“Mushrooms have so many amazing benefits for the skin,” board-certified dermatologist Rebecca Marcus, MD, FAADFounder Maei MDmbg says. Mushroom extract is classified as A moisturizerwhich means it draws water into the skin—similar to the function of the equally loud ingredient, hyaluronic acid.
Snow mushrooms in particular contain polysaccharides (aka plant polysaccharides) that coat the skin in a thin layer. Marcus explains that this film binds to skin cells and also binds to water, resulting in skin hydration. Hence, why should you apply moisturizers like this on wet skin.
In addition to boosting hydration, “the sugars in snowy mushrooms have AntioxidantsAnti-inflammatory and anti-radiation. Also, snow mushrooms contain kojic acidA natural and gentle acid that helps lighten the skin and Fight dark spots Marcus says by inhibiting melanin synthesis.
But snowy mushrooms aren’t the only skin-loving ones. In fact, shiitake mushrooms are equally beneficial. “Similar to snow mushrooms, it is a powerful source of kojic acid and therefore acts as a brightener. It also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties,” Marcus says.
All in all, snow mushrooms are multi-functional emollients that work wonders to hydrate, brighten, and protect skin—which is why they’re so desirable for topical use. Not sure where to find mushrooms in skincare? Here are some of our favorite products: