Mushrooms, mushrooms, mushrooms. Love them or loathe them – when it comes to skincare, this fungi wins first prize. Shiitake mushrooms have been rapidly merging from the culinary kitchen and into the beauty community due to their many benefits for the skin. For centuries, Shiitake mushrooms have been used in ancient Chinese medicine to restore vitality and help address imbalances within the body. Shiitake mushrooms make up over a quarter of the world’s mushroom cultivation, but this isn’t just because they taste great!
The East Asian strain of fungi gets put through a rigorous extraction process so it can be used in skincare products, this creates the shiitake mushroom extract ingredient you find in some lotions and serums. But just what is it about these naturally grown beauties that make our skin look so darn good? This specific mushroom has hundreds of years worth of skin-nourishing claims, so there must be something to it! Want to know what skin benefits you can reap from shiitake mushroom extract? Keep reading!
1. Brightens skin tone
If you’re self-conscious of your skin tone and want to achieve brighter-looking skin without invasive treatments like bleaching or skin peels, shiitake mushroom extract can help. The mushroom contains kojic acid, which is the second most common natural skin-lightening ingredient on the market. It works by prohibiting the production of melanin in the skin and can penetrate deep into the upper layer of the skin. Now, this doesn’t mean it erases the production of melanin in the skin, so you don’t need to worry about never getting a tan, but if used regularly, it will majorly slow down its production. Not only can lightening your skin give a brightening effect, but it can also give you a youthful glow by fading out scars and age spots!
2. Calms the skin
Shiitake mushrooms are anti-inflammatory, which makes them perfect for calming the skin. They are rich in B complex vitamins, specifically B3 (also known as niacinamide). This vitamin holds anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe the skin from any irritants. The mushroom also contains vitamin D and selenium – these both help to defend the skin from environmental damage and lock in water. There have even been claims that the extract has the ability to banish inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, and eczema! If you have sensitive skin, shiitake extract can settle down your inflammation and give your skin a refreshing, soothing boost without flaring up any skin problems.
These mushrooms were used often in ancient Chinese medicine in the form of soups and serums, as they contain lots of antioxidants. So, what are antioxidants and what do we need them for? Well, to put it plainly, there are lots of toxins and harmful atoms in the environment we live in – air pollution, industrial chemicals, even the sun are all harmful to our skin. These harmful atoms are called free radicals, and when in the body they begin to damage and destroy cells. As we can’t avoid breathing the air or catching a few sun rays, we can fight free radicals with antioxidants, like the ones you find in shiitake mushroom extract! These are compounds that are great at fighting free radicals, stopping them from destroying our skin’s healthy cells.
4. Improves hydration
If you’re looking for some hydrating benefits for the skin, make shiitake mushroom extract your go-to! The fungal extract contains ceramides, which are compounds that help the skin to maintain a healthy barrier. This not only aids in preventing toxins and bacteria from entering your skin but also locks in moisture to keep your skin hydrated. The extract is full of essential amino acids like lycine, which aids the balanced transport of water through the skin’s layers. To make the most out of this mushroom’s hydrating ability, you should couple the extract with a moisturizer – this will add extra moisture to the skin that the shiitake extract can then thoroughly absorb into the skin’s deeper layers.
5. Younger looking skin
When applied topically, shiitake mushroom extract can combat the signs of aging. The boost in blood flow helps to promote collagen production in the body, which we already know can tighten and lift the skin. You can also find phenolic veratric acid in shiitake mushrooms, a compound used to fight wrinkles and fine lines in the skincare industry. The surplus kojic acid held in shiitake mushroom extract can reduce unwanted pigmentation that might be giving away your age – these include age spots, dark circles, and discoloration.
Ready to treat your skin to some mushroom magic?
The Sublime Uplift – Neck and Decollete Firming Serum is a great skin-smoothing product that’s filled with shiitake mushroom extract – in fact, it’s the star ingredient in the serum!