One look at the ingredients of many natural skincare products, and you will find a functional mushroom lurking among the others. The snow mushroom is an ingredient that has managed to steal its fair share of the limelight. Let's delve into whether the use of this mystical-looking fungus is worth the hype and whether products containing it are worth a try.
The snow mushroom provides anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immunostimulating, and anti-aging properties.
Benefits explicitly related to its use in skincare products include improved hydration, skin lightening, and collagen production.
It is an ingredient that can be safely combined with other products and used by those with sensitive skin types.
Benefits of snow mushrooms
Snow mushroom is better known in the scientific world by its botanical name, Tremella fuciformis. It is called the "moisture magnet" because it holds massive amounts of moisture and is an excellent hydrating ingredient. Some studies have shown that tremella acts very similar to hyaluronic acid by absorbing and retaining moisture in the skin. This makes it a valuable addition to products that combat dry skin and related conditions such as rosacea, eczema, and acne.
It is also great for sensitive skin since it can fight free radicals and reduce inflammation. A recent study investigated the role of certain chemical compounds found in the snow fungus in fighting inflammation and oxidative stress of macrophages. They found that specific Tremella polysaccharides significantly reduced the expression of signaling chemicals that played an essential role in the inflammatory pathway. The ability of this mighty mushroom to combat free radical damage helps it to repair the skin barrier.
Another advantage of this mystical-looking fungus is its ability to stimulate collagen production. A study published in Molecular Medicine Reports studied the ability of snow mushrooms to alleviate oxidative stress-associated skin diseases and aging. Researchers found that polysaccharides in the snow mushroom could protect fibroblasts and prevent their premature death, thereby leading to collagen production and reducing the signs of aging on the skin.
The snow mushroom also has the ability to halt melanin production, which is the basis for many hyperpigmentation skin disorders such as freckles, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and uneven skin tone associated with sun damage and aging. Snow mushroom is an excellent source of kojic acid — a chemical compound inhibiting tyrosinase — the pigmentation pathway's key enzyme. This makes the snow fungus unparalleled in its ability to brighten and lighten the skin.
How should you use snow mushrooms in your skincare routine?
Since the snow mushroom is very gentle on the skin, most skin types (including those with sensitive skin) can enjoy its use in various skincare products. From cleansers, toners, and serums to hydrating face masks, this ingredient is flaunted in almost all skincare products today.
This ingredient combines well with others in your skincare and can be added to your morning or evening skincare routine. It can be almost impossible to find a perfect skincare ingredient that hydrates your skin and maintains the right amount of natural oil is almost impossible. The snow fungus alleviates this issue and can be incorporated safely based on the skincare concern you aim to target. Snow fungus hydrates your skin and helps sustain moisture within the skin so that your skin can retain its healthy water and oil balance level.
Incorporating snow mushrooms into your routine
Here are few points to keep in mind to make the most out of using the snow mushroom in your skincare routine:
- Cleanser. Using this ingredient in a cleansing product might be useful but will not allow you to utilize all the benefits.
- Moisturizer. The use of snow mushrooms in products aimed at moisturizing the skin will be very beneficial.
- Preparation. Instead of applying serums and creams containing the snow mushroom directly to the skin, apply the product over pre-moistened skin.
A simple way of making the most of what you've got is to cleanse your face well to remove any makeup or dirt, apply a toner (optional), and directly apply the moisturizer while the skin is still damp. This will prevent the skin from drying even further and help retain moisture. To see any visible effects, using a product for a period of at least 8–12 weeks is recommended. However, make sure to perform a patch test before trying any new product and discontinue use immediately if you develop sensitivities with its application.
Are there any risks?
There are no known side effects to applying products containing snow mushrooms. In fact, a study on the efficacy and safety of a snow mushroom hand sanitizer found that the formulation provided better moisturization and was equally efficacious to the counterpart lacking the snow fungus. Furthermore, snow mushroom has been consumed internally for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for its health benefits like improved brain, heart, skin, and immune health since it is rich in fiber and polysaccharides. However, one must remember that most of the purported benefits are only backed by test-tube and animal studies.
Today, more and more skincare brands are including tremella mushrooms in their anti-aging skincare products, and you'll find it in a wide range of facial moisturizers and serums. Like many other medicinal mushrooms, these beautiful and unique mushrooms contain anti-inflammatory, antitumor, antioxidant, immunostimulating, and anti-aging properties. Their remarkable water-retaining ability makes them unique, and they are a good choice of ingredient for hydrating and replenishing the skin.
- Analytical cellular pathology. Tremella fuciformis Polysaccharides Attenuate Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Macrophages through miR-155.
- Molecular medicine reports. Tremella fuciformis polysaccharide suppresses hydrogen peroxide-triggered injury of human skin fibroblasts via upregulation of SIRT1.
- Medicina. Effects of beta-glucans on the immune system.
- Oncology letters. Tremellapolysaccharides inhibit cellular apoptosis and autophagy induced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa lipopolysaccharide in A549 cells through sirtuin 1 activation.