Chinese medicine has used mushrooms for centuries because of their healing properties, health benefits, and their usefulness in beauty products. While the goodness of mushrooms took a little longer to establish a foothold in the West, it looks like reishi mushrooms have finally arrived. Beauty brands far and wide are embracing the powerful fungi as the nexus to youthful, glowing skin.
The reishi mushroom, in particular, has surged in popularity. Known as the “mushroom of immortality,” and scientifically known as Ganoderma lucidum and lingzhi, this specific mushroom is found primarily in Asia. And for more than 2,000 years, these mushrooms were used for both cosmetic and medicinal purposes. Originally held as a closely guarded secret by the most affluent members of society, emperors and empresses regarded the mushroom as the “herb of spiritual potency.” Reishi mushrooms were invaluable for treating infections, fighting cancer, and as a vital component of the most sought after anti-aging beauty elixirs.
Today, Reishi mushrooms tend to make their appearance in serums, facial moisturizers, and masks. The beauty industry is abuzz over the powerful fungi because they can address myriad skincare issues. From redness to acne and from lightening skin to fighting wrinkles, this mushroom can tackle them all. Beyond that, Reishi mushrooms still have medicinal value. In fact, Reishi extract is an approved supplemental cancer treatment in Japan.
Research has shown that mushrooms, in general, are deeply hydrating. What’s more, they support the skin with their antioxidant properties and adaptogens (herbs and mushrooms that help the body deal with stress), and Reishi mushrooms are no exception. Loaded with plenty of good for your skin components, this powerful mushroom could be the new panacea for all that ails your skin.
The lengthy list of Reishi mushroom’s superpowers include:
So what’s in this potent mushroom that makes such a hardy ally against aging? Let’s take a closer look.
Rich anti-oxidants, Reishi mushrooms inhibit free radical production and protect cells from further damage. In fact, multiple studies have shown that reishi mushrooms are rife with antioxidants, more so than any other mushroom. Powered by these little guys, reishi mushrooms are highly effective in the battle against the signs of premature aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles.
While the reishi mushroom abounds in various amino acids, they are particularly rich in lysine and leucine. Lysine helps support firmness and elasticity by building collagen in your skin. Whereas, leucine is known for its restorative and healing properties, and its ability to diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
Reishi mushrooms are also high in beta-glucans, which are known for their skin-soothing, anti-inflammatory prowess. Exceptional anti-inflammatory properties make these powerful mushrooms a highly coveted ingredient in holistic skincare products for treating acne, redness, and sunburns. Moreover, beta-glucans are natural sugars that penetrate through the skin’s multiple layers, helping to calm dryness and itching.
Reishi mushrooms are loaded with triterpenes, (which incidentally is what makes plants bitter and deters animals from eating them). Triterpenes support blood circulation. In turn, good blood flow improves the skin’s overall appearance, making you look glowing and healthy (and maybe knocking a few years off to boot).
Packed with polysaccharides, Reishi mushrooms deeply hydrate the skin by enhancing its ability to retain water. Coupled with its ability to improve the skin’s moisture barrier, this mushroom is a powerful moisturizer.
Holistic health and wellness have surged in popularity over the years. It would seem that what the East knew thousands of years ago, we’re just now catching up in the West. Mushrooms, in particular, have grown in favor, with reishi mushrooms leading the charge. When it’s chock-full of ingredients that are good for your skin, it’s easy to see why.