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The Magic of Mushrooms

The magnificent mushroom! Hardly a lowly form of fungi, grown in darkness and fed a bunch of bs (remember that one?). The mushroom has been a power player in skincare for thousands of years, possibly as far back as the 3rd century BCE. There are over 15,000 varieties of mushrooms, but today we’ll focus on 4 skin-friendly shrooms popping up in skincare everywhere (including the Euro). Take a look.

Shiitake: Skin Brightener

This well-known mushroom is the third most widely cultivated mushroom in the world. With their smoky rich flavor, they are widely used in culinary dishes.

In skincare: Shiitake mushrooms are a source of kojic acid which is a natural (and safer) substitute for hydroquinone to help lighten hyperpigmentation. (Euro Botanicals Lightening Serum w/Kojic Acid). They are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant which helps protect the skin from environmental damage and reduce the inflammatory effects of conditions like acne, eczema, and rosacea. In Japan, shiitake is called “the anti-aging” mushroom, because of its ability to improve skin vitality and elasticity.

Reishi: Anti-inflammatory & detoxifying

Reishi is considered the oldest herbal mushroom. Its medicinal properties have been used in Asia for over 2,000 years (earliest written reference to this mushroom dates to 221 BCE). It was once reserved for royalty only. The Chinese name for Reishi is written “Ling Zhi” which means “mushroom of immortality”. Reishi extract is listed as an official supplemental cancer treatment in Japan. The red version of the mushroom is considered the best for medicinal purposes. Since it has become more difficult to find in the wild, now most Reishi mushrooms are grown in special grow rooms.

In skincare: Reishi mushrooms are loaded with beta-glucans - natural sugars that penetrate through multiple skin layers to soothe irritation and dryness. (Another super soother, oat enzyme, is high in beta glucans.) These mushrooms also contain polysaccharides, which boost the skin’s ability to retain water.

Reishi mushrooms are highly anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, which is why they show up in skincare formulations for everything from premature aging, to oily and blemish prone skin conditions, sunburns, and rashes. Taken together, these properties make for a super-ingredient that’s a boon for stressed or sensitive skin, leaving it stronger, smoother, and irritation-free. While protecting it against environmental toxins, and other forms of daily damage.

Look for Reishi mushroom extract in EB Multi-Fruit Hydration Gel and Renewal Serum

Chaga: Potent Protector

Chaga grow in some of the coldest climates in the world – Russia, Japan, China, and Korea – places where winters are very harsh and it’s difficult for anything to survive. Their ability to thrive in this climate is what gives them amazing anti-viral properties, used by healers for thousands of years.

In skincare: Chaga may not be the best looking fungus on the block, (they look like lumps of charred ash) but they are super charged with melanin, the compound that determines your skin color and helps protect your skin from UV rays. Chaga tea has been used to regulate melanin production in the body and helps give skin a beautiful glow.

Tremella: Mushroom Moisturizer

Aka the snow mushroom, tremella was the favorite of Chinese royalty for a youthful and glowing complexion. It is still popular in Chinese medicine. It grows on tree trunks and looks like a loofah sponge.

In skincare: Many clinical studies show tremella mushrooms hold up to 500 times their weight in water (like hyaluronic acid) making it excellent for skin hydration. With an ultra-edge: its molecular size is smaller than hyaluronic acid, so it penetrates the skin more easily. Other benefits include lightening hyperpigmentation and scarring by inhibiting melanin production. Some studies indicate they are more effective than vitamin C and kojic acid for skin lightening.


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