If you're into wellness, you can likely shimmy your way from a Sun Salutation to a Downward Dog, no sweat. But can you navigate your way through popular skin wellness ingredients like mushrooms, tea, collagen, and natural acids? What do they do and how can they benefit your skin?
Mushrooms aren't just for pizza — these fun-guys (get it?) are often hyped as "skin superfoods." They're packed with antistressor adaptogens that help keep skin calm and hydrated (shout-out to my fellow dry skinners who also deal with breakouts). Some popular skincare shrooms include reishi, chaga, and coprinus. Reishi mushrooms help strengthen skin over time, chaga mushrooms calm redness, and the coprinus variety are a powerful antioxidant and anti-irritant. All three of these are found in Dr. Andrew Weil For Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Treatment Lotion. And if creams are more your speed, the reishi mushroom is also found in Youth to the People's Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream, along with the potent healing herb ashwagandha, which treats stress and exhaustion — très zen.
Heard of the snow mushroom? It's a traditional ingredient in sweet-flavored Chinese foods. It's also renowned for its ability to hold 500 times its weight in water to give your skin a surge of hydration. If your skin feels particularly parched, try Volition Beauty's Snow Mushroom Water Serum, which also includes marine water to detoxify skin and watermelon and apple extracts to feed your skin its daily doses of vitamins C and A.
We're all likely guilty of spilling the tea at some point, but have you tried putting it on your face? Tea is packed with antioxidants, so it's a holy grail when it comes to antiaging. Green tea, for example, contains polyphenols to help soothe skin, and kombucha — the fermented drink that contains tea, healthy bacteria, and yeast — helps boost skin luminosity and protects against pollution and free radicals for younger-looking skin. If kombucha is your drink of choice, try Fresh's Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence, which also includes hyaluronic acid, mandarin peel extract to help even complexion, and kigelia africana fruit extract to help with skin texture.
Another skin wellness ingredient is collagen, a protein that naturally occurs in our bodies. It helps with skin elasticity and face structure but (sadly) decreases with age. Studies show that drinking collagen can have significant skin benefits over an eight-week period. If your skin's thirsty for hydration and peptides, try HUM Nutrition Collagen POP, a dissolvable collagen plus vitamin C tablet that promises to improve the look of fine lines, texture, and tone.
By now, we've all heard about the amazing skin benefits of natural acids like hyaluronic, alpha hydroxy (AHA), and beta hydroxy (BHA). To recap: hyaluronic hydrates, AHAs exfoliate on the skin's surface, and BHAs exfoliate beneath the skin's surface and reduce oil inside your pores. Acids are found in things like fruit, and if you'd rather eat a papaya than apply it on your face, you can opt for Kora Organics 2-in-1 Turmeric Brightening and Exfoliating Mask. It includes turmeric to brighten and calm redness, papaya enzymes to clear clogged pores and dissolve dead skin cells, salicylic-acid-derived aspen bark to fight acne-causing bacteria, and rosehip seeds to detox skin.
Now that you have a better idea of how to approach skin wellness, watch the latest episode of POPSUGAR's beauty explainer series The Makeup, where our resident beauty expert Kirbie Johnson shows us how she zens out her skin with these beneficial ingredients. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and follow us on Facebook!