Mushrooms are some of the most versatile organisms on the planet. While we may know them best for their delicious flavors, mushrooms, or fungi, actually contain health-boosting properties that support a wide range of bodily functions. Recent data suggests that the benefits of fungi and their active constituents may elevate skin health, while the elusive belowground parts of fungi may support the health of nature.
Benefits of Fungi for Skin Health
Let’s start with a quick biology summary. Fungi are organisms that consist of aboveground and below ground parts. The filamentous networks that reside in soil are called mycelium, and the mushrooms that we see growing on logs during a brisk autumn walk are called “fruiting bodies.” While mycelium contains some beneficial properties, the fruiting bodies are packed full of therapeutic constituents that support the mushroom, its ecosystem, and humans.
One of the most prominent benefits of fungi is their ability to support the skin. Many species of mushrooms contain active constituents that not only soothe puffy and red skin but also encourage an even skin tone and support the skin’s natural collagen production. Since our collagen production decreases as we age, it’s important to provide the skin with external support. Adding therapeutic mushrooms to skin care products, like Klur Immersion and Sculpture A, can elevate the skin’s health and provide protection against harmful external factors.
Along with the physical support mushrooms give to humans, fungi are also an integral part of the earth’s ecosystems. Mycelium fungi networks penetrate deep into the earth’s soil and pull up nitrogen for plant roots in exchange for the carbon that fungi need to survive. It’s an amicable trade that keeps plants and trees happy and benefits all parties involved. Mycelium also acts as a communication system for plants and trees, connecting their roots so they can pass along nutrients or warn their colony of an impending threat like damaging bugs or drought.
Fungi play a highly important role in maintaining a healthy earth, and given the opportunity, they can do the same for us. Below are some of our favorite therapeutic mushrooms that have been used for skin care and physical health in ancient cultures for millennia.
The “Mushroom of Immortality.” Known as “Lingzhi” in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), reishi mushrooms have been cherished for centuries due to their health-preserving properties that promote longevity. Along with their adaptogenic nature, which balances the stress response and soothes stress-related health issues, scientific observations have recently discovered that reishi can support skin quality and ease the effects of harmful skin conditions. This is partly attributed to reishi’s high beta-glucan content, a polysaccharide or long sugar chain that’s present in most therapeutic mushrooms. Beta-glucans, along with antioxidant constituents, prevent bacteria from causing breakouts on the surface of skin and ease topical irritations. Reishi also contains the powerful element, selenium, which firms the appearance of skin and protects it from damaging sun rays.
This white, coral-shaped “snow fungus,” also called “The Fountain of Youth,” is highly revered for its immune-supporting and anti-aging properties. Like reishi, tremella has long been used in TCM, specifically for its therapeutic activity that supports skin health. When used in skin care, the antioxidant properties in tremella mushrooms act as a natural tool for graceful aging, and the polysaccharide content supports the skin barrier while locking in moisture for maintained hydration and a dewy glow. You might find tremella in moisturizing serums that help naturally improve damaged skin pigmentation.
Popularly known as “Hen of the Wood,” maitake mushrooms also carry health-boosting polysaccharides and are known for having some of the highest levels of antioxidant constituents. While they’re highly prized as a culinary treat, they can also support skin health by combating stress-causing molecules and soothing redness and irritation. In addition, maitake mushrooms may offer balance from harmful molecules that damage collagen-producing skin cells, providing a platform for skin to age gracefully. Maitake can be found in products that support skin cell rejuvenation and skin elasticity.
Since the scientific data on fungi’s skin-supporting benefits was released, there’s been an influx of skin care products that include therapeutic mushrooms. While having options can be helpful, it’s important to keep ethics and sustainability in mind when hunting for the right product for you. If we support fungi, they will be happy to support us in return.
The ultra-hydrating Klur Immersion serum was created with moisture in mind. With the protective and nourishing support from reishi’s beta-glucans and essential nutrients like B vitamins and vitamin E, this serum keeps dehydration at bay while it locks in moisture. The result is consistent hydration for skin that looks balanced, radiant, and plump.
Klur Sculpture A brings synergy and balance to all layers of skin. Featuring reishi, rosehip, vitamin E, and other supportive botanical ingredients, this overnight enrichment cream works wonders to restore the integrity of skin, replenish moisture, and soothe skin-aging irritations. The functional peptides in this luxurious cream encourage collagen production and corrects visible signs of aging.
The benefits of fungi are numerous and skin care products are recently catching on to their health-boosting properties. If used correctly and sustainably, therapeutic mushrooms may elevate the way we take care of our skin; however, it’s important to be conscious about the manner in which these mushrooms are harvested and used in products.
Being respectful of all fungi species is the foundation of what could continue to be a wonderful relationship with these incredible organisms.
If these functional organisms and products have piqued your interest, visit our articles Sculpture + A: Form and Correct Overnight Enrichment Creme and Antioxidants - A Daily Skin Essential to learn more.