But the genius scientists behind the formulas sometimes use weird AF ingredients to make these cutting-edge new products. Case in point: the Tremella mushroom.
These weird curly fungi, which have been used in Asian beautifying methods for centuries, are becoming a key component in the Korean beauty trend of "aqua filling," which is basically excessively hydrating the skin. But how do these dried-up clumps play a role in packing your face full of water?
It's nicknamed "white jelly fungus," probably because of the way it resembles a jellyfish after it has absorbed water, and it's one of the most effective natural alternatives to sodium hyaluronate out there. Sodium hyaluronate is a derivative of hyaluronic acid, which is the carbohydrate that naturally occurs in the human body and is responsible for keeping babies' skin so plump and elastic. Literal baby-soft skin? You can sign us up.
"Tremella, a fungus mushroom, is one of the few ingredients in nature that has polysaccharides that can hold up to 500 times its water weight," say Christine Chang and Sarah Lee, co-founders of Korean beauty e-commerce site Glow Recipe. "When dried Tremella is soaked in water, it blossoms almost instantly to a beautiful flower-looking state that visibly shows how Tremella really anchors and binds moisture to plump skin."
Earth's Recipe Moisture Bound Cream ($50, Glow Recipe) and Earth's Recipe Energy Boosting Toner ($40, Glow Recipe) in your daily beauty regimen. Both are packed with Tremella mushroom extract. Happy plumping!