After tripping on mushrooms, it’s time to look into a mushroom that’s on everyone’s lips: Snow mushrooms. What’s the buzz about snow mushrooms?

It can hold up to 500 times its weight in water. Yes, that’s right. And why does it matter I hear you ask? It’s a natural botanical hydrator that draws moisture to your skin – similar to hyaluronic acid.

So, what’s a snow mushroom?

As is with many organic and biological ingredients, this too comes from Asia. Snow mushroom, with its scientific name Tremella Fuciformis, is sought after for culinary uses and treasured as traditional Asian medicine. It’s also often referred to as silver ear or white jelly mushroom but I’ll stick to snow mushroom.

Tremella Fuciformis, photo by Ron Pastorino (Ronpast)

The snow mushrooms produce large white fungi, almost like translucent and undulating like satin ribbons. It grows mainly in the tropics where it can be found on dead branches. Now it’s commercially farmed.

What’s the big deal?

You probably have guessed some of its features already after reading its other names. Snow mushrooms have a special structure so that it’s very like a natural sponge. It’s often said it can hold up to 500 times its weight in water (just as I did).

It sounds like just what hyaluronic acid does. It pulls moisture to the skin and retains it, but hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water. So, at first glance, the snow mushroom sounds like a worse deal… holding only half as much. But it has so much more going for it.

For a start, it has smaller molecules than hyaluronic acid which is known to have large particles. So, it penetrates the skin more easily. It creates a flexible hydration film that helps to restore dry skin to its optimally hydrated state giving it a smoother and more elastic appearance.

Next, it’s full of proteins, a variety of salts, and vitamins containing 18 amino acids, as well as carbohydrates, crude fibre, and fats. These nutrients give it powerful antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties.

Antioxidants are essential for your overall health. They’re particularly important for keeping your skin looking young and healthy. The snow mushroom keeps the skin not only bouncy through better hydration but also by protecting the fibroblasts. These cells are responsible for producing collagen and elastin.

It’s not fully researched yet, but some skincare manufacturers include the snow mushroom as a natural ingredient to brighten the skin, eliminate age spots, preventing hyperpigmentation – overall to create a more even skin tone.

It’s worth mentioning that it’s one of the highest food sources of vitamin D, which stimulates cell growth. Your body needs the sun to synthesise vitamin D, but overexposure to the sun is the number one factor for premature ageing. The conclusion is clear and you should make vitamin D a normal part of your diet.

History of snow mushroom and how it ended up in skincare

Snow mushroom has been used in ancient China as food as well as traditional Chinese medicine and dietary supplement. Written record show that it was already used in skincare as early as 1800.

Recent studies prove that the ancient Chinese were right. The medicinal and tonic properties can be attributed to polysaccharides. These polysaccharides are anti-inflammatory and have a protective effect on the skin. They practically act as a barrier to keep in moisture and reducing transepidermal water loss.

Fun fact one of the four famed great beauties in ancient China, concubine Yang Guifei (713 to 756), is said to have used snow mushroom.

Not only the ancient Chinese knew about the healing effects. In ayurveda, snow mushroom was used to treat wounds. Especially burn wounds, since it promotes cell growth.


What’s not to like in a snow mushroom? It’s an organic skincare ingredient that might just be the solution to your troubles. Beauty products with it are indispensable in bad weather. It can help you keep cold winter weather dryness at bay. Summer sunburns from too much time outdoors can be healed with better hydration with this ingredient.

When applied consistently, products with snow mushroom extract improve texture, hydration, and overall brightness of your skin, making you appear younger and healthier.

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