Tremella fuciformis, also known as white jelly leaf, snow mushroom, or silver ear mushroom, is a type of edible fungus that has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for its beauty-enhancing benefits. Tremella contains polysaccharides that can hydrate and plump the skin, as well as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can protect the skin from damage and aging. Tremella can also inhibit melanin formation, which may help reduce dark spots and even out the skin tone.*
But how did it all get started?
Yang Guifei, also known as Yang Yuhuan, was one of the four beauties of ancient China, renowned for her beauty, intelligence, and charm,… and the beloved consort of Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang dynasty. She was born in 719 CE and entered the imperial palace as a concubine of Emperor Xuanzong’s son, Li Mao, in 735 CE. However, her beauty was such that she soon caught the eye of Emperor Xuanzong, who fell deeply in love with her and made her his favorite consort. She was given the title of Guifei, meaning “noble consort”, and enjoyed unparalleled power and influence in the court.
Unfortunately, her romance with Emperor Xuanzong ended tragically in 756 CE, when a rebellion broke out and threatened the capital. Emperor Xuanzong and Yang Guifei fled, where they were surrounded by angry soldiers who blamed Yang Guifei for the turmoil. The soldiers demanded that Emperor Xuanzong execute Yang Guifei, and he reluctantly agreed to save his own life. Her story has inspired many poems, paintings, operas, and films throughout history. Today she is regarded as a symbol of love, beauty, and tragedy in Chinese culture.
So what does this have to do with the Tremella mushroom? Legend has it that Yang Guifei used the Tremella mushroom to maintain her flawless complexion and youthful appearance. She is said to have consumed Tremella soup regularly, and even bathed in Tremella-infused water. Thankfully we don’t have to rely only on folklore about the Tremella mushroom, today we have a number of studies that confirm that Yang Guifei clearly knew what she was doing by using the Tremella mushroom as a beauty and health ally.
Now here’s the science behind the use of Tremella as a topical beauty aid.
- Improves skin hydration and moisture retention: Tremella can hold up to 500 times its weight in water, making it a powerful natural moisturizer. It can also help the skin retain moisture by forming a protective film on the surface. This can prevent water loss and keep the skin hydrated and supple.*
- Boosts collagen production and reduces wrinkles: Tremella can stimulate the synthesis of collagen, a protein that provides structure and elasticity to the skin. Collagen production declines with age, leading to sagging and wrinkling of the skin. By increasing collagen levels, Tremella can help restore the skin’s firmness and smoothness.*
- Fights oxidative stress and inflammation: Tremella is rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin D, flavonoids, and phenolic acids, that can scavenge free radicals and prevent oxidative damage to the skin cells. Oxidative stress is a major cause of skin aging, as it can impair the skin’s barrier function and trigger inflammation. Tremella also has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce redness, swelling, and irritation of the skin.*
- Lightens dark spots and improves skin tone: Tremella can inhibit tyrosinase, an enzyme that catalyzes the production of melanin, the pigment that gives color to the skin. Excessive melanin formation can result in hyperpigmentation, such as dark spots, freckles, and melasma. By reducing melanin synthesis, Tremella can help fade dark spots and brighten the complexion.*
Tremella can be used both internally and externally for its beauty benefits. It can be consumed as a food, a tea, or a supplement, or applied topically as a serum, a cream (try our moisturizing cream Aquamella®), or a mask. Tremella is nature’s beauty gift that can enhance the health and appearance of the skin. It can hydrate, plump, smooth, protect, and brighten the skin with its polysaccharides, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory compounds, and tyrosinase inhibitors.* And a special thanks to Yang Guifei for bringing this amazing mushroom to our attention.