Here's how the Origins Mega Mushroom line worked for my sensitive skin

I was sooooo excited to try the Mega Mushroom line formulated by Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins, since the products are specifically for people with sensitive skin. Formulated with a blend of “soothing” mushrooms, with the Reishi Mushroom as the active ingredient, Origins claims that the line helps “calm sensitivity and irritation, boost resilience and reduce visible redness.”

How true are these claims? I tested three products in two months: the Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Face Cleanser, Soothing Treatment Lotion, and Soothing Face Cream, since even skincare products that claim they’re perfect for sensitive break me out or make me itch.

Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Face Cleanser (P1,950 for 150ml)

The Mega Mushroom Cleanser is one of the most confusing products I’ve ever encountered. It promises to “quickly remove makeup, dirt, debris, and impurities” while never stripping the face of moisture, supposedly leaving the surface supple. With a blend of cordyceps, reishi mushroom, ginger, turmeric, and holy basil, it is supposed to cleanse without upsetting the skin’s protective lipid balance.

The cleanser had a slip-y cream texture that is supposed to be massaged in (excluding the eye area) and washed off with warm water. In the beginning, I did just that with a full face of makeup on and after rinsing, the skin felt smooth but there was an unmistakable film of makeup residue left on my face. The next couple of days I tried massaging longer or using it as a second cleanser, but it still didn’t take anything off. Worse, it would look like makeup was off and it would feel like makeup was off (since it leaves the skin with a moisturized, supple, feeling after rinsing), but the next day I would wake up with whiteheads. And friends, I haven’t had whiteheads since I was what? Sixteen?

Resigned to using it as a morning cleanser, I relegated it as an after-gym/in-shower wash. It worked better as it had no more makeup to take off. I suppose this is great for people who don’t wear makeup and need something mild, but on my sensitive skin, I can’t say it’s a good match.

Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Treatment Lotion (P2,100 for 200ml)

I was excited to try the famous Mega Mushroom lotion, since my face was so reactive to all sorts of skincare (a sensitive-skin face mask will make me itch). Our other writers swear by its soothing properties, and I heard that this was best used as an after-active (or after-acid) soothing lotion. It’s probably because there was so much hype around it that I built it up to be some sort of miracle soothing product and found myself wanting even after a month of testing.

First claim: reduce redness. The combination of reishi mushroom, sea buckthorn, and fermented chaga mushroom supposedly aids in reducing redness, something I always seem to have in the nostril and chin area. When I really oil up (more on this later), my cheeks also become red and textured. The Mega Mushroom Lotion didn’t aid in reducing redness at all. I used it alone for two weeks, massaging the watery lotion or swiping it on like a toner, and I didn’t notice any reduction in redness, even if I used it in my nighttime regimen.

Second claim: reduce and prevent flaking. On the other hand, this actually worked for me. My nostril area and my chin (which is the only area I have breakouts) always tend to be flaky, but are now smooth and hydrated thanks to the Mega Mushroom Lotion. A week before I tested the lotion, I used a glycolic acid cream to exfoliate, so I was the flakiest face on earth, and the Mega Mushroom Lotion really helped in bringing back the smoothness.  I found it to be best used (10-20 minutes) after a glycolic cream (In Her Element’s Glow Job), to act as a sort of padding when the acid does its magic. When I can use skincare on my brow area after my microblading has healed, you best believe this is going on my forehead to prevent further flaking!

Third claim: hydrate the skin. Remember when I said that when I oil up my cheeks gets red and textured? That’s what happens to me if I use the lotion more than once a day. It does hydrate my skin well, to the point that I can use it alone (massaged in with fingers), but I find it too much when used for both morning and night. Nowadays, I’d rather use it if I feel like I need a hydrating toner, or as a follow-up to mud masks and acids, since it does a great job at soothing after treatments.

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Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Face Cream (P4,200 for 50ml)

Origins knocked it out of the park with this one. It does exactly what they say it would. It’s a very lightweight cream that soothes the face. Period.

What I love about the Mega Mushroom Soothing Face Cream is that it does what the lotion also does (in that it calms the face after treatment and hydrates the face), and reduces redness. I had a big angry breakout on my chin that was so red, my whole chin seemed pretty red. I put on a hydrating mud mask (that I’ve used multiple times and isn’t for acne, just hydration) that still left my skin red after rinsing, so I slathered the cream onto the nooks and crannies of my face. I was initially disappointed when the redness hadn’t subsided after an hour or two (I don’t know what I was expecting lol) but when I woke up, the redness subsided substantially and my breakout actually reduced in size by a half! I’m not saying it dried and treated the breakout, but it really did a great job in calming down the area — the breakout was angry no more. I tried it again when another chin breakout happened (hormone problemz) and it was still effective. I was planning on purchasing a ceramide cream (for calming purposes) before I reviewed this line, but I don’t find the need to after this.

Since the pot is just 50ml, I don’t use it all over the face as a day cream, although a little (like 1/6 an index finger) goes a long way. Massaged onto the reddish bits of my face, partnered with the lotion everywhere else, it does a great job at skin prep before makeup. I wish they made it available in a pump packaging though, since I’m not too comfortable about dipping into jars.

There are hits and misses, but I’d totally recommend the Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Face Cream if you’re looking for a lightweight, non-irritating, actually calming face cream, and the Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Lotion if you’re looking for a hydrator with the consistency of water. I can’t recommend the cleanser since we are makeup-wearing people, but if you’re looking for a morning cleanser, this could do the trick.

What other soothing skincare items have you tried? What do you recommend? Let’s discuss.