The chaga mushroom doesn’t look particularly impressive. It is a brownish-black fungus which grows on the bark of birch and other trees in very cold and northern climates. However, we love the beneficial properties of Chaga so we have included the extract in our Arctic Blend.
Did you know that Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) has scientifically proven effective antioxidant properties, that deeply moisturize the skin and prevent lines and wrinkles?
The visible part of the chaga mushroom is actually formed of sterile conks, or shelves, of the fungus unlike the stereotypically round-shaped mushrooms you tend to see in the forest. As a rot fungus, chaga slowly kills its host tree after adhering to the tree bark. As the fungus grows, it absorbs many of the nutrients that are found in birch trees, such as betulinic acid and polysaccharides.
The chaga fungus has also been shown to have a very high oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) value. These values are used to quantify the antioxidant capacities of foods, plants or other biological ingredients. The high ORAC value means that chaga is an exceptionally strong antioxidant ingredient.
The way of Chaga from nutritional supplement to an effective cosmetics ingredient
In Russia, China and other countries in east Asia, the chaga mushroom is traditionally used as a medicinal plant. In traditional Chinese medicine, for example, chaga is used to invigorate and replenish the flow of qi (ch’i), boost blood circulation, and treat ailments connected to the liver, spleen and stomach. It is also a popular anti-ageing and skin-brightening ingredient in Chinese and Korean beauty brands.
Here in Europe, the super-plant is primarily consumed as a nutritional supplement or health tea and few beauty brands use chaga as a skincare ingredient.
However, at Inari Arctic Beauty we love the beneficial properties of the chaga mushroom so we have included the extract in our Arctic Blend.
Several clinical studies have shown that chaga extract is very rich in beta-glucans which are glucose-based polysaccharides. The beta-glucans penetrates deep into the skin, all the way down to the dermis, the skin layer which lies beneath the top-most epidermis layer.
Superfood ingredient repairs, moisturizes and protects the skin
The dermis also contains the fibroblast, which is responsible for replenishing connective tissue and helping repair skin damage. The beta-glucans stimulate the fibroblast’s collagen synthesis – i.e. the skin-repairing mechanism – so the skin is plumped up from the inside, which in turn, significantly reduces wrinkles and fine lines.
Chaga extract was also shown to protect skin against UV-induced skin changes such as wrinkling, thickening, or roughness, so the extract also helps to refine skin texture and tone. Additionally, since beta-glucans help prevent transepidermal water loss, they also increase the skin’s hydration levels. In other words, they are very moisturising. Plus, chaga is rich in minerals, including calcium, copper, magnesium and potassium.
With such a brilliant combination of antioxidant and skin-caring properties, chaga simply had to become one of our ingredients of INARI Arctic Beauty.