What is a snow mushroom and why is the ingredient in all of my new skincare?

We’ve heard some strange-sounding ingredients in skincare before, but never did we ever think we’d be choosing – and paying – to smother ourselves with a form of fashionable fungus. Yet here we are. Snow mushroom, also known more scientifically as Tremella fuciformis, is a seriously popular skincare addition at the moment, with the ingredient seeing a Google search increase of 250% in the past year.

It’s hardly surprising we’re all searching for it considering the ingredient seems to be everywhere, taking centre stage in serums, face creams and face masks of all price ranges. But why, you wonder? Experts say the snow mushroom’s hydration capabilities are incredible, with the fungus acting in quite a similar way to hyaluronic acid.

Hyaluronic acid pulls moisture to the skin, and can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. Snow mushrooms offer similar hydration-retaining abilities but have a much smaller particle form. This means your skin is more likely to absorb and reap the plumping benefits of the mushroom.

“Snow mushrooms are brimming with anti-inflammatory benefits, from reducing redness and irritation to reducing scarring,” explains Dr Maryam Zamani, MZ Skin expert.”The result of prolonged use is enhanced, beautiful skin with protection against inflammation, as well as reinforced moisture barrier.”

If you’re liking the science but you’re still a bit weirded out by the thought of mushroom extract featuring in your face cream, you’ll be relieved to hear that the fungus actually looks a bit more like a white flower than something you’d find on a tree trunk in the woods. It’s also completely edible, and commonly used in Chinese foods and medicine. We’d almost go as far as to say it’s quite pretty (almost).

Shop our pick of snow mushroom-infused must-haves

MZ Skin Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum,£110 here

Newly launched, this luxe creams features snow mushroom as the hero ingredient and reishi mushrooms for added hydration and anti-inflammatory action – perfect for anyone looking for quick-fix skin plumping.

Botanics Pure Botanicals Snow Mushroom Concentrated Serum,£7.99 here

Proving that snow mushrooms don’t always come with a hefty price tag, this serum is packed with the hero ingredient and is meant for daily use.

Revolution Skincare Snow Mushroom Serum,£4 here

Don’t let the price of this serum fool you, it’s got nearly all five-star reviews on Revolution’s website.

“Hydrates well without leaving my skin oily or sticky. My skin loves it, I think it's better than hyaluronic acid,” says one impressed user.

Dermalogica Hydro Masque Exfoliant,£55 here

Get your mushroom fix in mask form with this five-minute exfoliating treatment. “Gives great exfoliation but also feels very nourishing!” raves one fan on the brand’s website.

Origins Mega-Mushroom Soothing Hydra-Mist with Reishi And Snow Mushroom,£22 here

Mega mushroom is definitely the theme of this powerhouse of a spritz, with two types of mushroom appearing on the ingredient list. Like MZ Skin, it promises boosted skin hydration and optimised cell regeneration, but for a smaller price.

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