Remember how mum used to practically force feed you snow fungus soups because it supposedly gave you fair, glowing skin? Well, turns out she might have been on to something all along, because snow mushrooms, or tremella fuciformis is the latest buzz skincare ingredient in the west, and we’re 100% here for it.
The snow mushroom or ‘yin er’ (silver ear) has been a staple ingredient in Asian medicine and skincare for thousands of years (just ask grandma), dating back to the time of the imperial Tang dynasty (713 – 756 AD) where concubine Yang Guifei (one of China’s four famed beauties) reportedly credited regular consumption of the fungus as the secret behind her youthful appearance. But it isn’t just another old wives’ tale – the reason why we consume so much of it in Asia is because snow mushrooms actually have the ability to boost skin hydration when taken orally, so imagine the benefits of applying it topically.
The reason why it’s so good for your skin lies in its unique gelatinous structure. Combined with the existing high levels of polysaccharide molecules, the snow mushroom extract works in a way that is similar to one of the most well-known hydrating ingredients in the beauty world: Hyaluronic acid. The fungus actually pulls moisture into the skin just like hyaluronic acid, which as you know has the ability to hold up to 1,000 times in weight in water. However, snow mushrooms have an edge over regular old hyaluronic acid: The particles are smaller and therefore, can penetrate your skin more easily.
Also, unlike traditional hyaluronic acids used in skincare products, snow mushroom extract is completely natural, meaning it’s better for your skin. If you need even more convincing, snow mushrooms also offer a host of anti-inflammatory benefits and antioxidant properties that accelerate skin repair and overall health. There have even been studies that show snow mushroom extract inhibits melanin production, although more research is needed in this area before we can safely assume it as an effective ingredient for skin brightening.
Nevertheless, it is undeniable that as an effective hydrator, the snow mushroom definitely packs a punch. If your skin has been lacking luster of late, here are some products featuring this fungal all-star that you can easily incorporate into your regime.
Volition Beauty snow mushroom water serum, USD$62
Featuring a cocktail of nutrient-rich ingredients like our superstar fungus, marine sea water and oodles of antioxidants (vitamins C, B5 and A) derived from watermelon, apple and even lentils, this serum helps to protect skin against environmental nasties while reducing shine and minimizing the appearance of pores. Skin is left hydrated, radiant and soft after just 10 days of use.
Joanna Vargas euphoria mask, USD$75 (for 5)
If you have sensitive skin in need of some TLC, this mask is definitely for you. Made from soft bamboo, the mask is packed with powerful anti-inflammatory botanicals like snow mushroom, aloe vera and chamomile that soothe, hydrate and repair stressed out skin.
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare alpha beta pore perfecting cleansing gel, USD$74.67
Wash away the day’s grime with this soap-free cleanser that uses Dr. Dennis’ signature alpha and beta hydroxy acids to simultaneously cleanse and exfoliate your skin. The gel formula features snow mushroom extract to keep your skin moisturised while willow bark, farnesol and barosma betullina unclogs pores and lifts away bacteria and makeup.
Kypris Beauty glow philtre, USD$89.08
Achieve your smoothest skin yet with this gentle enzyme exfoliator that helps to soften and prep skin for makeup while leaving your skin super radiant. Suitable even for sensitive skin, this exfoliator combines enzymes from pomegranate with sea fennel, sea algae and snow mushrooms extract to gently resurface your skin while keeping it hydrated.