Why does everyone want to hang out with the mushroom? Because he’s such a fungi. The anti-aging cosmetic business seems to have caught on to this, because mushrooms are turning up with more frequency as a serious skincare ingredient. With good reason, more than just a fungi, there are powerful antioxidant components in mushrooms.
One of these is ergothioneine, natural antioxidant amino acid found in mushrooms. In our own bodies, ergothieneine rallies to the cause to be found in high concentrations around cells that are subjected to free radical damage. However, we cannot synthesize it, so we need to obtain it from our diet or topical creams. There is some research that claims that ergothioneine is a much better antioxidant than idebenone.
The magic of mushrooms doesn’t stop there. Specific types of mushrooms have been discovered to be especially potent. One such is reishi. With powerful antioxidants, research has shown it may "protect against aging and age-related degenerative diseases." Reishi has been shown by researchers to protect DNA from UV damage. Shiitaki is a good source of iron, vitamin B3 and an immune system booster. There are more than a 100 different compounds in shiitaki that are collectively referred to as "anti-tumor mycochemicals". Let’s not forget Tremella, a kind of mushroom that outdoes sodium hyaluronate in the moisture retention department.
You might also be surprised to discover that the skin-transforming active, kojic acid, comes from mushrooms. Kojic acid is a Kojic Acid is used in skin lightening/whitening products because of it’s ability to limit melanin production
I’ve now started to proactively look for fungi in my anti-aging products and here’s my top eight with magic mushroom potions and lotions.
Sweetsation Q*Lumiere Organic Day Creme ($29). This amino acid packed day cream has a mission to brighten and lighten skin tone. Sweetsation turned to the reishi mushroom to source kojic acid, a melanin inhibitor that is proven to help with hyperpigmentation. Fruit extracts from pineapple, papaya and apple bring exfoliating enzymes and there’s tons of antioxidants. A moisturizer with an excellent price to quality ratio. Read the full review of Sweetsation Q*Lumiere Organic Day Creme
Chella Master Protocol 7 Cellular Defense Serum ($135). I grew to love this three years ago and I keep going back to it. It's mushroom credentials include ergothioneine and tremella. The other ingredients are cutting edge teprenone, which may help stabilize our telomeres, Einkorn, an anti-sagging ingredient that does particularly well on the neck, and trehalose, for deep hydration. This is one of the few products that makes my neck and decollete feel buttery. Mmm. Read my full review of Chella Master Protocol 7 Cellular Defense Serum
Prana Reishi Mushroom Shield ($42 in the shop). This is a great sunscreen. It not only protects, it improves the skin with our fungi friend. Organic reishi mushroom is right up there near the top of the ingredients list and is given more than ample back up with cordyceps and chaga mushrooms. Read the full review on Prana Reishi Mushroom Shield
Red Flower Lymphatic Phytopower Sea Cleanser and Masque (8.8oz/$42 in the shop). An antioxidant cleanser that does double duty as a mask. Whether rinsed immediately or left on for a few moments, Red Flower’s cleanser is calming and moisturizing. The standout ingredients here are juniper, sunflower (helichrysum) and three types of antioxidant mushroom. Read the full Red Flower Cleanser review.
Medik8 Firewall ($145 in the shop). If you want your mushrooms to come with some of the most powerful anti-agers in an anti-aging serum that works – really works – then take a look at Medik8 Firewall. There’s super oxide dismutase, copper peptides, vitamin C, Matrixyl 3000, Lipochroman-6 and our favorite mushroom compound, ergothioneine. Powerful stuff. Read the full review of Medik8 Firewall.
W3ll People Universalist Luminous Multi-use Colorstick ($33). This multi-tasking stick of subtle color and can be used for lids, lips and cheeks with a mere dab taking you from drab to luminous. No ordinary makeup, Universalist has things that are actually good for you. The base is no less than grapeseed oil infused with antioxidant green tea. Then there’s reishi mushroom, passionflower, an anti-inflammatory and free-radical scavenger, and Japanese knotweed is the of source resveratrol, the supercharged antioxidant that is also in wine. Read the full review of W3ll People Universalist Luminous Multi-use Colorstick.
MD Solar Sciences Evening Facial Repair Serum ($96). A hydrating and revitalizing night serum with power peptide Matrixyl 3000, a dab of retinol, niancinamide, vitamin C and much, much more. Overnight hydration is supplied by sodium hyaluronate and tremella mushroom. Pronounced “a great investment for an anti-aging regimen” by our reviewer, Judy. Read the full review of MD Solar Sciences Evening Facial Repair Serum.
CV Skinlabs Calming Moisture for Face, Neck, and Scalp ($49). A moisturizer that delivers for dry and irritated skin. Like all CV Skinlabs products, this effective and well-priced moisturizer features the Tri-Rescue Skin Complex (a blend of turmeric, alpha-bisabolol and reishi mushroom) that can heal wounds and calm irritated skin.