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Functional Mushrooms for Beauty - Nao

Glowing, youthful skin stems from within. While topical products can help, your diet and nutrition have the biggest impact on your skin's radiance and health. An emerging inner beauty trend uses functional mushrooms as an ingestible skin treatment to nourish your skin from the inside out.

The Skin Benefits of Mushrooms

Mushrooms have been used for centuries in Eastern medicine for their health-enhancing properties. Modern research is now confirming that many species contain a trove of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and nutrients that support skin function.

Common edible mushrooms like shiitake, maitake, and reishi are especially rich in compounds called polysaccharides. These actives provide powerful antioxidant protection against damage from UV exposure, pollution, and other external stressors.

Mushroom extracts applied topically can hydrate, soothe, and protect skin. But ingesting them may reap even more benefits by improving skin from within. Here’s how eating functional mushrooms can boost your natural beauty.

Reduce Skin Inflammation

Inflammation is at the root of most common skin issues like acne, rosacea, eczema, and signs of aging. Mushrooms contain anti-inflammatory polysaccharides that help regulate inflammation and calm irritated skin conditions.

Reishi, turkey tail, chaga, and other mushrooms also inhibit histamine release. Histamine triggers redness, swelling, itchiness and other inflammatory responses.

Improve Immunity

Many skin problems are tied to weakened immunity. Mushrooms called adaptogens balance immune function. Reishi is especially revered in Chinese medicine for boosting immunity against infections that manifest in skin eruptions.

Improving overall immune status helps create healthy skin that’s resilient against pathogens, allergens, and inflammation. A stronger shield of immunity also prevents colds and illness which can run you down and worsen skin.

Strengthen Skin’s Moisture Barrier

Hydrated, supple skin starts with a healthy moisture barrier. The polysaccharides and proteoglycans in medicinal mushrooms strengthen this barrier to help skin retain moisture and stay protected.

Increase Antioxidants

Your skin is assaulted by free radicals daily which degrade collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. The potent antioxidants in reishi and other functional mushrooms neutralize these free radicals before they can damage skin.

Antioxidants also protect against premature aging, UV damage, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles by blocking the oxidative stress that breaks down youthful skin.

Regulate Sebum Production

Excess oil production leads to greasy skin and acne breakouts. Reishi mushroom is considered a natural anti-androgen - it inhibits 5-alpha reductase to reduce sebum production. This helps normalize oily, acne-prone skin types.

Improve Collagen Production

The protein collagen provides structural support and elasticity for a youthful complexion. But after age 25, collagen synthesis declines. Mushrooms boost collagen production with compounds like copper, vitamin C, and amino acids.

The antioxidant ergothioneine in mushrooms also helps inhibit the enzyme that breaks down collagen as we age. Preserving collagen translates to firmer, smoother, more lifted skin.

Reduce Skin Discoloration

Skin-brightening mushrooms like reishi contain active compounds that inhibit tyrosinase - the enzyme involved in melanin production. This helps reduce hyperpigmentation and sun spots for more even skin tone.

Achieve a Healthy Skin Microbiome

Functional mushrooms act as prebiotics to nourish beneficial bacteria in the gut microbiome. A balanced microbiome promotes overall health which manifests in glowing skin.

The Best Mushrooms for Skin

While most edible mushroom varieties offer skin-enhancing benefits, some top picks for beauty include:

  • Reishi - Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, balances sebum
  • Cordyceps - Boosts collagen, improves elasticity
  • Turkey tail - Rich in antioxidants, improves immunity
  • Shiitake - Contains VEGF to nourish skin cells
  • Maitake - Anti-inflammatory, protects from UV damage

Ways to Use Mushrooms for Skin Health

There are several ways to incorporate functional mushrooms into your routine for luminous skin:

  • Eat them - Add mushrooms like shiitake, maitake and oyster to dishes
  • Drink teas - Sip on reishi, chaga and cordyceps mushroom teas
  • Take powder supplements - Get concentrated benefits from mushroom powders
  • Use mushroom skincare - Apply topical creams with mushroom extracts
  • Try beauty drinks - Ingest collagen and antioxidant mushroom mixes

Discover the Glow-Boosting Powers of Mushrooms

Beyond their nutritional virtues, edible medicinal mushrooms offer a wide spectrum of skin-enhancing benefits - from regulating oil and sebum, reducing inflammation and oxidative damage, improving moisture and collagen levels, even toning down skin discoloration.

Feeding your skin “superfoods” like reishi, cordyceps, and chaga promotes a healthy microbiome, stronger immunity, and lasting hydration from within. Achieve your most radiant, youthful complexion by tapping into the glow-boosting power of functional mushrooms.

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