(NaturalNews) Mushrooms are an often overlooked source of skin-loving nutrition because of their status as a member of the nightshade family which gives some a negative association with the fungus. While it is true that some mushrooms can contain trace organic toxins and should be moderately consumed, there are also some compelling medicinal benefits for the skin that must be considered.
Topical use of mushroom extracts yield impressive results on skin
Several types of mushrooms are used in topical creams, serums and facial preparations as anti-aging ingredients. The extracts are often cited as potent antioxidants and natural moisturizers which can also help to naturally brighten the skin, lighten age spots and even out the overall skin tone.
Topical applications of mushrooms such as maitake, shitake, tremella and others are used extensively for their various skin-beautifying qualities. They make an exotic addition to comprehensive skin care products because they can offer a slightly different set of absorbable nutrients than other typical ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin E and all of the other usual suspects.
Hydrate and plump skin with this mushroom
Tremella mushrooms are a unique looking fungi that is commonly harvested for Asian cuisine as well as for medicinal use. It sprouts from the sides of dead trees and fallen branches and looks almost like a living plant of the sea with its almost translucent flower-like gelatinous appearance. The mushroom contains a polysaccharide which is able to hydrate and plump the skin better than hyaluronic acid.
Hyaluronic acid is our body's natural "internal skin moisturizer" that fills out, plumps up and firms our skin thereby keeping it free of wrinkles, fine lines and depressions typically associated with age. This mushroom also happens to be high in vitamin D. Topically applied vitamin D has shown impressive healing abilities when applied to acne lesions, so this is another potential use for tremella extract in skincare.
Kojic acid acts as a natural skin lightener
Several mushroom varieties contain kojic acid, which is renowned as a skin lightener. It is useful as a natural alternative to dangerous and often toxic chemical skin lighteners such as hydroquinone which has been linked to skin cancer.
This acid has been added to creams, lotions and serums as a remedy for common aging complaints such as liver spots, age spots, discolorations and uneven skin tone that are often caused by photo damage. Kojic acid is supposed to help inhibit melanin production on the surface of treated skin, thereby lightening the new skin cells that form after the dead ones are exfoliated.
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties protect skin
Several types of mushrooms contain antioxidants as well as compounds which have anti-inflammatory properties. This can be important for skin of any type as many common skin problems are caused by inflammation and damage caused by excessive free radical activity.
Skin conditions such as eczema, rosacea and acne are caused by inflammation. These conditions can be greatly helped by topical use of natural compounds that promote healing and fight inflammation. Since several varieties of mushrooms offer these types of properties, products infused with these extracts may be able to calm these types of skin conditions as well.
About the author: Danna Norek founded AuraSensory.com. Product line includes an MSM & Vitamin C Ester Hydrating & Brightening Face Cream and all natural plumping Hyaluronic Acid Serum (greatly increases skin's moisture retention), Sulfate Free Natural Shine Enhancing Shampoo and Deep Hydration Conditioner, a very effective natural deodorant, and other body care. Visit to learn more about what chemicals & ingredients to avoid in your beauty and personal care products at AuraSensory.com .