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As it rejuvenates the Earth, it can also rejuvenate our bodies and skin.

In 2020, a friend recommended a Netflix film called Fantastic Fungi.

As I watched, I was transported to another world with mycology expert Paul Stamets. After I finished, I was in awe of the amazing network of eco-intelligence going on beneath and above the Earth’s surface, providing us with substances that give us life and from which we have derived. I’ve always been concerned about the environment and tried to get to the root (no pun intended) of the language of plants and how they relate to the human body and, more specifically, the skin.

In this film, Mr. Stamets states that fungi, as organisms, have intelligence and a language of their own that gives life, and it’s his mission and life’s work to understand this language.

Mr. Stamets gave me another piece of the puzzle in my quest to create skincare that helps the body rejuvenate the skin.

There are over 1.5 million species of fungi, which is six times more than plants, of which about twenty thousand produce mushrooms.

Many people associate mushrooms, fungi, or mold with death, decay, or psychedelics and are afraid of them.

According to food journalist and author Eugenia Bone, mushrooms represent rebirth and rejuvenation. They are not plants or animals, but are a Kingdom of their own.

Some mushrooms decompose dead and dying organisms. Fungi are present at the end and the beginning of life. Fantastic Fungi depicts mushrooms as the digestive tract of the forest.

The decomposers are called saprotrophs. The yeast and molds used in making wine, beer, and cheese are all saprotrophs. For example, penicillin mold contributes to creating Gorgonzola and Roquefort cheeses. Bourbon is made with fungi from fermented corn.

Saprotrophs can break down anything that is hydrocarbon-based. People like Mr. Stamets are harnessing the power of fungi to help us deal with man-made problems such as oil spills using fungi spores, which are mushroom seeds.

The fruiting body of the fungi is called the mushroom. However, the bulk of the organisms is underground, composed of long threads branching out in every direction. The mass of threads is known as mycelium. The network works with electrolytes or electrical pulses similar to our brain, forming massive links like a web. And like the internet, the mycelium allows a communication pathway called the mycorrhizal network, or CMN, through which all plant life communicates. Trees communicate with each other by trading nutrients through carbon, with mycelium acting as a conduit. According to Suzanne Simard, Ph D., University of British Columbia, “there are about 300 miles of fungi mycelium under every footstep we take all over the world.”

The Fungi Kingdom emerged on Earth 4.5 billion years ago, fertilizing the soil that created life.

So how does all this relate to skincare? When we understand how closely related we are to fungi and that we are descendants of mycelium, we can utilize their almost mystical benefits. They correct everything on Earth, helping to support life, convert life, or carry life. The fungi have inherited the Earth and are the most dominant species. We need them to exist. Suppose we learn to understand and respect a species of organism that has been around since the beginning of life, weathered time, and continues to dominate. If we do that, we can better understand how to protect our planet and, of course, our bodies.

Our gut microbiome consists of trillions of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes. The gut microbiome plays a vital role in our health because it helps control digestion, boosts your immune system, and helps in many different ways.

An unhealthy gut can significantly impact your overall health and your skin, including causing breakouts of spots, dry skin, psoriasis, inflammation, atopic dermatitis (eczema), and rosacea. The gut microbiome is the collection of bacteria in your intestines that influences your overall health, especially your skin.

In fact, the skin has a natural microbiome of its own. When we use synthetics or sub-natural products, we challenge the good bacteria, which creates its own issues. Mushrooms carry powerful antioxidant properties that help protect the skin from harmful environmental factors. They also reduce inflammation and soothe the skin, and studies have shown an improvement in pigmentation.

Mushrooms can help restore skin elasticity, increase moisture content, stimulate collagen synthesis, and have a skin-lightening effect; combined, this can make the skin look more healthy and reduce the signs of aging.

Studies have determined that up to 60% of a topical treatment to the skin goes into your bloodstream. That is why using organic, plant-based products on the skin is so important.

KiVi’s entire premise behind our skincare line is the penetration of healthy ingredients that soften and nourish the skin and bring beneficial nutrients into the body via the blood system, which travels through the body’s tissue fibre and organs. The body will not need to work extra hard to rid or equalize toxic substances such as chemical ingredients or the wrong plants or fats that carry lectins.

I have studied fungi ever since I watched Fantastic Fungi. After two years of research, I added mushrooms to some of KiVi’s products. As it is my mission to understand the organ of the skin and the impact of plants, herbs, and fungi on its health, I intend to make the finest products that bring health and beauty outside and in.

I highly recommend that readers watch this Netflix special, and I sincerely hope that it will be added to the curriculum in public and private schools early on in children’s education. We are at a rubicon today, and if we don’t soon understand how vital it is to keep our forest, we will destroy ourselves. 

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