The INCI name of the ingredient is Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract.
But, what is Tremella?
Figure: Tremella fuciformis a.k.a. snow fungus, snow ear, silver ear fungus, or white jelly mushroom.
Tremella fuciformis is a parasitic yeast that grows as a slimy film until it encounters its preferred hosts, also fungi like Annulohypoxylon archeri, which the yeast invades, triggering the fast growth required to form the fruiting bodies found on decaying wood. So there are three components to this ingredient. The three-species “organism” can be cultivated on fallen wood if the two species of fungus are inoculated together.
Let’s start by saying that this is an edible mushroom, and safety should always be our main concern. It has also been used in Chinese medicine for centuries.
Tremella fuciformis extract is used in women’s beauty products from China, Korea, and Japan. The main component of this extract is polysaccharides that contain mannose and uronic acid. The polysaccharide will prevent oxidative damage by UVA and photoaging, and prevent collagen breakdown by proteases. Snow mushroom polysaccharides form gels that will retain moisture when applied to the skin; they also have anti-inflammatory activity and will modulate the immune response.
Shen, T., Duan, C., Chen, B., Li, M., Ruan, Y., Xu, D., … Wang, C. (2017). Tremella fuciformis polysaccharide suppresses hydrogen peroxide-triggered injury of human skin fibroblasts via upregulation of SIRT1. Molecular Medicine Reports, 16: 1340–1346. doi:10.3892/mmr.2017.6754
Han CK, Chiang HC, Lin CY, Tang CH, Lee H, Huang DD, Zeng YR, Chuang TN and Huang YL (2015) Comparison of immunomodulatory and anticancer activities in different strains of Tremella fuciformis berk. Am J Chin Med. 43:1637–1655.
Lingrong Wen, Qing Gao, Chung-wah Ma, Yazhong Ge, Lijun You, Rui Hai Liu, Xiong Fu, Dong Liu. (2016) Effect of polysaccharides from Tremella fuciformis on UV-induced photoaging,
Journal of Functional Foods, 20: 400-410.
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