We’ve talked about mushroom extracts in skincare before – as part of this 10-step Japanese facial routine, and about how much we rate Dr Andrew Weil For Origins Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Micellar Cleanser, used in another Japanese beauty hack, skin-patting.
But now there’s a new fungus you need to get familiar with – snow mushroom, or tremella fuciformis, if you want to get technical about it.
We say new, but as you can probably guess, this little beauty has been used in Asian medicine and skincare for millennia, so we really need to catch up. It’s even praised for its ability to boost skin hydration when ingested, so silver ear mushrooms (another name for snow mushrooms) are often used in Asian desserts.
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Why exactly is it such good news for your skin? Well, its gelatinous structure, combined with high levels of polysaccharide molecules, act in a similar way to everyone’s favourite hydrating ingredient hyaluronic acid, by drawing moisture to the skin.
Hyaluronic acid (HA) holds up to 1,000 times its weight of water, hence its cult status as a moisturiser. Snow mushroom can hold up to 500 times its weight in water, but it has smaller particles than HA, helping it to penetrate the skin more easily, so its hydrating powers are potent. It also has the added benefits of soothing anti-inflammatory properties, it aids in collagen production for plumper skin, and best of all, it’s a natural ingredient. So we reckon HA better watch its back, there’s a new wonder ingredient in town.
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