Reishi Mushroom Benefits for Skin
Like popular diets, embarrassing fashion trends, and the weather, skincare fads come and go. Many people are getting frustrated by existing treatments for common skin problems because they are often practiced without due respect for research, evidence, or fact-checking.
With this sad truth in mind, what about a skin treatment that has some solid evidence backing it up but has also been a popular remedy for centuries?
Say hello to the reishi mushroom. If you’ve been fighting with your skin for too long – and if you could use a more holistic boost to your health while you’re at it – this innocuous herb could be your golden ticket. Scroll down to see how!
What Are Reishi Mushrooms?
The reishi, which is also known by its Chinese name lingzhi, is a mushroom species cultivated for thousands of years. Native to humid forests all over Asia and parts of Europe, the mushroom is easily identified through its appearance – it grows in the form of broad red discs with no gills on the underside.
In ancient times, the reishi was selected as an herbal remedy for its natural healing properties (it had been used before as a cooking ingredient, like many other medicinal mushrooms).
Over the years, studies have confirmed the vast abilities of this fungus to improve our health. These range from cancer prevention to immune-boosting powers, and the reishi has also been shown to regulate moods and prevent depression and anxiety from setting in.
Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms for Skin
The benefits of the reishi for our skin health are of particular interest to many researchers. In antiquity, the Chinese and Japanese would apply mushroom extracts made from reishi topically to treat skin disorders like eczema or psoriasis.
Today, we have a better scientific understanding of how these processes work. The reishi mushroom can improve the quality of our skin by fighting infections, promoting the development of healthy cells, and through many other means.
Below, you’ll find a quick overview of some of the reishi’s most notable benefits for skin health.
The beta-glucans found in reishi mushrooms are natural moisturizers. They also reduce itchiness and other forms of irritation, helping to clear up and smoothen the skin.
By activating a stronger immune response and stimulating the replacement and growth of new cells. This includes the skin, of course, but the benefits of reduced inflammation affect all organs and areas of the body, from the liver to the heart and the brain.
In ancient times, the reishi mushroom was also known by a particularly grand moniker – The Mushroom of Immortality. This is because as early as 3,000 years ago, practitioners of traditional Eastern medicine realized that those who regularly consumed reishi did not just live longer but looked younger.
This effect is real, and it is due to the exceptional concentration of anti-oxidants in reishi mushrooms.
Strengthen Skin Protection
The reishi mushroom does not just make your skin look more fresh and young momentarily. It can also fight the onset of further skin complications in the future. For example, reishi has been shown to be effective in preventing acne and eczema episodes, especially in patients genetically prone to outbreaks.
The aforementioned antioxidants in reishi mushrooms do not just help you stay young; they also flush your system of toxins holistically. This takes a load off the liver and improves the functioning of many areas of your body, including the cardiovascular system.
While detoxing is not a skin health regimen per se, your skin can and will look outwardly more radiant and cleaner if your body is operating more healthily from the inside out.
Reishi Mushroom Benefits for Skin Lightening
Extracts and products based on reishi mushrooms have been used as topically-applied skin creams for hundreds of years. When used this way, a powerful benefit is the reishi’s ability to lighten areas of skin damaged (or prone to damage) by scars, dark spots, unsightly freckles, or birthmarks.
Reishi Mushroom Extract for Skin
The reishi is one of a class of herbs known as adaptogens. This is to say that they affect how our body’s internal stress response plays out, usually at a cellular or molecular level. Adaptogenic mushrooms like reishi might affect hormone levels, the content of certain chemicals such as cortisol in the blood, and more.
This all has a net positive effect on our skin. Stress plays a large role in the appearance of skin blemishes of all kinds. By moderating how our body handles stress, adaptogenic mushrooms like the reishi can dramatically improve our well-being.
Reishi for Face Skin
The face is the part of our body that we tend to treat with the highest amount of care – perhaps not surprisingly, as it is also the part that we use to interact with others the most and is consequently very easily judged.
When problems with facial skin arise, they can often cause a crisis. Nobody wants to have to deal with skin blemishes like these, whether it’s just a small zit or a full-blown rash.
This is where a care regimen including reishi mushrooms can really work wonders. Reishi can help you fight the most common skin issues much more easily by detoxifying, clearing, and energizing the skin.
Reishi Seed Oil for Skin
One popular way of using reishi mushrooms is reishi seed oil extracts for skin health. These can be found as topical creams, tinctures, or even in the form of edible dietary supplements.
The oils are usually extracted from a live reishi specimen to retain all of its various nutritional and health benefits.
Reishi Spore Oil for Skin
The almost miracle-working powers of the reishi are not random – in fact, they can be traced down to precise origins within the mushroom’s active ingredients. Looking at the structure of reishi spore oil, we can see that it is loaded with lots of healthy fats and acids.
For example, the ganodermic acids R and S, which are unique to the reishi and some related species of fungus, have anti-bacterial and immune-boosting properties, preventing infections and helping skin damage and wounds heal better.
Reishi Tincture for Skin
Tinctures, which can be applied topically or added in little drops to food or beverages, are an excellent way to benefit from the reishi mushroom’s impressive skin health benefits conveniently.
Adding reishi to your diet goes far beyond making your skin look plain ‘nicer’. The fungus radically acts on almost every area of your system to reduce inflammation, fight infections, strengthen the immune system, eliminate stressors, and more.
Side Effects of Reishi Mushrooms
Considering the significant effects of the reishi mushroom on our skin’s appearance and our health, you might be wondering whether there are any side effects or risks worth taking into account.
The truth is that no dietary supplement is 100% safe, and the same goes for the reishi. However, compared to purely synthetic products, reishi mushrooms should pose far less trouble for most.
Because of their anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating effects, reishi mushrooms are not prone to causing allergic reactions. Even people with sensitive skin, or conditions such as contact dermatitis, should only have trouble using reishi in exceedingly rare cases.
However, pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised to consult with their doctor before adding reishi to their diet. While no risks of the mushroom are officially known, its safety in this context hasn’t been fully established yet.
How to Use
There are many ways to improve your skin health by using reishi mushrooms.
For treating localized skin problems, a topical application – at least once or twice a day – will probably be the most effective.
If you are using a reishi mushroom serum, apply after using a cleanser of your choice, but before any moisturizing creams or masks. Hence, if your reishi mushroom extract is cream-based, use it only after cleansing and serums but before other creams and masks.
There are many dosages and kinds of products to choose from, including the powders mentioned above, tablets, whole mushrooms, and various extracts.
No matter what you select, remember to check the labeling of each product to make sure that it contains and was harvested from 100% organic, whole mushrooms.
Some cost-cutting varieties are based on artificially-grown mushroom cultures, which do not retain the same amounts of nutrients and health-boosting ingredients as whole mushrooms do.
Best Products With Reishi Mushrooms
Ultimately, your personal preference plays a huge role when choosing a reishi mushroom product. Today's market is relatively dense and concentrated, which can make a healthy buying decision tricky at times.
However, by writing down and sticking to a list of priorities, you should come out on top without much hassle.
However, to give you an idea of what an excellent reishi mushroom extract looks like, let’s look at two of our all-time favorites!
Youth to the People Adaptogen Cream is one of the best cream-based mushroom extracts we know. It’s a relatively complex recipe, incorporating not just reishi but also Rhodiola and additional pentapeptides.
Compared to other creams, it’s fairly natural, with no artificial oils, preservatives, taste enhancers, or other additives. The ashwagandha scent comes through incredibly clearly, making for a refreshing experience. Of course, the extract is gained exclusively from whole mushrooms.
A single bottle should last you for quite a while, making these good value too!
For a serum, our pick would be the MARA Sea Vitamin C Serum. With a mix of reishi and chlorella algae, this skin serum is one of the most potent we’ve tested. Despite that, it seems to act very mildly, and we never noticed any outbreaks of irritation or allergic reactions upon application.
As the name implies, the serum is optimized for incredibly high concentrations of THD Ascorbate, the most stable and active form of Vitamin C. It also includes many other adaptogens, healthy oils, and chemical agents.
While performance is the most important aspect of a reishi mushroom serum, we couldn’t help but be enamored with the MARA Serum’s attractive packaging, and we think it deserves a mention. Each bottle is fitted with gold metal accents and consists of elegant, tempered, and tinted glass, evoking the look of expensive perfume.