Mushrooms are part of the fungi family. They have been used for health and beauty applications by different cultures for thousands of years. Today, scientific data proves that certain mushrooms provide a host of skin restoring benefits.
Edible mushrooms are healthy fungi that can meet many of our skin care needs naturally. Certain types offer multiple benefits, including antiaging, detoxifying, hydrating, and brightening effects. They also help restore sun-damaged, dry, and wrinkled skin with powerful blends of antioxidants, vitamins, and polysaccharides. Many mushrooms can also heal and calm acne and rosacea-prone complexions with anti-inflammatory nutrients.
Some mushrooms offer superior skin hydrating properties, due to high concentrations of ceremides and polysaccharides, which help it to retain moisture. This may be hard to believe, but studies demonstrate that the Tremella mushroom (also known as the snow mushroom, golden jelly fungus, or yellow trembler), which is commonly used in traditional Chinese dishes, has comparable or even better water holding capacities than hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a component of human skin which diminishes as we age, has been called the “youth molecule.”
As we grow older, our skin cells also naturally accumulate toxins, which often leads to premature aging and inflammatory conditions like acne and rosacea. Mushrooms have ability to purify skin cells by stimulating superoxide dismutase production. This enzyme plays a key role in cellular detoxification. It helps to slow the aging process as well.
Even mushrooms found in grocery stores like portobello (agaricus bisporus), shiitake (lentinus edodes), and oyster (pleurotus species citrinopileatus), help to reduce free radical damage with powerful antioxidants, which can also heal and hydrate the skin. For example, the familiar portobello mushroom, in addition to antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, also helps improve hyperpigmentation by reducing melanin content and inhibiting tyrosinase activity (melanin production).
Most edible and medicinal mushrooms have high concentrations of anti-inflammatory nutrients like phenolic and indolic compounds, mycosteroids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. As we know, inflammation is a natural response of the immune system to stress related to physical, chemical, and pathogenic skin damage.
Mushrooms are rich in beta-glucans which have the ability to modulate the immune function. They help to rejuvenate and firm the skin by stimulating cellular regeneration. They also have the ability to reduce oversensitivity.