Every year in recent history has seen a buzzy ingredient emerge as the reigning queen of the skin-care world. In 2019, it was skin-soothing CBD; In 2020, it was retinol-mimicking bakuchiol; and in 2021, it was inflammation-fighting cica. But these actives have had their moments to shine—both on TikTok and in our beauty cabinets—and according to celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau, now that it's 2022, it's time that they make way for this year's routine ruler: Silver ear mushroom.
Otherwise known as Tremella Fuciformis or "snow mushroom," this ingredient isn't new. It's been a staple in Chinese medicine for centuries, but has only recently started to pop up in readily-available topicals. According to Rouleau, this is for good reason.
The silver ear mushroom is composed of three powerhouse actives that help to nourish your complexion. The first is polyphenol, a potent antioxidant that brightens the skin and fights the free-radical damage that leads to fine lines, wrinkles, and discoloration. Next are triterpenes, known for mediating signs of inflammation. And lastly, there are polysaccharides, which attract and hold moisture. This impressive combination of ingredients strengthens the skin's immune system, soothes irritation and inflammation, and provides hydration.
"Silver ear mushroom is known as the hyaluronic acid of the mushroom world," says Rouleau. The skin-friendly fungi contains five different forms of polysaccharides, which form a flexible film on the skin's surface that can hold up to 500 times its weight in water. Though that may sound less effective than your usual hyaluronic acid (which is famous for its ability 1,000 times its weight in water), because polysaccharide molecules are smaller than HA molecules, they're able to better penetrate your skin, delivering moisture to its deepest levels. These properties give silver ear mushroom its hydrating and plumping benefits, and after using it, you'll likely notice more moisture in your complexion and fewer (or at least, less noticeable) lines and wrinkles.
Ready to try it out for yourself? Shop three mushroom-packed products below.
This skin-quenching serum pairs snow mushroom extract with antioxidant-rich fruit extracts (namely, watermelon and apple) to up its free-radical fighting prowess. If you’re looking for brighter, more hydrated skin, add a pea-sized amount of this product to your a.m. routine and watch it work its wonders.
Snow mushroom is only one of the herculean ingredients included in this formula. It’s also got niacinamide (which fades discoloration, fights inflammation, and regulates oil production), beta glucan (which boosts skin immunity), and phospholipids (which strengthen the skin barrier and boost hydration).
This toner packs a one-two punch of hydration and gentle exfoliation. AHAs work to melt dead skin cells away from the surface of your skin, and snow mushroom, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid work together to keep your complexion moisturized in the process.
To learn about five *other* ingredients that will help hydrate winter skin, check out the video below.
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