Mushrooms in Skincare: Everything You Need to Know 

Photo: Eduardo A. Esquivel Rios via Wikimedia Commons; Edit by

Once found only in alternative health stores and on top of pizza, the humble mushroom is now taking over the beauty scene. As it turns out, fungi really are fantastic—with a whole slew of science-backed benefits for skin and overall wellness. Keep reading to discover the magic of the mushroom, including the benefits of fungi for skin and our favorite mushroom skincare products to add to your routine.

How long have mushrooms been used in skincare?

While use of fungi in health and beauty routines is only recently catching on in the West, the magic of mushrooms has been well-known for centuries in Asia. Reishi and cordyceps mushrooms, for example, have been used for their healing and restorative properties in traditional Chinese medicines for years. Today, mushrooms are gaining traction in Western wellness spaces thanks to their adaptogenic properties—many varieties of mushrooms are said to help the body regulate stress, balance hormones, and reduce inflammation.

What are the skincare benefits of mushrooms?

Applied topically to skin, mushrooms can have a host of benefits, including hydration, anti-aging, nourishing, soothing, and brightening. (Kojic acid, a well-known brightening ingredient, is found in shiitake mushrooms.) Of the roughly 14,000 varieties of mushrooms, many have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits that may help to target the root cause of skin issues like fine lines, wrinkles, dullness, and redness: oxidative stress spurred by environmental stressors. Other types of fungi, like the tremella or snow mushroom, are powerful hydrators that can hold up to 500 times their weight in water.

Our favorite mushroom-powered skincare picks

Image courtesy of HerbivoreHerbivore Cloud Jelly Plumping Hydration Serum, $48

Touted as nature’s alternative to hyaluronic acid, the tremella mushroom in this non-sticky hydrating serum draws water into skin to help visibly smooth and plump.

Image courtesy of FarmacyFarmacy Better Daze Ahead, $68

With a satisfying cushion-like texture, Farmacy’s Better Daze Ahead helps to soothe redness and irritation with an all-star lineup of adaptogens—including reishi mushroom.

Image courtesy of BeautyStatBeautyStat Universal Pro-Bio Moisture Boost Cream, $50

This lighter-than-air moisturizer helps skin become less sensitive and more resilient to environmental stressors, thanks to Ganoderma—an ancient ferment extract derived from a rare mushroom.

Image courtesy of Moon JuiceMoon Juice Plump Jelly Hydrating Serum, $58

This moisture-boosting serum uses two types of mushroom—tremella and reishi—to bind water to skin and help protect against external stressors.

Image courtesy of HolifrogHolifrog Sunnyside C Glow Serum, $68

A power-packed brightening treatment with vitamin C, tranexamic acid, and niacinamide, all boosted by a medley of mushrooms that keep skin healthy, happy, and hydrated.