Hobby mycologists, foragers, and farmer’s market aficionados alike have been raving about the purported health benefits of edible mushrooms for decades. Centuries-old remedies like chaga tea, reishi powder, and caterpillar fungus Cordyceps sinensis, a staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine, are having their moment in the health food spotlight.
Now, mushrooms—both wild and cultivated—have become increasingly popular as the main ingredients in new skin-care and cosmetics launches, thanks to their unique nutritional profiles, therapeutic properties, and medicinal potential. From pricey, wild-foraged matsutake mushrooms to a common polypore or bracket fungus, beauty brands are finally embracing the power of fungi to hydrate, fight environmental pollutants, and help improve skin texture.
Curious about the efficacy of this buzzy ingredient? Here are six of the best new fungi-infused beauty products to try.
Dr. Andrew Weil For Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Micellar Cleanser
This no-rinse cleanser from Origins’ popular Mega-Mushroom line combines Cordyceps and reishi mushroom extracts with other soothing, natural ingredients like algae and goji berry . Formulated to fight redness and designed for sensitive skin, it’s soap- and alcohol-free and is intended for removing both makeup and environmental pollutants. $41.50 for 200ml at origins.ca.
Volition Beauty Snow Mushroom Water Serum
This new serum, launched last month, features the snow mushroom as its marquee component. The fungus, widely used for food and medicinal purposes in Asia, is being touted as the next big ingredient in skin care, primarily because of its moisturizing properties—it can hold up to 500 times its weight in water—and positive effects on collagen production and free-radical damage. $78 for 1oz at sephora.com.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Pore Perfecting Cleansing Gel
This soap- and sulfate-free cleansing gel balances the effects of purifying and exfoliating acids with moisturizing snow mushrooms. Plus, it’s chockful of other natural ingredients like grape, jasmine, lavender, and clove flower extracts. $90 for 225ml at net-a-porter.com.
AmorePacific Future Response Age Defense Crème
You might have enjoyed the rare and nutrient-rich matsutake mushroom at Japanese restaurants, but it also offers benefits as a skincare ingredient. This daytime moisturizer by AmorePacific provides built-in 30 SPF protection and features pine mushroom, or Tricoloma matsutake, as well as green tea and other botanical ingredients. $210 for 50ml at holtrenfrew.com.
Youth To The People Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream
Available in Canada exclusively at Sephora, this newly launched moisturizer from superfood-focused, American skin-care brand Youth To The People relies on adaptogenic ingredients—natural substances that help the body adapt to stress—such as reishi mushroom, ashwagandha herb, and rhodiola plant for its hydrating and calming effect. $70 for 2oz at sephora.com.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15
This luxurious and lightweight foundation includes a shelf mushroom extract—specifically, Fomes officinalis, which has traditionally been used by Indigenous populations in North America for medicinal purposes. In this product, Charlotte Tilbury harnesses the powerful extract for its skin moisturizing and tightening effect. $60 for 1oz at nordstrom.com.
Never miss a story. Sign up for NUVO’s weekly newsletter, here.