The reishi mushroom is an herbal mushroom commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practices. Extract from the reishi mushroom contains several chemical compounds, specifically ganodermic acids, which aid in the health, immunity and vitality of human skin. Many brands at all price ranges are singing the praises of the magic mushroom, known for its healing properties in TCM. But can this fungus do wonders for your skin when applied topically? Dr. Sejal K. Shah, a New York City-based dermatologist tells Yahoo News the latest scoop on this trendy ingredient.
"In Chinese medicine lots of mushroom extracts are used since they have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and have even been used for anticancer purposes," says Shah. They’re also a good source of vitamin D and selenium [a mineral with antioxidant properties that’s been studied for treating everything from asthma to dandruff to infertility].
Reishi mushroom contains ingredients that cause melanin suppression as well as other beneficial trace elements. These contents might help reduce the presence of and destruction caused by free radicals, promote cell regeneration to increase skin thickness and texture. Shitake mushrooms are another one to watch, especially since they’ve been shown to halt the proliferation of cancer cells in humans as well as mice. In addition to being rich in proteins, lipids, vitamins and amino acids, the mounting scientific evidence makes it hard not to be optimistic about their place in dermatology.
Shah states that, “You may see those benefits, but it’s important to keep in mind that products do have other ingredients in them that will help your skin, too. If you’re using a product that’s giving you results, you may not want to give it up. But if it’s in your budget, there’s no harm in trying something new."