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What you need to know about mushroom skincare

  • 5 min read

Mushrooms in skincare might not be the first ingredient you’d think of – especially if you aren’t a fan of them in food – but mushrooms offer a wealth of benefits for the skin. 

Skincare trends come and go, but mushroom skincare looks set to stay – after all, mushrooms have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries to promote homeostasis. Discover how mushrooms in skincare can be used to elevate your routine and the benefits you can expect to see.

Mushroom skincare – what’s the deal?

Used in TCM for hundreds of years, types of mushroom such as Chaga (Inonotus Obliquus), Reishi (Ganoderma Lingzhi), Snow Fungus (Tremella Fuciformis), Shiitake (Lentinula Edodes) and Cordyceps are now being incorporated into skincare products. 

Mushrooms are adaptogenic substances (adaptogens) – herbs, roots and other plant substances that are used in herbal medicinal practices to help to manage the effects of stress on the body. Adaptogens are thought to be able to help restore the body to its natural balance, and adaptogenic skincare is used to help repair the skin barrier and maintain skin homeostasis. 

When it comes to mushrooms in skincare, we aren’t talking about fungi-filled moisturisers; rather skincare products that are formulated with mushroom extract or oil. Read on to discover the benefits of using mushroom skincare in your routine. 

Mushroom benefits for skin

While specific types of mushroom are hailed for their individual benefits, there are some general benefits you can expect when using mushroom skincare products. Studies have considered the use of mushrooms in the cosmetics industry, finding that the ingredient offers several benefits for the skin.

1. Helps to relieve inflammation

Inflamed skin can be difficult to manage, often appearing red and feeling uncomfortable. Whether it’s itching, dryness or swelling, the fatty acids and phenolic compounds – among other components – in mushrooms help to ease inflammation

2. Strong antioxidant properties

Mushroom skincare helps to reduce the damage caused by environmental stressors and free radicals – atoms without an electron pairing which ‘steal’ an electron from healthy atoms, causing skin damage. 

Persistent free radical damage accumulates over time, causing dryness, uneven pigmentation, wrinkles and lines, sagging, age spots, broken blood vessels and crepey skin. While the body naturally produces some free radicals, the antioxidant properties of mushrooms can help to reduce the damage caused by excessive free radicals in the environment. 

3. Moisturising for the skin

Mushrooms have been found to have great natural moisturising properties. Overall skin health is closely related to how moisturised the skin is. So incorporating mushrooms into your skincare routine is a great way to boost your complexion. 

4. Helps to repair the skin’s natural barrier

Mushrooms contain beta-glucan which has been found to improve various skin conditions and also repair the skin’s natural barrier. As skin is constantly exposed to UV rays, toxins and pollutants from modern living, using ingredients in your skincare routine to replenish the skin barrier is essential.  

5. Reduces hyperpigmentation and melasma

Kojic acid is a chemical produced by various types of mushroom and is known for its ability to reduce the effects of hyperpigmentation and melasma. Already used in many types of skincare products, kojic acid is often derived naturally from fungi and added for its skincare benefits. 

To find out more about the pigmentation conditions melasma and hyperpigmentation, take a look at our previous blogs. 

Skin benefits of specific mushroom types

Specific types of mushroom are used in TCM for various ailments, and the same applies to skincare benefits.

Whether you love or loathe mushrooms in your food, using mushroom skincare products can help to give your skin the boost it needs. 

Mushrooms in skincare – which UpCircle products to pair it with

We’ve covered the many benefits of using mushrooms in your skincare routine, but it’s also important to make sure that the other products you use are up to standard and offer similar benefits. From mushroom serums and masks to moisturisers, find out which products can compliment your mushroom skincare.

1. Cleansers

No matter your skin type – from dry or dehydrated to oily and acne-prone – a gentle cleanser is always the first step in your routine. After using an oil-based cleanser, opt for a water-based cleanser or bar to do a double cleanse

  • Cleansing Face Balm – perfect for removing makeup (even mascara) and other impurities, this gentle vegan cleanser is formulated using oat oil to soothe the skin and sea buckthorn to promote skin elasticity. 
  • Cleansing Face Milk with Aloe Vera – a dreamily creamy formula, our cleansing milk is made with oat powder upcycled from the food and drink industry to restore the skin’s barrier. 
  • Cinnamon and Ginger Chai Soap Bar – effective at soothing redness and dry skin, this palm oil free soap bar contains glycerin to hydrate and moisturise the skin. 

If you’re confused about when to use a cleansing balm or a cleansing milk, our Cleansing Face Milk FAQs covers what you need to know. 

2. Toner

After cleansing, it’s time to rejuvenate the skin with a spritz or two of toner. Use our Face Toner with Hyaluronic Acid to refresh tired skin. Formulated with salicylic acid to reduce breakouts, upcycled mandarin fruit water to protect against inflammation and chamomile extract to soothe the skin, this hydrating toner brings balance back to the skin.   

3. Creams, moisturiser and serum

Lotions and potions are up next, focussing on bringing moisture back into the skin.

Discover our full range of cruelty-free skincare at UpCircle.