Why mushrooms are taking over the beauty industry

Preset Lighroom Presets / Unsplash

Preset Lightroom Presets / Unsplash

A trend we’ve been keeping a close eye on, we called out mycelium and the mushroom effect as one of our 10 Key Trends for 2021 and beyond, and we’re really seeing them shooting up in many industries, from interiors to fashion and beauty.

Two things are driving this growing interest in mushrooms. First our attraction to a plant-based lifestyle has been accelerated in the wake of the zoonotic virus. Second, people are more concerned than ever about their physical and emotional wellbeing and are migrating to time-honoured traditional ingredients recognised for their healing qualities, such as traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic practices.

Andrew Ridley / Unsplash mushrooms

Andrew Ridley / Unsplash

Enter mushrooms: the groundbreaking natural ingredient that has multiple benefits, particularly for skin concerns. WGSN analysis shows that hydration is currently driving most of the social media conversations around this plant-based powerhouse within beauty. Snow mushrooms (tremella), in particular, can hold up to 500 times their weight in water and their smaller particles help to penetrate the skin more easily than skincare hydrating hero hyaluronic acid (which can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water), making them even more potent.

Post-pandemic concerns over skin health and the effects of more time spent inside and on-screen are driving consumers to seek out products that keep their skin hydrated. With several products blurring the line between skincare and make-up, we are seeing these hydrating benefits migrating to make-up for a smooth and flawless application, while also brightening, smoothing and hydrating the skin.

Foodism360 / Unsplash

Foodism360 / Unsplash

While the snow mushroom is the most popular in many skincare categories, we are starting to see reishi, shiitake and truffle being adapted, which offer benefits beyond hydration, such as  reducing redness or tackling inflammation, or help with hyperpigmentation and balancing antioxidants. Turkey tail mushroom has been included in haircare as a vegan keratin alternative. 

It looks like mushrooms aren’t going anywhere soon, with increasingly more brands using this natural wonder in their products and more consumers discovering their benefits.

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