What are Reishi Mushrooms
Reishi Mushroom (Ganoderma lucidum) also known as Lingzhi in Chinese or Yeongji in Korean is a reddish brown varnished cap fungus that is commonly found on decaying hardwood trees in temperate and subtropical regions of the world. It has often been coined as the “mushroom of immortality” for centuries due to its adaptogenic and anti-aging properties. Reishi mushrooms have been traditionally used to boost the body’s immune system and improve the body’s resistance against stress to help fight infection and diseases like cancer.
In recent years, Reishi Mushrooms have garnered more interest beyond the scope of internal medicine and culinary wonder. They’ve started to appear in cosmetic formulations as powerful anti-aging ingredients and immune-boosters that bring a host of benefits to the skin. The most important bioactive components found in Reishi Mushrooms that help with age prevention functions include polysaccharides, triterpenes, peptides and polysaccharide peptides.
What are the Benefits of Reishi Mushroom Extract in Skincare
Potent antioxidant properties
It has been proven that long term exposure of the skin in the presence of free radicals accelerates the aging process and speeds up age-related illnesses.Reishi Mushroom Extract contains various skin protective compounds such as polysaccharides, triterpenoids and polyphenols that act as potent antioxidants.The two most powerful antioxidants found in Reishi Mushrooms are Ergothioneine and Glutathione, both which are important in neutralizing the free radicals caused by environmental pollutants and UV radiation to prevent premature signs of aging on the skin.
Beta Glucan, a polysaccharide (multi-chain sugar molecule) that is found naturally in the the cell walls of Reishi Mushroom is a humectant that provides deep hydration benefits to the skin. Studies have shown that Beta Glucan has 20% more hydrating abilities when compared to Hyaluronic Acid at the same concentration. This makes Reishi Mushroom Extract a good option for those with dry, rough, or cracked skin to help lock hydration and prevent moisture loss, making the skin feel more supple.
Rich with anti-inflammatory properties
When persistent and chronic inflammation occurs in the body, our skin’s defense system has to work overtime to compensate for the constant bombardment to our immune system. What does working overtime usually lead to? Exhaustion! When our skin’s defense system is ultimately exhausted, we’ll start to see weakening of the skin structure that results in collagen and elastin breakdown. Ultimately, we’ll end up with an impaired skin barrier function.
Reishi Mushroom Extract is an ingredient that is rich in triterpenoids and there are 150 types that have been discovered so far! Triterpenoids are compounds that contain a high amount of anti-inflammatory properties that can help combat redness and puffiness, the two most undesirable symptoms caused by inflammation in the skin. The rich anti-inflammatory properties found in Reishi Mushroom Extract makes it a great ingredient for those struggling with skin inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
Helps reduce hyperpigmentation and discolouration
Kojic acid derived from mushrooms has been known to play a role in skin lightening and brightening. Reishi Mushroom, however, has a natural triterpenoid known as Ganodermanondiol that can effectively prevent the production of melanin (skin pigments) by inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase, a melanin-producing enzyme. By preventing the activity of tyrosinase, Reishi Mushroom Extract can help fade scars and reduce hyperpigmentation on the skin.
How to use Reishi Mushroom Extract in My Skincare Routine
Ok, now that we have talked about all the amazing benefits of Reishi Mushroom Extract, what are some ways that you can incorporate Reishi Mushroom Extract in your skincare routine?
The effectiveness of using Reishi Mushroom Extract on your skin is really dependent on the concentration of the extract and how much of the ingredient is in the product that you use. Therefore, first and foremost, reading the label is important. It is common that most manufacturers do not openly state the concentration of the ingredient on the ingredient list. However, finding products with Reishi Mushroom Extract on the top 5 ingredients within the Ingredient list would be a good start to know what you are getting from the products that you have chosen to use.
Reishi Mushroom Extract can be found in forms of serums and moisturizers. It is safe to be used twice a day and be applied to the skin from thinnest to thickest consistency for best absorption.Those with sensitive skin will be happy to know that Reishi Mushroom Extract works well for all skin types, provided that you are not allergic to mushrooms. Last, but not least, a gentle reminder that it is important to always do a patch test before applying any products to the skin.
Not sure what would be a good product with Reishi Mushroom Extract to start with? You might like to check out the Skin Barrier Reishi Serum recently released by Vegreen. It’s a lightweight fragrance-free serum that is packed with a choke full of three different mushroom extracts, and Reishi Mushroom Extract as its largest component. It is easy to apply and absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving any residue, an instant boost of hydration for the skin.
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