Toadstool Tutorial: Discovering the Different Benefits of Mushrooms

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They say variety is the spice of life, and that sentiment certainly holds true for mushrooms, as each type brings its own brand of benefits. Here, experts share their preferred mushroom extracts and the skin benefits they provide.

“An enzyme derived from the Japanese mucor miehei mushroom mimics the natural enzymes present in skin and helps promote skin’s natural cell turnover without irritation. When used consistently as part of an at-home skincare regimen, mucor miehei extracts improve skintone and repair texture and pigmentation problems associated with sun damage and breakouts.”
 —Kimberly Sampson, training director, EmerginC

“CelleClé formulates with thiotaine, as it proves effective with many concerns in one ingredient. Thiotaine is a superior antioxidant and a unique amino acid found in mushrooms. In vitro tests have demonstrated that thiotaine also has strong copper-chelating powers and inhibits tyrosinase activity, leading to lesser pigment formation and brighter skin. Along with its ability to restore power to cells, it also supports cellular activities from detoxification to the production of youthful proteins. It calms redness, enhances signs of repair, and evens tone and clarity.” 
—Ashley Stowers, national educator, CelleClé  

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“We use mushroom dehydrasome, also known as corthellus shiitake extract, in our Brighten Facial Serum. Shiitake mushrooms have been researched for their medicinal benefits for decades, and many skincare companies use mushroom extract in their skincare products due to its purifying, immune-boosting benefits. Shiitake mushrooms contain essential amino acids, and they are rich in B vitamins and are a great source of vitamin D.” 
—Monika Kincade, production manager, Osmia Organics

“A particular mushroom blend of cordyceps sinensis, also known as dong chong xia cao tochukas, and trametes versicolor, also known as yun zhi, provide spectacular calming benefits to the skin. Traditionally used in Chinese, Tibetan, and Japanese medicine, this powerful combination has been shown in recent studies to regulate the synthesis of signal proteins responsible for sensitive skin and the inflammatory response. The benefits include a reduction in UV-induced inflammation; reduced skin sensitivity, including Cosmetic Intolerance Syndrome, a common sensitivity to cosmetic products; and providing a long-term anti-irritant and soothing effect on skin.” 
—Janae Muzzy, VP of research and development, Epicuren Discovery

“Mushroom extracts specifically from shiitake and mucor miehei, as found in Murad’s Invisiblur, have been shown to have strong skin benefits in improving skin firmness, hydration, and smoothness, while fomes officinalis, as found in Murad’s Intensive C Radiance Peel, helps balance and purify the skin.” 
—Kristen Robinson, director of new product development, Murad

“We use reishi mushroom in every single product in our Tela Beauty Organics line. It contributes to every healthy hair factor. We consider it to be the king of all kings for antioxidant power for hair and scalp.” 
—Philip Pelusi, product artist, formulator, and founder, Tela Beauty Organics

“As a skincare ingredient, silver ear mushroom is a humectant and skin-conditioning agent with extraordinary moisture retaining properties. It is able to both directly moisturize skin and draw moisture from the surrounding environment. As a natural antioxidant, it helps protect the skin from the effects of environmental aggressors.” 
—Sara LaBree Baldwin, education manager, Jurlique 

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