Unique Ingredients: Snow Mushroom Extract

An introduction to this hydrating fungi.



3 MIN READ | MAY 17, 2021


Dylan Mustapich is a NYC-based lead esthetician who has been featured in New Beauty, Teen Vogue, Wired, and The Huffington Post. With a lifelong love of all things skin, he is incredibly knowledgeable about skincare ingredients, routine refinement, and personalized skincare, and follows emerging technology closely.

Snow Mushrooms (Tremella Fuciformis) have been a staple in traditional Chinese medicine and cuisine for thousands of years, but are just now catching on in the world of skincare. Despite being a mushroom, it looks more like a white gelatinous flower when found growing in nature. A superb skin hydrator, many liken its effects to Hyaluronic Acid. Below, I’ll go over what makes this gelatinous fungi so special and what it can do for your skin.

Where do these mushrooms come from?

Snow Mushrooms (AKA Silver Ear Mushrooms) are grown in tropical and subtropical climates and are especially common throughout Asia, where they are found growing on the dead branches of broadleaf trees. Much of the Snow Mushroom Extract found in skincare products is commercially cultivated. The snow mushroom we use in our products is sourced from China.

What are the benefits?

The main benefit of products containing Snow Mushroom Extract is hydration. Just like Hyaluronic Acid, it’s a humectant that draws and binds water into the skin. While HA is technically able to hold more moisture, Snow Mushroom’s gelatinous molecules are smaller and better able to penetrate the skin. It’s also believed that Snow Mushroom Extract forms a flexible film on the surface of the skin that is able to lock in hydration to some degree.

Like many other plant-based ingredients, Snow Mushroom Extract has antioxidant properties that help neutralize free radicals and protect skin from environmental stressors like pollution.

What products contain Snow Mushroom Extract?

Snow Mushroom Extract is typically found in water-based serums and moisturizers. As this ingredient becomes more popular, expect to see it pop up in other products like hydrating cleansers and masks.

In our custom Atolla formulas, Snow Mushroom appears in our moisturizers as a principal active in formulas that help with discoloration and dark spots. 

What ingredients does it pair well with?

As with other humectants like HA and Glycerin, Snow Mushroom Extract pairs well with occlusive and barrier strengthening ingredients such as Ceramides, Squalane, Niacinamide, and oils. Moisturizers and oils ensure that the hydration from the Snow Mushrooms is thoroughly locked in; otherwise it may evaporate through the skin, negating some of its benefits.

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