Ingredient focus

Ingredient in focus: mushrooms

{Mushrooms} are like marmite – your nose either wrinkles at the sight of them, or you instantly envisage a creamy risotto showered in parmesan. But worry not – we’re not here to cause a household argument over what’s for dinner – we’re exploring just how mushroom these fungi actually deserve in our skin care arsenal. 

Mushrooms are jam-packed with antioxidants to protect against free radical damage caused by sun exposure and pollution. They also help to reduce redness and irritation, which – when combined with powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients also found in the humble ‘shroom – leaves skin feeling soothed, strong and looking fresh, helping to ease conditions like acne and eczema. Fungi are even loaded with skin-savvy vitamins. B3 in particular – which you might know as {niacinamide} – is a mushroom major, calming inflammation, brightening the skin, preventing hyperpigmentation, boosting collagen and boosting hydration. With ceramides aplenty (essentials for a healthy skin barrier), mushrooms simply lock in moisture and keep the bad stuff out.

With {maskne} on the rise, blemishes are entering the scene in a big way. Luckily, we know a fungi who can help: the superior snow mushroom. Retaining up to 5000 times its weight in water, it’s earnt itself a comparison (and then some!) to the Holy Grail ingredient of skin care: {hyaluronic acid}. It boasts smaller particles than its acidic twin, penetrating skin more easily and leaving it soft, smooth and dewy. A hydration powerhouse, it also helps to lighten hyperpigmentation and old acne scars by reducing the production of melanin – rivalling yet another popular industry favourite, {vitamin C}.

Then there’s the shiitake mushroom – a popular stir-fry ingredient, but an even better skin care one when it comes to fighting inflammation, thanks to its vitamin D and the mineral selenium. Along with oyster mushrooms, these are also bursting with kojac acid, which is known for its brightening abilities. (Shine bright like a… mushroom?)

So, yes, mushrooms have multiple skin care benefits. In fact, one might call them magic – they’re anti-aging, detoxifying, hydrating and brightening. We’ll take a plate of stir-fried mushrooms with a side of smaller pores and glowy skin any day, please…


Beauty giant {Laura Mercier} uses the snow mushroom in their {Flawless Lumiere Radiance Perfecting Foundation}, which (thanks to the snow mushroom) promises to give you fifteen hours of hydration, as well as boost your natural radiance over time, so that you can go make-up-free with confidence.


{Niod’s} {RE: Pigment} addresses hyperpigmentation and uneven tone with the help of white shiitake ferment – a purified bio-derivative that targets the appearance of dark spots within a week of use.


Mushrooms can be ingested for quality health benefits too of course! Our brand-new addition to Cult Beauty, {Four Sigmatic}, offers a wealth of mushroomy coffees and cacaos for a morning brew done right. Enter the {Instant Mushroom Coffee With Lion’s Mane}, packed with lion’s mane and chaga for a tasty coffee without the dreaded jitters or mid-day crash – for clean, focused energy.


{Shiseido’s} {Ultimune Power Infusing Eye Concentrate} uses reishi mushrooms. These are bursting with beta-glucans, which are sugars that can deeply penetrate the skin to relieve dryness and itchiness. They also contain polysaccharides – giving a friendly nudge to the skin’s natural ability to retain moisture.


Humeara Mohamed

Humeara Mohamed

Junior Copywriter

Humeara is a Junior Copywriter at Cult Beauty. A self-professed ‘beauty obsessive’ (no, really, you should see her excessive selection of serums), she can usually be found somewhere rattling on about sunscreens or showering in green eyeshadows. Her other hobbies include knitting, sleeping and walking her saluki through Hampstead Heath.