Know Your Ingredients: Mushroom

embPhoto: Courtesy of Origins.
As people with extraordinarily elaborate skin-care routines, we pride ourselves on using products with the most effective ingredients around. Of course, this involves actually knowing what those ingredients are. And, boy, are there a lot of ingredients out there. In Know Your Ingredients, our ongoing series, we'll be decoding the many oils, acids, extracts, and more that appear in our favorite products.
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Mushroom is one ingredient that doesn't typically come up in beauty chat. Dinner-menu ideas? Sure. But, these fungi are actually clutch for your skin — especially if it's sensitive.
Certain kinds of mushrooms, including reishi, chaga, and cordyceps, are incredibly antioxidant-rich, according to Origins, which offers a Mega-Mushroom line that's chock-full of these ingredients. Reishi is the all-out winner when it comes to fungi with beauty benefits, though. It's filled with ganodermic acid and ling zhi 8-protein — both of which contain anti-inflammatory properties. This makes it effective at reducing wrinkles and general puffiness.
Since mushrooms are packed with antioxidants, they're also great at fighting environmental factors and free radicals. They help protect the skin's barrier, making it less likely to break down and become extra sensitive.
Amarte is another skin-care company jumping on the fungi train. The brand incorporates the meshima mushroom into its serums, creams, and toners. The meshima mushroom also has intense antioxidant properties. In fact, studies have shown that meshima mushrooms, also known as Phellinus linteus, were comparable to vitamin C for fighting free radicals. This makes them gangbusters for aging and sensitive skin, as both of these are affected by free radicals.
Just about any skin type can benefit from antioxidant-rich products, so keep an eye out for toners, lotions, and serums containing your favorite fungi. Turns out, mushrooms are kind of magical after all.
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Dr. Andrew Weil For Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Treatment Lotion, $31, available at Origins.


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