TREND: Mushrooms Emerge from Underground

Shrooms Bloom in Beauty

Non-trippy mushrooms, which have played a starring role in traditional Eastern medicine for many millennia, are now getting overdue global recognition as equally “magic” functional foods—and beauty aisles are experiencing a great mushroom invasion.

They’ve long been a key component in Asian beauty products, and now mushrooms are hitting global skincare, cosmetic and haircare lines for their unique powers as super-hydrators, antioxidants that repair skin cells, collagen boosters and skin tone eveners.

The chaga mushroom is a natural antioxidant and anti-irritant with zinc and melanin, which helps repair skin cells and eliminates free radicals that cause wrinkles; Chinese cordyceps is known for creating cellular energy necessary for the skin’s protective barrier; and tremella mushrooms are prized for their antioxidant and deep hydrating benefits.

There are too many mushroom-infused beauty products to name:

  • Dr. Andrew Weil’s “Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Collection” blends chaga, reishi and more.
  • Korean beauty companies have been pioneers in the use of mushrooms as a skin elixir, and tremella extract is found in K-beauty brands like Earth’s Recipe lotions and potions.
  • Makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury’s products use shiitake mushrooms in their ingredient “Fermiprotect,” which appears in products such as her Magic Foundation.
  • Kerstin Florian’s Correcting Brightening Facial Treatment is loaded with Chinese mushrooms to attack skin inflammation and hyperpigmentation.
  • Hair care is mushroom-powered, such as ANUVA’s Tonifying Shampoo with reishi or Beauty 4 Ashes’ Maitake Healthy Hair Growth Shampoo.
  • And there is an entire “Mushroom Collection” from Prana Spaceuticals.

As the medical evidence piles up that a whole spectrum of new-to-many “regular” mushrooms are magical for health, a new profusion of shrooms—whether antioxidant chaga or tremella—will get infused into more beauty products.

Forecasting The Future

Mycelium, the invisible root network for mushrooms, is our Earth’s oldest and largest organism and a form of intelligence living right beneath our feet. Far too few people comprehend mushrooms’ extraordinary potential uses because their story is just starting to get told. (Scientists estimate only 5 percent of the 1.5 million fungi species have been identified.)

Much experimentation with mushroom wellness will continue to happen on so many fronts. Designers are even making eco-friendly clothing out of fungi and working on how mushrooms could create the light, biodegradable homes of the future.

The trend will be driven by mounting evidence that a whole spectrum of mushrooms are magical for health, so an explosion of mushrooms (from reishi to cordyceps) will get worked into many more functional foods and drinks. And a new profusion of shrooms, whether antioxidant chaga or tremella, will keep getting infused into more beauty products.

We predict that mushrooms will not be a superfood or beauty trend du jour. There’s lots of activity, such as Moon Juice’s brand-new and first-ever skincare collection, Beauty Shroom, that is heavy on adaptogenic mushrooms and packed with varieties such as silver ear mushroom and reishi.

As Dr. Andrew Weil noted, “Mushrooms fill niches for which we don’t have anything in western pharmacology.” We are just at the tip of the iceberg with this (far too long) underground force.

This is an excerpt from the TRENDIUM, a bi-weekly communication exploring the wellness trends identified in the 2018 Global Wellness Trends Report.
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