Why You Should Care About Your Snow Mushroom Sourcing
Snow mushroom extract has been one of the most popular skin care actives on the marketplace, with consumers looking for exclusive hero ingredients that promote skin wellness in response to the ongoing 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.
The origin of Phytocare-HA dates back to 2001, where scientists at Shanghai Huiwen Biotech began a scientific investigation into the snow mushroom. 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. This allowed them to extract the pure essence of the snow mushroom, a super-active 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.
The snow mushroom production method involves inoculating a wooden substrate mix and allowing the fungus to flourish under optimal growing conditions. The cultivation process is 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 inputs are 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 manufacturer specifications. They are required to sign contracts 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 residue test that analyzes 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 including a magnetic 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 third party standards like Credo, Clean at Sephora and EWG Verified.
If you are interested in learning more about this extraordinary extract, visit our website at www.applechem.com/phytocare-ha.
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