Turns out, the delicacy also does great things for your skin.

By Melanie Rud
November 05, 2020
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When we say white truffle, you probably think truffle fries or perhaps truffle mac and cheese, some kind of yummy, special-occasion dish with that distinctly truffle-y scent, right? We’re willing to bet you don’t associate it with night cream, but perhaps you should—the speciality ingredient may actually be worth adding to your skincare routine. 

“Mushrooms, in general, are thought to work with the skin’s natural renewal processes,” explains Hadley King, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. White truffles, in particular, tout unique properties that make them even more beneficial for addressing a host of different complexion (and more specifically age-related) concerns. “White truffles contain a variety of bioactive compounds, including fatty acids, amino acids, vitamin C, and other antioxidants,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. So, what does that mean for your skin? Here are a few benefits of white truffles.

White truffles are rich in fatty acids, emollients that help support the skin barrier, says Dr. King. (As a quickie reminder, the skin barrier is the outermost layer of the skin, responsible for keeping moisture locked in and irritants out.) These fatty acids seal in cracks between the cells, adds Dr. Zeichner, ultimately helping keep the skin nice and hydrated.

Specifically flavonoids, plant-based antioxidants that “act like fire extinguishers, putting out the free radical damage created from exposure to environmental factors such as UV light and pollution,” says Dr. Zeichner. That free radical damage can ultimately end up causing signs of aging, including fine lines, spots, and more, which is why antioxidants are a universally fool-proof anti-aging ingredient. 

Speaking of spots, both derms we spoke with note that white truffles are a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is not only a potent antioxidant, it also is a choice brightening ingredient. It works by inhibiting an enzyme known as tyrosinase (which is essential in the pigment-producing process), preventing dark spots from cropping up and ultimately leaving the skin brighter and more even, says Dr. Zeichner.

Dr. King says that white truffle is also a choice ingredient for combating inflammation. In the skin, that means not only alleviating the visible inflammation that can show up as redness and irritation, but also targeting the less visible, lower-grade inflammation that can also make skin look older and generally lackluster.

So, what do you need to know before seeking out white truffles in your skincare? Dr. King points out that there are no known ingredients that don’t pair well with white truffle and that it plays nicely with most other skincare actives, meaning it should be fairly easy to incorporate into your routine. That being said, it is important to consider the amount of white truffle in the product, she adds; the higher up on the ingredient list, the higher the concentration and theoretically the greater the benefits.

Keep in mind, too, that while truffles have been studied for nutritional and medicinal benefits, there are very few studies and minimal data about their topical effects, says Dr. King. It’s also worth pointing out that white truffles are extremely expensive; credit the fact that they’re only harvested for a few months out of the year and have to be sniffed out of the ground by specially trained dogs. So, just like adding shaved truffles onto your pasta will cost you, so will white truffle-infused skincare. And while white truffles do have benefits, those benefits aren’t necessarily something you can’t get from other more scientifically proven ingredients, Dr. King adds.

TL;DR: If you’d rather save your truffle budget to spend on delicious sauces and Italian pasta dishes, that’s fine. But, if you do want to try them topically, the reported benefits are definitely worth a shot. Fortunately, there are a few budget-friendly products out there, which we've compiled below.

$35, amazon.com

Neogen’s cult-favorite white truffle formula features white truffle oil in a dual-phase product that hydrates and combats aging, without ever feeling oily or greasy.

$90, us.espaskincare.com

A facial in a bottle, this product combines white truffle extract with a litany of other moisturizing ingredients, antioxidants, and an extra dose of vitamin C to brighten, smooth, and hydrate your complexion.

$74, neimanmarcus.com

This clean face cream relies on a laundry list of other natural ingredients (white truffle being just one of them) that work to rebalance skin’s moisture levels, making this ideal for oily, combination, and dry skin types.

$45, amazon.com

White truffle is combined with another luxurious anti-ager, caviar, in this equally luxurious-feeling anti-aging formula.