October 15th marks National Mushroom Day, and here at Kat Burki, we’ve got a thing for mycology. In fact, reishi mushrooms are a highlighted ingredient in our top-selling product, the Vitamin C Intensive Face Cream, as well as our Form Control Marine Collagen Gel.
So what is reishi, and why are we so fond of putting mushrooms in our skincare? We’re here to demystify this fascinating fungi. While foraging for these fellows may be trendy right now, they’re an ingredient to invest in for the future.
What is reishi?
Reishi is a mushroom that is found in both Eastern Asia and North America. Unlike many culinary mushrooms, such as oysters, they can not be easily cultivated, or grown. To get even more technical, they are a type of polypore, meaning that underneath their caps the texture is small pores, similar to ours!
And this goes into skincare?
It definitely sounds odd at first- fungus, logs, pores. But mushrooms, especially reishi, have a rich history of medicinal use, and was one of the most sought-after ingredients in ancient Chinese alternative medicine. Today, it’s highlighted as a key ingredient in skincare and other beauty products, as well as ingestibles, from functional beverages to tinctures and capsules.
So what are the benefits of reishi mushrooms?
Well they weren’t nicknamed “the mushroom of immortality” for nothing. The top benefit these adaptogens provide is a major boost to your immune system. A strong presence of beta-glucans also reduces inflammation, a key cause of many skin concerns such as acne, and helps fight off free radicals and environmental pollutants.
These multi-functional molecules also help your skin retain water, keeping your skin super hydrated. Plus, this hydration works to build and maintain ceramides, part of your skin barrier we discussed in our PH Levels article.
Is that it?
Hardly! We know that hydrated, healthy skin responds better to stressors and environmental pollutants, so really reishi is still boosting your skincare routine long after you use it. We haven’t even started with the benefits if consumed. (TLDR: higher energy levels, improved cholesterol, lower blood pressure).
How do I use it?
Thankfully, reishi already plays a starring role in two of our best-selling products, the Vitamin C Intensive Face Cream and our Form Control Marine Collagen Gel. When you think of all the benefits Vitamin C provides (more on that here), you can see why it’s a match made in mushroom heaven!
Now all there’s left to do is open your jar, or press your pump, and know that you’re getting all the benefits we discussed here with every application. Happy National Mushroom Day!