Shiitake Mushroom Benefits for Skin

For centuries, the shiitake mushroom has been used as food and medicine. In ancient Chinese and Japanese societies, they were used to restore vitality and correct imbalances within the body. 

Apart from being consumed as food, the shiitake mushroom was also a popular component of drinks served in the Chinese royal court, so much so that they were nicknamed the “long-life elixir.”

But what is it about shiitake mushrooms that makes them so loved by skincare enthusiasts? Keep reading to find out.

Key Takeaways

  • Due to their high level of vitamins and antioxidants, shiitake mushroom is believed to help preserve healthy skin.
  • In ancient cultures, this mushroom is linked to longevity. 
  • The best way to consume mushrooms is via supplements like capsules or powdered drinks. 

Shiitake Mushroom Health Benefits

Shiitake mushrooms are believed to have compounds that boost the body’s immunity and promote good heart health. 

A 2014 scientific study showed that the bioactive compounds in these mushrooms might have the ability to reduce body inflammation.

It is now widely believed that eating shiitake mushrooms could lead to a healthier heart since they contain three vital compounds — sterols, eritadenine, and beta-glucans — critical to reducing blood pressure and lowering cholesterol levels.

Shiitake mushrooms are believed to boost the body’s immunity thanks to their polysaccharide content. These non-digestible fibers boost the body’s natural defenses and stimulate the immune system.

Further, mushrooms are also the only plants with vitamin D. This makes them an essential component of a healthy diet. Vitamin D is needed to build strong bones, yet interestingly, many people are deficient in this compound.

Shiitake Mushroom Skin Benefits

Experts say that while the skin starts to age at 25, the vagaries of daily life stress, the sun’s UV rays, and other pollutants speed up the aging process primarily by altering the body’s defense mechanisms.

Although we cannot turn back the hands of time and keep our skin young forever, we can slow down the aging process and keep our skin looking healthier and younger for longer. This is where the shiitake mushroom extract proves its worth.

Nutrients Found in Mushrooms

Shiitake mushroom extract is rich in nutrients, making it a great skin revitalizer and nourisher. 

So, what types of nutrients does this extract have that make it ideal for skincare?

The main components of shiitake mushroom extract are vitamins, amino acids, and trace elements. 

Calms the Skin

Shiitake mushroom extract is an excellent skincare product that contains lentinan — an anti-inflammatory agent known to have a calming effect on the skin. 

The extract is also rich in B complex vitamins that help soothe the skin from irritants.

Shiitake mushrooms also have vitamin D and selenium, which keep the skin soft and supple by locking in water and preventing damage from external elements. 

There are claims that shiitake mushroom extract cures skin conditions such as eczema, acne, and rosacea, but it's important to remember that while these mushrooms do contain nutrients that are beneficial for your skin, you should always consult a doctor when it comes to serious medial conditions.. 

Anti-Aging Properties

Shiitake extract has properties that may help improve vitality and speed up the skin renewal process. A topical application of the extract is believed to boost blood flow to the skin and promote collagen production, which could improve skin elasticity. But, again it's important to note that results may vary and that consulting a specialist is always recommended. 

Younger Looking Skin

Phenolic acid is another compound found in shiitake mushroom extract for skin that plays a crucial role in fighting wrinkles and lines. 

Further, kojic acid — another ingredient in this extract — helps reduce undesirable skin pigmentation, including dark circles, age spots, and discoloration that gives away your age.


We simply cannot avoid coming into contact with toxins and other harmful chemicals that exist freely in nature. Air pollution, industrial wastes, UV rays, etc., create harmful radicals that damage skin cells. 

Shiitake extract contains compounds that are believed to help neutralize these radicals and maintain our skin's health.

Due to their high concentration of lentinan, shiitake mushrooms are thought to stimulate the skin’s defenses and mitigate the effects of skin-damaging elements such as allergens, UV light, and pollutants.

Brightens Skin Tone

If your goal is to achieve brighter skin naturally, then shiitake mushrooms are what you probably need. Their extract contains kojic acid, which hinders the overproduction of melanin, the hormone responsible for skin darkening. 

Kojic acid is a common skin-lightening ingredient found in commercial skincare products. 

When used regularly, kojic acid slows down melanin production, giving your skin a brightening appeal. It also fades out age spots and scars, leading to youthful, glowing skin. Of course, you should always speak to a doctor or specialist before taking any extracts regularly.

Improves Hydration

We cannot emphasize the importance of keeping your skin hydrated enough; it’s the key to keeping it elastic and healthy enough to flush away toxins. 

Shiitake extract contains ceramides that help the skin develop and maintain a healthy barrier. This is not only vital to keeping toxic substances from entering your skin, but it also traps moisture beneath the skin, keeping it hydrated.

Lycine — a component of lentanin — is an essential amino acid that balances the movement of water molecules through the layers of the skin. To maximize the mushroom’s hydrating ability, skin care experts recommend coupling the extract with moisturizers to absorb extra moisture into the skin.

How to Use Mushrooms for Skin

There are several ways to use shiitake mushrooms for skin care. 

Method 1: Mushroom Powder Blend

This potent mixture of mushroom powder contains king trumpet, cordyceps, maitake, chaga, and shiitake mushrooms. This combination is tailored explicitly for skincare (glowing skin), lustrous hair, and strong nails.

Simply add a teaspoon of the powder to your food or drinks.

Method 2: Mushroom Drink Mix

The mushroom drink mix contains maitake, king trumpet, cordyceps, chaga, and shiitake mushrooms. This mix also contains biotin, marine collagen, and vitamin E and is used to fight aging and prevent free radicals from damaging the skin.

Add one tablespoon of the drink mix to 12 ounces of water. Shake well and drink.

Method 3: Mushroom Capsules

Mushroom capsules have antioxidants and naturally occurring beta-glucans that prevent skin damage by free radicals. The ingredients are chaga, cordyceps, maitake, king trumpet, and shiitake mushrooms.

Take three capsules of water daily.

Shiitake Mushroom Extract for Skin

Shiitake mushroom extract is a concentrate of lentinan. This natural compound has a right-handed triple helix molecular structure. Many studies have shown that it has a solid immunological boost that can suppress chemical and viral carcinogenesis.

Shiitake Mushroom Extract Skin Benefits

Shiitake mushroom extract is rich in antioxidants that strengthen the skin’s natural defenses by activating immunocompetent cells (keratinocytes, langerhans, and macrophages cells). These cells regulate the skin’s immune response helping it fight against environmental toxins.

Shiitake mushroom extract’s antioxidative properties are believed to reduce excessive oxidative stress. It damages cells, proteins, and DNA leading to cell degeneration. Shiitake mushroom extract contains L-ergothioneine, which promotes cell renewal leading to more elastin and collagen in the skin. Collagen strengthens the skin and elastin.

The extract also overflows with essential amino acids and vital nutrients such as kojic acid, which is nature’s substitute for hydroquinone. This compound lightens the skin by eliminating scars and age spots making it look youthful and vibrant. 

Little wonder shiitake mushrooms continue to symbolize youth and longevity in Japan.

Your skin is dehydrated if it flakes, itches, peels, or feels tight. Luckily, this condition is easily treatable with moisturizers containing ceramides. Shiitake mushroom extract contains ceramides that create a protective layer on the skin to prevent moisture loss and reduce damage.

Common skin ailments like acne, eczema, and psoriasis are inflammatory and are often triggered by external factors like temperature, allergens, or even stress. However, using shiitake mushroom extract can keep such inflammations at bay thanks to nutrients that inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines and other inflammatory markers.

Final Words

Shiitake mushrooms have a lot of benefits that you can reap whether you’re a foodie or an aesthete. The beauty of it all is that it is entirely natural with a pedigree that goes back thousands of years.

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