Water and oil balance is a keyword that says a lot about the mechanics of skincare. Because water and oil are two qualities that contradict one another, it is almost impossible to find a perfect skincare ingredient that hydrates your skin and maintains the right amount of natural oil. But here’s to not giving up! Skincare experts have dug up a magical mushroom that has been right under our nose the entire time. They say this funny-looking mushroom called the snow fungus, otherwise known as tremella fuciformis, can catch two birds (or more) with one stone.
People with dry skin often make a common mistake of neglecting natural oils, fatty acids, and collagen in their skincare regimen. Yes, excess sebum can clog up your pores and lead to breakout and acne, but that does not mean you have to get rid of even the essential oil in your skin. Without these essential oils, moisture from the surface of your skin evaporates easily, resulting in even drier skin minutes after applying moisturizing products. Snow fungus hydrates your skin and helps sustain moisture within the skin so that your skin can retain its healthy water and oil balance level.
Snow fungus has many names — snow ear, snow ear fungus, white jelly mushroom, and tremella fuciformis. Before it is extracted into a skincare ingredient, snow fungus looks like a white palm frond with a gelatinous texture. It does not only grow in damp areas since the fungus itself can hold and store moisture up to 500 times its weight.
The texture of snow fungus (similar to that of seaweed but chewier) and its medicinal benefits have allowed snow fungus to take up a huge part of Asian cuisine. Traditionally used as medicine, snow fungus has anti-bacterial qualities and is rich in “polysaccharides,” compounds known to strengthen the immune system.
A Fun Fact about Snow fungus
If you are into Asian cuisines, this exotic mushroom might have greeted you once or twice as a delightful ingredient in Chinese dessert soups. Snow fungus has been among Asian food and medicine culture since the Tang Dynasty (713-756 AD). Families have passed down their own version of snow fungus recipes and home remedies and it is not a secret that Yang Guifei, one of the “Four Beauties of Ancient China,” regularly consumed snow fungus to take care of her health.
4 Reasons Why You Must Include Snow Fungus in Your Skincare
1. It’s a “Moisture Magnet”
Many ingredients are already known to do the moisturizing job well. You might be hesitant about switching to snow fungus for its moisturizing effect when you are already using a more famous ingredient like hyaluronic acid. But snow fungus is not called the “moisture magnet” for simply its hydrating qualities. Snow fungus not only adds moisture to your skin also helps draw moisture deep into the skin so that your skin is hydrated from within. This allows better moisture retention on the skin, which eventually leads to alleviating general skin dryness.
It is no wonder that Yang Guifei loved snow fungus because it is so rich in collagen and induces collagen production. Collagen is key to anti-aging because it is a naturally produced protein that prevents premature aging and helps keep your skin younger. Without enough collagen in the skin, your skin loses elasticity and easily develops fine lines and wrinkles. Snow fungus help increases collagen production, making your skin stronger and firmer.
3. (Wound) Healing Powers
Snow fungus has been consumed orally to lower body temperature in case of a fever. When applied topically, snow fungus still has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help restore the right temperature and balance in your skin. The wound healing power of this magical herb comes from its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. Snow fungus catches inflammation in the skin when an injury or viral penetration happens and supports the healing process by neutralizing free radicals induced by stress.
4. Skin Brightening
Snow fungus prevents melanin production which is responsible for freckles, lingering scars, and uneven skin tones. The efficiency of snow fungus in brightening and lightening your skin cannot be compared to any other similar ingredients know for skin brightening because no other ingredient inhibits melanin production as powerfully as snow fungus.