The skin care benefits of mushrooms, according to a naturopath
This is your skin on shrooms
By Briar Clark
BEAUTYcrew Beauty Editor / June 08 2021
We all know mushrooms have great benefits when ingested. From button mushrooms to shiitake and reishi, the fungus is packed full of antioxidants and excellent at managing stress, fighting inflammation, improving gut health, boosting immunity, libido and skin health.
But what about when you decide to mix up your mushroom intake by applying it topically through skin care?
Well, we were a tad curious ourselves.
So we employed the help of X50 Naturopath Georgia Forsyth (who’s a bit of an aficionado on all things mushies) to give us the lowdown on adding shrooms to our skin care.
The skin care benefits of mushrooms
In the same way the tasty mushroom can elevate many meals, it has numerous different benefits for the skin.
“Mushrooms are filled to the brim with antioxidant, anti-ageing, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties,” says Forsyth. “If that wasn’t impressive enough, they are also touted for being hyperpigmentation correctors.”
“Mushroom extracts possess important bacteria strains responsible for skin damage as well as possessing a strong antioxidant activity, which in turn has the ability to cope with oxidative stress, a precursor for anti-ageing,” she explains.
Eating mushrooms vs applying mushrooms
According to Forsyth, the skin care benefits of mushrooms can be seen through topical application.
“Transdermal absorption of mushrooms is used for treating the skin; this pathway bypasses the liver and gastrointestinal tract, and is absorbed at a slightly quicker rate.”
However, she says maintaining your mushroom intake from a dietary perspective is still a good idea.
“Linking the quality of our skin with the quality of our gut health, it’s no-nonsense; the two are inextricably intertwined. If your gut is compromised it will be reflected in your complexion,” she confirms.
Hate the taste of mushrooms? No worries, there are a number of beauty ingestibles that include the ingredient, so you can reap the internal benefits minus the ick factor.
In fact, we’ve thrown together a bounty of our favourite mushroom-infused ingestibles and skin care, so you can inject your beauty routine with as much of the superfood as is humanly possible.
X50 Fresh Tea Marine Collagen + Shrooms
Chaga and lion's mane are our mushroom heroes in this superfood herbal tea blend, helping to improve gut microbiota, digestion and nutrient-absorption thanks to their antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin also provides antioxidants and reduces inflammation, and cleansing broccoli sprouts help to support digestion.
KORA Organics Milky Mushroom Gentle Cleansing Oil
Give this dual-phase oil cleanser a shake before applying and let the milky formula gently remove dirt, makeup and impurities.The addition of humectant silver ear mushroom keeps skin moisturised (increasing hydration levels in the long run), while omega-rich apple seed oil promotes skin suppleness and softness, and babassu oil (which is rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants) nourishes and soothes the skin.
YOUTH TO THE PEOPLE Adaptogen Soothe + Hydrate Activated Mist
This moisturising mist contains adaptogenic reishi mushroom to hydrate and cleanse, as well as combat those pesky first signs of premature aging. Antioxidant-rich and high in iron and amino acids, adaptogenic ashwagandha and calming peptides round out this skin-soothing formula.
Origins Mega Mushroom Soothing Treatment Lotion
This one’s for the sensitive-skinned among us. Calming reishi and healing fermented chaga mushrooms are the powerful ingredients behind this water-based lotion, formulated to reduce the appearance of redness and prepping skin for all your other skin care goodies.
Vida Glow ANTI-G-OX
This citrus-flavoured ingestible is formulated to tackle instigators of premature ageing like oxidative stress and glycation (a process where excess sugar in the body attaches itself to fats and proteins, creating AGE compounds that attack and weaken collagen and elastin proteins). Adaptogenic mushrooms are combined with prebiotics and probiotics, marine collagen and antioxidant-rich blueberries to combat the issue at a cellular level.
Moon Juice Cosmic Cream Collagen Protecting Moisturizer
Silver ear mushroom is combined with fellow adaptogens ashwagandha and schisandra, as well as hyaluronic acid to lock in hydration, protect collagen, fortify the skin’s natural barrier and improve elasticity and firmness. Phew.
Briar is the Beauty Editor at BEAUTYcrew. Her 'down for anything' attitude has resulted in more than a handful of hair transformations, and she doesn't mind being used as a guinea pig for the industry's most unusual products and treatments. Her work has also appeared on Refinery29, Girlfriend and beautyheaven.