Although the practice of using toadstools (mushrooms) as part of a daily skin-care regimen is gaining a lot of attention lately, it is nothing new as it has been around for centuries. Studies show that the ubiquitous toadstool has been a mainstay for holistic health practitioners for centuries. However, as more scientific data emerges that details how mushroom-based products can improve the appearance and health of the skin, the skin care industry has made it a point to jump on the proverbial bandwagon by advertising and marketing products that contain some variation of a toadstool extract. While there is no shortage of skin care products currently on the market, many consumers share in the belief that less is more. As such, there has been a significant uptick in consumers forgoing alcohol and fragrance-laden products that can irritate the skin in favor of something a little more all-natural. In this article, we will take a closer look at this new trend in the skincare world and why it seems to resonate with so many of today’s consumers.
WHY HAVE MUSHROOM-BASED PRODUCTS BECOME A GO-TO SKIN CARE INGREDIENT?
One of the lesser known facts when it comes to mushroom-based skin care products is that the spore-producing fungus is comprised of compounds and nutrients that work to prevent premature aging by detoxifying and hydrating the skin. Whether they are being consumed as part of a delicious recipe or used to beautify the skin, mushrooms are chock-full of health benefits. For example, mushrooms for skin care contain the same amount of antioxidants as mushrooms used to prepare a healthy meal. These antioxidants work to combat the free radicals that can age the skin and impact your overall health.
Also, mushroom-based skin care products contain B complex vitamins that can soothe irritated skin, according to Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research with Mount Sinai Hospital based in New York City. In addition to antioxidants and B complex vitamins, the anti-inflammatory agents that are native to most species of mushrooms can boost collagen production, which can further reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. All in all, with just a few applications, mushroom-based products can transform dull-looking skin to beautiful, radiant skin that you will be proud to show off to the world.
POPULAR MUSHROOMS FOR SKIN AND OVERALL HEALTH
Considering that there are more than 150,000 species currently in existence, deciding on the right mushroom-based product for your skin care needs can seem daunting. To simplify things, let’s take a look a few of the more common mushrooms being used in popular skin care products today:
Oyster – Whether you choose to eat them whole or make use of products that contain them, oyster mushrooms can benefit your skin and your overall health. As a skin care product specifically, oyster mushroom-based products contain selenium, antioxidants, and vitamin D that all work collectively to resolve skin problems resulting from environmental damage, particularly wrinkles and discoloration.
Shiitake – Not too dissimilar from that of oyster mushroom-based products, products that contain shiitake mushrooms for skin care also contain antioxidant agents that can help soothe irritated and inflamed skin. They are also useful in treating other skin problems like eczema and acne as well.
Finnish Chaga – Assuming you can get past its peculiar name, the Finnish Chaga toadstool is one that is commonly found in Russia and Northern Europe and is just as beneficial for your skin as it is for your physical health. Studies show that this toadstool contains antiviral and antibacterial properties that make it an excellent choice for fighting infections. However, the benefits do not stop there as this humble toadstool may also be effective in the treatment of certain cancers as there is evidence showing it can help prevent the spread of tumors in the body, according to a study published by the National Institute of Health. Similar to other toadstools, the Finnish Chaga is also rich in antioxidants that can reverse wrinkles and other early signs of premature aging.
White – These toadstools, which are especially common in the United States, contain B vitamins that are not only good for your skin but also your overall health. They also have antiviral properties that can boost your immune system, according to a study published by the Agricultural Research Service, a research agency in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture.
While oyster, shiitake, Finnish Chaga, and white are the most frequently used toadstools in modern-day skin care products, they are by no means the only ones. Studies show that nearly all species of toadstools contain some degree of hydrating properties and skin-saving compounds that contribute to beautiful, healthy skin. It is important to note, however, that these products do not work overnight. In most cases, it can take several weeks before you will notice a significant change in the appearance and health of your skin.
WHAT SKIN CARE PRODUCTS CONTAIN TOADSTOOLS?
If you’re ready to try mushroom-based skin care products for yourself, you will be happy to know that there are quite a few already available in the marketplace. Some of the most popular products include
Natura Bisse Oxygen Mousse – This mushroom-based face cleanser is ideal for those with acne or oily skin. While other products can cause your face to feel dry, the mushroom-based extract in Natura Bisse Oxygen Mousse can help keep your skin feeling hydrated and invigorated. Also, the mushroom-based extract works as an astringent to help to unclog pores and revive dull-looking skin.
REN Clean Skincare Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask – This white mushroom-based face mask is ideal for those who may be struggling with skin irritation. Along with B vitamins, this face mask also contains tiger grass, a perennial herb used for medicinal purposes, and horse chestnut flower extract, which helps improve circulatory health. Collectively, the ingredients in this mask can reduce redness and soothe irritated skin.
IS Clinical Active Serum – This face serum is ideal for older individuals who are more concerned with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles than they are with oily skin and acne. IS Clinical Active Serum not only addresses wrinkles but also help with discoloration, hyperpigmentation, and other signs of premature aging.
HOW TO NATURALLY IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH
Although most people will agree that mushroom-based skin care products can lead to healthy, radiant skin, the health benefits associated with whole mushrooms continue to go unnoticed. It is worth noting that the same antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that contribute to better skin health can be just as beneficial when it comes to your physical health.
To further put this into context, researchers at Penn State University concluded that ergothioneine and glutathione, which are the two most common antioxidants found in all toadstool species, can be used to protect the body from cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Echoing similar sentiments, Dr. Charles Passler, the founder of Pure Change, a nutrition program that has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar, states that there is significant evidence showing that a diet consisting of toadstools can help lower cholesterol and reduce high blood pressure. There is also ample evidence suggesting that toadstools can act as a natural anti-diabetic, according to Dr. Passler.
HOW TO USE TOADSTOOLS FOR MAXIMUM HEALTH BENEFITS
If you have made it this far into the article, you already know that toadstools are chock-full of anti-inflammatory agents and antioxidants; however, they also contain nutrients like enzymes, sterols, and glycosides that can contribute to good overall health. Because toadstools contain a myriad of healthy ingredients, you don’t have to consume too many before the health benefits become apparent. Studies show that as little as one serving per day is more than enough to maintain good health and even resolve the common cold. If you’re not a fan of toadstools, you can still achieve similar benefits by taking mushroom-based supplements. However, as with all matters involving your health, it is always a good idea to speak with a physician or nutritionist before making any significant changes to your diet.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE INCLUDING TOADSTOOLS IN YOUR DIET
Assuming that you’re not allergic, toadstools are generally safe to consume. However, women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant are encouraged to avoid raw toadstools as they may jeopardize the health of their baby. Also, individuals with autoimmune disorders, hypotension, and blood clotting disorders like Factor V Leiden, for example, should avoid them as well.
In summation, mushrooms for skin care is a viable treatment for those who have a desire to improve the appearance and health of their skin. Also, there is more than enough scientific data to substantiate many of the claims being made them. However, consumers should still to do their due diligence and choose the best product for their skin type. It is also a good idea to speak with your physician or dermatologist regarding any concerns that you may have with mushrooms for skin care.