traditional Chinese Medical Perspective, “Chinese people have long believed that mushrooms not only taste good but also have a detoxification effect, clearing and cleansing the body as well as healing wounds.”
It may have been hundreds of years since people first started using mushrooms in their wellness routines, but they caught mainstream attention when innovative brands such as REN, Moon Juice, and Youth to the People started incorporating mushrooms into their skincare products. Take Moon Juice’s Brain Dust, for example. The brand takes massive influence from Traditional Chinese Medicine and uses Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Extract in this adaptogenic supplement, which helps with focusing. Then there’s Rainbo, which uses and relies on the power of mushrooms and adaptogens in all its products. The 11:11 Tincture, for instance, is a blend made up of 11 different medicinal mushrooms. When taken twice a day, this tincture helps support immune health and antioxidant activity in the body. On the other hand, REN’s Evercalm range uses White Mushroom Extract for a soothing effect on the skin. In Youth to the People’s Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream, Fermented Reishi is used along with Ashwagandha to reduce, combat, and detoxify visible signs of aging. Again taking nuances from TCM, facialist-turned-skincare-brand-founder Joanna Vargas puts Tremella Fuciformis (better known as Snow Mushroom) into its Euphoria Sheet Mask for soothing and nurturing effect; perhaps to use after a many-step facial.
As one of the most popular recreational psychedelics evolves into a miscellaneous skincare and wellness ingredient (that is, without the psychoactive component), here are a couple of examples below if you’re looking to incorporate shrooms into your daily routine.