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A fungus isn’t traditionally considered a good thing, dermatologically speaking, but mushrooms are now saving face – literally.

Mushrooms taste delicious on toast, but these days the edible fungus has moved far beyond the realms of breakfast food, with pills, powders and potions made from fungi popping up in the health and wellness market like, well, mushrooms.

The latest iteration is the most interesting, as mushrooms move into the skincare realm at a rapid pace.

While the Chinese have been tapping into the healing and health-giving properties of mushrooms for thousands of years, it’s taken the rest of the world a bit longer to catch on.

But scientists and others are now making up for lost time with a slew of products, ingestible and topical, to tackle everything that ails us. And that includes average skin.

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There are more than 14,000 varieties of mushrooms, though not all of them come with benefits for humans. But there are a number of key ones that are now commonly associated with beauty and wellness – from chaga, reishi, cordyceps, coprinus, and shiitake to trametes versicolor (or turkey tail), tremella and lion’s mane – each with unique benefits.

Skincare brand Origins was the first to introduce the ingredient into mainstream beauty, in 2005, via its Mega-Mushroom line, created in collaboration with integrative medicine pioneer, Dr Andrew Weil, to try to tackle skin inflammation, which Weil believes is at the core of many skin concerns.

More than 15 years later, the mushroom beauty market is booming, with fungi featuring in everything from serums and shampoos …….


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