Mushrooms as Active Ingredients
Eastern medicine’s holistic approach to health and beauty exemplifies the “beauty from the inside out” philosophy—with special attention paid to powerful superfoods such as reishi, shiitake, maitake, and tremella mushrooms. They’ve long been prized for their medicinal properties and used in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Tibetan herbology for centuries. Consider adding them to your daily diet—and even your skincare routine—for an extra beauty boost.
Reishi (known as the “elixir of immortality”) is arguably the most prized medicinal mushroom in Asia, renowned for its potent healing and anti-aging properties. Though reishi is traditionally consumed in tea or as an extract, it’s becoming an increasingly popular beauty ingredient as well. This rejuvenating reishi-rich mask is a great skin pick-me-up after a long-haul flight.
Shiitake mushrooms are a staple of Japanese cuisine, notable for their antibacterial effect while providing a boost to the immune system. In the beauty department, this Vitamin D–rich mushroom is also a great skin ally. Plump up your dehydrated and jet-lagged skin with this fragrant shiitake aromatic mist that doubles as a wonderful hotel room freshener.
Maitake, the “King of Mushrooms,” is native to Japan (as well as North America) and another staple of Japanese and Chinese herbology. It’s known for its ability to enhance the immune system and is loaded with minerals (potassium, calcium, and magnesium), vitamins (B, D, and Niacin), and antioxidants; it’s an all-around nutritional and beauty powerhouse. Try this rich maitake cream—packed with four other medicinal fungi—as a pre-flight treatment or an after-sun moisturizer.
Tremella mushrooms, also known as silver ear mushrooms, have been cultivated in China since the 19th century, earning a spot as one of the most popular Chinese medicinal and culinary mushrooms. It’s mostly enjoyed as a dessert (used in a sweet tasting soup called luk mei) but it’s also prized as an anti-aging skin tonic. This eco-friendly Korean cream combines the moisturizing properties of tremella with the rejuvenating properties of propolis for a soothing balm.