It may be more familiar accompanying a fry-up or in a trendy risotto but the humble mushroom has found a new role — as a beauty product.
Upmarket brands are increasingly favouring fungi in their latest cosmetics.
They say mushrooms have unique properties that bring benefits such as reducing inflammation, treating blotchy pigmentation and soothing the skin.
Sales of fungi-based products are booming, according to John Lewis, with brands including Origins, Shiseido and Dermalogica using mushrooms to create face mists, eye creams and serums. Shiseido uses reishi mushrooms in its Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate, which costs £32 for just 15ml.
One impressed reviewer said of the Dr Weil Mega-Mushroom range from Origins: “It does magic for the skin. It soothes, reduces puffiness and redness, minimises wrinkles, clarifies, hydrates, brightens… everything, really!”
Other firms use chaga, a fungus used in Russian and Chinese traditional medicine. It grows on birch trees and resembles burnt charcoal.
Predicting trends in health and beauty for the year, John Lewis said: “Fungi are predicted to take centre stage for ingredients and take over the world of beauty.
“Resilience and strength training for skin will be high on the agenda for consumers, with morning multi-step skin care regimes being replaced by hero products that protect and build our skin barrier.”
Nutrition is also experiencing a fungi fad, with searches on the Waitrose website for porcini mushroom powder up 200 per cent on last month. The mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins, protein, copper, potassium, zinc and selenium.
John Lewis said fermented foods, mind management and cooking from scratch are also expected to boom: “(2023) will see self-care take a new direction, no longer all-consuming – sunrise yoga, a green juice, 10k steps and three hours of mindfulness before 7am. Instead, what we predict is that there is a wellness moment in everything.
“From new and considered habits we develop for our skin and hair to how we are using that time to dedicate to ourselves – however big or small – to really make a difference to how we feel.”
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