We’ve touched on the rise of mushroom skincare before, but now we’re diving deeper into how tremella mushrooms – sometimes known as snow fungus, silver ear or by the scientific name, tremella fuciformis – can benefit the skin.
Each mushroom type has their own unique benefits for the skin, but tremella mushrooms have become all the rage in skincare products. Is this just a fad or the real deal?
What to know about the tremella mushroom
With one of the most unique appearances of all of the types of mushroom, there isn’t much chance of confusing a tremella mushroom with the button mushrooms you’ll find in your local supermarkets.
Snow fungus is an apt description of the tremella mushroom, with thin white ruffles making up the majority of the fungus. This type of mushroom also wouldn’t look out of place deep under the water in a coral reef!
The tremella mushroom is a wild and edible fungus that typically grows in tropical climates on the damp, dead or dying hardwood of trees. You’ll also find them growing in subtropical climates as well as tropical, in locations such as South, Central and parts of North America, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
While mushrooms as a whole have played a role in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years, the snow fungus has been hailed as a wonder skincare ingredient since the Tang dynasty of China (618 – 907 AD). One of the four beauties of ancient China, Yang Guifei, is said to have maintained her flawless complexion and youthful skin by using tremella mushrooms.
6 tremella mushroom benefits for skin
Discover how this jellyfish-like mushroom can benefit your skin when eaten or incorporated with other skincare ingredients.
1. Boosts collagen production
By now, most of us know how important collagen is to our skin. A protein that is responsible for your bones, hair, muscles and skin, collagen helps to keep the skin hydrated, firm and plump.
Tremella mushrooms have been found to increase type 1 collagen – which is by far the most abundant type of collagen in the body. This helps to provide structure to the skin, preventing it from sagging.
2. Reduces water loss from the skin
When it comes to skin hydration, preventing water loss is essential. Adding hydration is a must, but that’s not much use if your skin can’t hold onto the moisture that’s been added.
Tremella mushrooms help to lock in your skin’s moisture by protecting the skin’s natural barrier. The ruffled mushroom is able to prevent water loss from the skin as the polysaccharides in the mushroom form a flexible film on the skin. This film helps to lock in moisture, smooth the skin’s appearance and make it more elastic.
3. Effective antioxidant
Antioxidants help to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals – atoms without an electron pairing which attempt to ‘steal’ an electron from a healthy atom. When a free radical takes an electron from a healthy atom, the cell becomes damaged.
Oxygen atoms in the body can go through a process of oxidation when another chemical comes into contact with it. When this happens, the oxygen atoms split and free radicals are released.
Antioxidants help to prevent this process of free radicals causing damage to your skin cells by binding to free radicals. By being stable enough to donate an electron and provide free radicals with an electron pairing, the free radical doesn’t need to steal an electron from elsewhere.
Persistent free radical damage in the body accumulates over time, and can cause a range of issues such as dryness, uneven pigmentation, wrinkles and lines, sagging, age spots, broken blood vessels and crepey skin. The antioxidant effects of tremella mushrooms can help to reduce this damage caused by excessive free radicals in the body.
4. Has anti-inflammatory properties
Skin inflammation can be caused by allergens, irritants or existing medical conditions, and is considered an immune response. This often materialises as redness, itching, swelling, dryness or pain and can be uncomfortable to deal with.
Some skin conditions such as psoriasis, rosacea and acne can lead to persistent inflammation and troublesome skin. That’s why many people opt for skin care with anti-inflammatory benefits, or ensure their diet is as anti-inflammatory as possible.
Tremella mushrooms have been found to possess anti-inflammatory properties, and may be a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of inflammation-related diseases.
5. Works as a natural moisturiser
The snow fungus is a wonderful natural moisturising agent, drawing moisture to the skin in a similar way to hyaluronic acid. Helping to maintain the skin’s natural barrier and maintain skin health, the tremella mushroom is able to hold almost 500 times its weight in water, providing your skin with a huge hit of hydration.
6. Reduces UVA damage
A recent study found that a certain concentration of tremella fuciformis polysaccharides can effectively alleviate skin damage caused by UVA.
While snow fungus can reduce the impact of UVA damage on the skin, it is not enough to protect the skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Your skin needs protection every day – even in winter – with a high-quality mineral sunscreen.
Stick to natural skincare
Tremella mushrooms alone aren’t going to provide your skin with all of the nourishment and protection it needs, so pairing them with the right vegan and natural skincare is a must.
At UpCircle, we’re committed to rescuing leftover ingredients from other industries and upcycling them into cruelty-free skin and haircare products.
From upcycling the antioxidant-rich extract of discarded blueberries, a by-product of the blueberry juicing industry, into our nourishing Night Cream with Hyaluronic Acid & Niacinamide to the extract of leftover date seeds into our award-winning Body Cream, we are on a mission to prevent waste and promote sustainability.
Shop our full collection of vegan skin and haircare products, safe in the knowledge that we only use the best quality natural ingredients.