Chinese medicine has known the benefits of consuming snow mushrooms internally for thousands of years, but their benefits are just beginning to be revealed in topical skin care. This miracle mushroom is the new hyaluronic acid, holding more than 500 times its weight in water. What makes this even better than traditional, mammal-based hyaluronic acid is its vegan sourcing and smaller molecular structure, allowing deeper penetration of its hydrating properties into the epidermis than traditional hyaluronic.
Often referred to as the mushroom of immortality, the reishi mushroom contains polysaccharides (beneficial, stimulating sugars) and over 400 bioactive components with properties that reverse signs of aging, fight free radical damage, and lower inflammation in the skin. Skin care products containing these mushrooms should be in everyone’s regimen.
TURKEY TAIL MUSHROOMS
Turkey tail mushrooms have been shown to stimulate the immune system and offer anti-inflammatory benefits through regulation of a key enzyme (COX-2) involved in the inflammatory process. This property makes it a wonderful choice for relieving rosacea-prone skin, as well as protecting the skin of clients who live in highly polluted environments, as pollution often triggers inflammation, sensitivity, and hyperpigmentation.
Spices, including Hungarian paprika and cinnamon, in skin care treatments can instantly boost circulation, detoxify, and oxygenate all layers of the skin, giving an instant radiance and firming boost. Circulation arguably plays one of the most important roles in achieving healthy, radiant skin. Clients often have stagnant lifestyles, which can lead to dull, fatigued-looking skin. As a bonus, oxygenation from these spices helps kill bacteria, remove inflammation, and clear breakouts rapidly.
Birch water is a major trending ingredient in both internal and external wellness. Rich in minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals, birch water is derived from the sap of the birch tree. When applied to the skin, birch water supplies detoxifying, anti-irritant, and protective properties, especially from the environment. Birch water is also well suited for men, as it helps to prevent and treat irritation associated with shaving.
Succulents, such as stonecrop, are natural humectants for the skin, with incredible healing and hydrating properties. This is due to the stonecrop’s natural mucilage content or the gel-like texture its juices contain, which form a protective, regenerating barrier on the skin. These popular plants also contain antioxidants and gentle alpha hydroxy acids that encourage the repair of sun damage in a safe way for all skin types and tones.
Citrus fruits, such as lemons and grapefruits, are known for their vitamin C and citric acid content, which tighten and tone the pores. Did you know citrus fruits also contain multiple B vitamins, vitamin A, and many bioflavonoids that boost vitamin absorption? The benefits are not limited to their flesh, as the peels also contain many beneficial oils, which are rich in phytochemicals, particularly limonene. Limonene has the potential to reduce inflammation and contains a strong antioxidant value.
Raspberries are not only a delicious treat to eat, but also a wonderful treat for the skin. Raspberries naturally contain tannins and acids that tighten the pores, as well as mega- antioxidants, such as ellagic acid and quercetin, which help neutralize free radical damage, protecting the skin from signs of aging.
The almighty açaí is another berry that is all the rage in skin care. This dark, purple-hued hero has one of the highest antioxidant ratings of all fruits. Açaí berries naturally contain vitamins A, C, and E, as well as anthocyanins. Anthocyanins give this fruit its gorgeous color, and this pigment is also what gives the açaí berries their incredible antioxidant properties. All these amazing aspects about açaí berries give them the ability to firm and slow aging in the skin.
Many herbs from the garden provide wonderful benefits for the skin, and basil is no slouch. Due to its composition and naturally high level of essential oils, basil contains anti-microbial properties, helping to ameliorate acne-causing bacteria. Basil also contains high levels of antioxidants that scavenge free radicals and protect skin cells from damage. These aspects make it a perfect choice for blemish-prone or aging skin.
Nature offers a bountiful farm, ready to improve clients’ most essential skin concerns, and, when using or recommending these extraordinary farm-fresh ingredients, an important consideration is ensuring they are from organic or biodynamically grown sources, when possible. Sourcing pesticide-free ingredients for skin matters just as much as with the body, as studies have shown pesticides have the potential to penetrate through the skin into the body.1,2
It doesn’t make much sense to seek out these healthy, natural ingredients in food, only to increase potentially harmful chemical intake through topical skin care. So, commit to a clean skin care routine featuring powerful, healthy, organic, farm-to-skin ingredients.
1 Cowell, J.E., C.M. Lottman, and M.J. Manning. “Assessment of lawn care worker exposure to
dithiopyr.” Arch Environ Contam Toxicol 21 (1991): 195-201.
2 Johansen, J.D., P.J. Frosch, and J.-P. Lepoittevin. “Pesticides.” In Contact
dermatitis, 927-936. Berlin: Springer, 2010.
Brian Goodwin is an international educator for Eminence Organic Skin Care. As a master aesthetician, master herbalist and consultant with over 13 years of experience in the industry, Goodwin brings his love and enthusiasm for skin care to the masses with his passionate, fun, and educational training. Thousands of spa professionals have attended Goodwin’s master classes at tradeshows and on-site training internationally, with a curriculum focusing on guiding spas towards finding success in both educational and business growth. In addition, Goodwin has been published as an author for feature articles in multiple industry leading publications, including DERMASCOPE.