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Why You Should Care About Your Snow Mushroom Sourcing

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Why You Should Care About Your Snow Mushroom Sourcing

Snow mushroom extract has been one of the most popular skincare actives on the marketplace, with consumers looking for exclusive hero ingredients that promote skin wellness in response to the ongoing COVID pandemic.  With consumer awareness of ethical sourcing, safety, and sustainability at an all-time high, it is more important than ever for brands to ensure that their most marketable ingredients are properly validated against these new expectations.  As such, we here at Applechem feel it is important to be transparent about our Phytocare-HATM snow mushroom extract, and showcase the preparation and thoughtfulness that goes into producing this amazing ingredient. 

Snow mushrooms are a fungus species that traditionally was found growing in the wild on dead wood.  The first known cultivators of this mushroom were the Chinese in the 19th century, as they discovered that the mushroom provided medicinal and cosmetic benefits in both ingestible and externally applicable mediums.  As such it has quite the rich history in Chinese culture, first being used almost exclusively by Chinese royalty due to its rarity, and then propagating into household use once modern production techniques made it widely available. 


In 2001, scientists at Shanghai Huiwen Biotech began a scientific investigation into the Snow Mushroom. Experts in their respective fields with backgrounds in pharmaceutical chemistry, Chinese traditional medicine, and botanical science, they were able to identify the key actives and molecular structure of the Snow Mushroom, conducting systematic clinical studies to verify both its extraordinary health benefits and safety profile. All of which culminated in creation of Phytocare-HATM, the pure extracted essence of the snow mushroom capable of not only outpacing hyaluronic acid in its hydration benefits, but also creating a silky “second skin” barrier that retains skin hydration, protects against environmental aggressors, and stimulates the body’s natural ability to defend against free radical damage. 

Sustainable Sourcing, Clean-friendly Production

The snow mushroom production method involves inoculating a wooden substrate mix (which look like small logs all stacked in rows within large, windowless houses), and allowing the fungus to flourish under the optimal growing conditions.  As such, the cultivation process is quite sustainable and impact on local communities is negligible – it does not take up huge acres of farmland nor require large volumes of water to grow, the required inputs are quite small with comparatively high yields, and there is very little impact, if any, with the surrounding environment outside the mushroom houses.     

Regarding Phytocare extract specifically, only a small group of farmers are approved to grow snow mushrooms that meet the manufacturer’s specifications, and this group is required to sign a contract explicitly forbidding the use of any pesticides during cultivation.   This commitment to organic cultivation continues post-harvest, as the suppliers perform pesticide residue checks on the mushrooms, followed by a rigorous Japanese pesticide residue test that inspects the Phytocare product post-extraction against a list of over 800 pesticides. 

The extraction process to prepare clean cosmetic-grade Phytocare extract is also quite extensive.  The mushrooms are steam sterilized and dried, hand-inspected for quality, and the polysaccharide active is extracted using a patented process utilizing only food-grade ethanol.  The extract is tested for heavy metals, bacterial and yeast contamination, with multiple rounds of filtration that includes magnetic filtration step to remove metallic impurities.  The facility itself adheres to GMP standards, and is also ISO 9001, ISO 22000, and HACCP certified, demonstrating a commitment to modern quality and food safety management. 

All of which is to say that the safety profile and active functionality of this extract will be very consistent and clean-friendly, an excellent fit for brands creating skin wellness products that meet 3rd party standards like Credo, Clean at Sephora, and EWG Verified. 

If you are interested in learning more about this extraordinary extract, click here for more information about Phytocare-HA.


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