Most people these days are aware of the many Asian mushroom varieties. We know they taste great in our ramen, and we’re aware that shiitake mushrooms nutrition is a not so well-kept secret. You might even have some fresh ones in the fridge, or dried ones in the pantry.
But what you might not know is that mushroom skincare is a real thing, and there are some pretty impressive shiitake mushroom benefits for skin. Here’s what you need to know.
Dermatological Use of Mushrooms?
The first thing you need to know is that mushrooms have benefits for the skin when take internally (yum!) and when applied topically.
In fact, mushrooms have been getting a lot of attention on the health front lately. There’s a lot of emerging evidence that mushrooms have anti-cancer properties, as well as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. They even have anti inflammatory properties, and there are studies that show they are even useful in treating and controlling diabetes!
Since many of those conditions can also have an impact on your skin, eating mushrooms for face improvements is already a good start. But mushroom skincare and even mushroom makeup are fast gaining dedicated fans.
Anti-Aging Properties of Mushrooms?
They’re delicious and the do amazing things for your body when you eat them. It’s almost not fair that the hits just keep coming – but they do.
In yet another study into the nutritional and health wonder that is the mushroom, researchers found that they have higher ergothioneine (ERGO) and glutathione (GSH) than any other vegetables measured. These antioxidants have been directly linked to slowing the aging process.
So, according to the science, eating and using more mushroom based products will help to slow the aging process down. Even better? You don’t have to eat a bucketful of mushrooms to get the benefit. In fact, researchers found that eating just five button mushrooms a day was enough to get all that antioxidant goodness!
Different Kinds of Mushrooms
There are over 14,000 identified species of mushroom in the world, but only a few that we routinely eat and use. Many mushrooms are highly toxic, which is why it’s never a good idea to pick your own mushrooms unless you are an expert.
Some of the mushrooms you might be used to eating include:
- Button mushrooms
- Cremini mushrooms
- Portobello mushrooms
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Maitake mushrooms
- Oyster mushrooms
- Enoki mushrooms
- Beech mushrooms
- King trumpet mushrooms
- Black trumpet mushrooms
- Hedgehog mushrooms
There are of course many other species of mushroom out there, but these are the ones you are most likely to be familiar with. Some of these common types of mushrooms are cultivated, but some are still harvested from the wild.
How to Use Mushrooms
There are many ways to use mushrooms – in the kitchen and out!
Mushrooms can be eaten raw, in salads and similar, or they can be marinated and preserved for later. Be careful though, because some mushrooms can cause allergic reactions, so if you’re trying a new type, moderation is key!
Cooking mushrooms is another great way to enjoy mushrooms, and there are many ways to do this! From grilling to sautéing to roasting and frying, in soups, stews or on their own. Mushrooms are a delicious addition to many different dishes!
Mushrooms can also be dried, which intensifies their flavor and preserves them for later. Soak in water to rehydrate before you use them!
Since mushrooms are good for your skin from the inside as well as the outside, it’s a good idea to use them both ways. But even if you hate the taste of mushrooms, there are still options to explore. Many health food stores sell mushroom capsules that you can take without ever getting that familiar shroomy taste!
Finally, there’s mushrooms for skincare. Mushroom skincare products have really exploded over the past couple of years, and you’ll find everything from recipes for homemade types of mushroom face creams to high end consumer products all over the internet.
Benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms for the Skin
There are several types of mushrooms with proven benefits for the skin, but it’s worth a special mention of shiitake mushroom benefits for skin. This is especially true because shiitake mushrooms are affordable and relatively easy to come by. So even if you want to try out a few homemade treatments before you invest in expensive mushroom face creams, you can get them quite easily, but by visiting the grocery store!
Some of the known benefits of shiitake mushrooms for your skin include:
- Antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Free radicals and inflammation can cause havoc with your skin and are linked to conditions like rosacea and others. The right kinds of mushrooms can help to lower inflammation and make red, irritated skin look smoother and healthier.
- The same properties in shiitake mushrooms helps your skin to regenerate and heal. So, if you have scars or skin damage, mushroom face creams containing shiitake mushrooms can help.
- Shiitake mushrooms also contain Kojic acid, which is a natural lightener and brightener of the skin. This is particularly useful if you have hard spots or age spots on your skin, or you just want to freshen up your complexion.
- Kojic acid can also help to fade and heal acne scars, so if you suffered from acne in the past, shiitake mushroom face creams can help to even out your skin tone.
Shiitake mushrooms aren’t the only ones that are great for your skin. Maitake and tremella, among others, also have amazing health properties for your skin, so it’s worth exploring your options, depending on the condition you hope to treat.
Types of Mushroom Products for the Skin
If you prefer all-natural approach to skincare, there are recipes and tips online that you can use to make your own mushroom based skincare products. But there are also some great options on the shelves. These include:
- Waters and rinses, which dissolve mushrooms and other ingredients in a thin, watery liquid that you can use as a rinse
- Serums, which are thicker, more concentrated products that are used sparingly to put the intense goodness of mushrooms on your skin
- Eye serums, which are more delicate formulations that are safe to use close to your eyes
- Cleansing gels, which put the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant powers of mushrooms to maximum use
- Masks, which might also include the lightening properties of shiitake mushrooms
- Lotions, mousses, and creams which combine the skin benefits of mushrooms with other ingredients to moisturize and protect your skin
As you can see, while shiitake mushroom nutrition is definitely a selling point, it’s by far not the only health benefit these and other mushrooms have to offer.
Researchers are only starting to scratch the surface of shiitake mushroom benefits for skin, but so far, it’s all good. So next time you’re searching for a product that will revolutionize your skincare routine, consider a mushroom face cream. There are even mushroom makeup products on the market, so you can get all the good stuff plus some funky color! We do love a multitasker.