When looking at the benefits of mushrooms, it would probably be easier and quicker to talk about what they can’t do, rather than what they can. Fungi offer so many different compounds and benefits for overall health, and medicinal mushrooms offer numerous beauty benefits, helping us to nourish our skin from within. Mushrooms can help us de-stress, support detoxification, give us that glow and strengthen our hair and nails.
Medicinal mushrooms are rich in active compounds that have antioxidant, anti-ageing, skin-brightening, moisturising and anti-inflammatory effects, so cover much of the bases when it comes to beauty support. Many common skin problems like sensitivity, dryness, hyper-pigmentation and wrinkles are the result of chronic inflammation, which mushrooms can help to combat with their anti-inflammatory effects. Mushrooms are rich in polysaccharides like beta-glucans which are renowned for their moisture-drawing benefits, offering natural hydration, supporting the skins protective barrier function and its ability to retain moisture. Beta-glucans can also reduce inflammation and help to calm irritated skin. Mushrooms are also rich in vitamins and minerals like selenium which protect the body from free radical damage that can lead to premature ageing.
Chaga mushroom is probably the most well-known ‘shroom when it comes to beauty benefits. It is an all round protector, supporting our bodies defences. It’s super high concentration of antioxidants, combined with melanin and minerals like Zinc make it our number one mushroom for skin support. Its antioxidants help to combat free radical damage caused by exposure to sun and pollution, which can cause ageing, wrinkles and inflammation.
Reishi, known as the ‘mushroom of immortality’, has benefits for whole body health, but it’s adaptogenic benefits help the body to cope when under stress, supporting our body at times when skin could be vulnerable. It also has benefits for liver health, helping to support our primary organ of detoxification, which can help to support healthy skin. Reishi mushroom powder also is rich in antioxidants and helps to support cell renewal, hydration and elasticity due to its beta-glucan and triterpene content. It’s anti-inflammatory benefits can protect the body from skin issues like sensitivity, redness and dryness. It is also anti-microbial, anti-allergenic and anti-histamine making it a great skin supporter for issues like sunburn, insect bites or skin rashes.
Shiitake is another popular choice for beauty support. It contains kojic acid, which is a natural skin brightening agent that can help with uneven skin tone, sunspots and scarring. It also contains L-ergothioneine which is a powerful antioxidant, that helps to prevent cell breakdown and increases skin elasticity. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) shiitake has long been used to support skin health, and liver detoxification.
Mushrooms offer many compounds and benefits for our skin, hair and nails. By reducing stress, supporting digestion, balancing hormones and more you will ultimately support healthy, glowing skin, helping you to look and feel your best.