This giant of the mushroom world is used in cooking for its thick, meaty texture, but we love using them for their skin-conditioning and protecting properties.
The mushrooms are packed with B and C vitamins, which can help defend the skin from damage. Rich in zinc, they are also a good source of potassium, vitamin D and ergothioneine, a potent antioxidant compound, which can help to counteract the effects of pollutants.
Some ancient cultures endowed mushrooms with mystical qualities, viewing them as the food of the gods; in Ancient Egypt, they were reserved for the pharaohs alone to enjoy. They have no leaves or seeds and reproduce by sowing spores, which develop thread-like roots called mycelia. Technically, the mycelium forms the main organism and the visible mushroom is its fruit. Mushrooms are extremely fertile, with each mushroom producing trillions of spores in its lifetime. Since they have no leaves, they rely on the nutrients in the ground for nourishment.