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The shiitake mushroom is a fungus that has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries. It is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it beneficial for skin health. Shiitake mushroom benefits for skin include improving skin tone, reducing the signs of aging, preventing skin cancer, and helping to treat skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, and acne. In addition to eating shiitake mushrooms or applying them topically, you can also take supplements that contain the extracts of this fungus.
It’s no secret that mushrooms are good for your health. They can boost your immune system, lower cholesterol levels, reduce high blood pressure, treat hair loss, and now skin care. This humble mushroom has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a wide range of conditions, including skin problems.
Related: How Chaga Mushroom Brightens, Hydrates, and Gives Your Skin a Major Glow Up
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, mushroom extracts are often used as a natural treatment for a variety of skin conditions. This is due to the chemical composition of edible mushrooms. Mushrooms like:
- Reishi mushrooms – great for reducing inflammation
- Chaga mushrooms – have anti-aging properties and can help prevent fine lines and wrinkles
- Cordyceps mushrooms – boost skin elasticity and help with dry skin conditions like eczema
- Snow mushroom – helps clear up acne and reduce inflammation
- Tremella mushroom – helps with hyperpigmentation and brightens the skin
The popular mushrooms contain bioactive compounds such as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that can help with a number of skin issues. Along with essential amino acids and vitamins that are good for the skin and help it retain moisture, these mushrooms also contain compounds like selenium and copper which are known to have anti-cancerous properties.
- Vitamin D – helps with immunity, cell growth, and skin cell turnover
- Vitamin C – helps with collagen production, brightens the skin, and reduces inflammation
- B vitamins – help with energy production, cell metabolism, and keeping skin healthy
- Vitamin B5 – helps with wound healing
- Vitamin B6 – helps with immune function, skin cell turnover, and the production of collagen
- Vitamin E – helps with skin hydration, cell regeneration, and reducing free radicals
- Folic acid – helps with DNA synthesis and cell growth
- Amino acids – help to keep skin hydrated and plump
- Polysaccharides – help to stimulate collagen production
Minerals like selenium, copper, and zinc are also found in mushrooms. They play an important role in maintaining skin health. Selenium is an antioxidant that can help protect the skin from damage caused by UV rays. Copper is necessary for the production of collagen and elastin, which are important for maintaining skin elasticity. Zinc helps with wound healing and has anti-inflammatory properties.
These species of mushrooms can be eaten raw or cooked, and can also be taken in the form of supplements. The topical application of mushroom extracts is another way to take advantage of their skin benefits.
21 shiitake mushroom benefits for skin
1. Reduces the signs of aging
Oxidative stress and inflammation are two major contributing factors to the visible signs of aging, such as fine lines, wrinkles, and age spots. Over time skin cells become damaged and lose their ability to regenerate. This leads to a decrease in collagen production, which results in the skin becoming thinner and less elastic.
Shiitake mushroom benefits for skin are rich in antioxidants that can help protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause cellular damage and contribute to the aging process. The antioxidant properties like those found in shiitake mushroom benefits can help keep skin healthy by neutralizing free radicals and protecting cells from damage.
A youthful appearance and elastin production can be further improved with the topical application of a shiitake mushroom extract. In a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, researchers found that a cream containing a shiitake mushroom extract was effective in reducing wrinkles and improving elasticity in postmenopausal women.
Related: The Skin Under Your Eyes Is the First Place To Show Signs of Aging—Here’s How Traditional Chinese Medicine Wants You To Care for It
2. Fades age spots
Age spots are dark patches on the skin caused by an overproduction of melanin. They usually appear as a result of sun exposure and become more prominent with age. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds in shiitake mushrooms can be beneficial for fading age spots, by protecting the skin from further damage and reducing inflammation.
Premature skin aging can also be prevented by applying a shiitake mushroom extract to the skin. The complex b vitamins, especially niacin and niacinamide, help boost collagen production and repair damaged skin tissue. This can prevent age spots, fine lines, and wrinkles from occurring in the first place.
3. Hydrates Skin
Hyaluronic acid is a substance that occurs naturally in the skin and helps it retain moisture. It decreases as we age, which can lead to dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles.
Shiitake mushroom benefits for skin are a good source of amino acids, which are the building blocks of hyaluronic acid. In addition, they contain compounds like polysaccharides that can help stimulate the production of hyaluronic acid. On a molecular level, the polysaccharides found in shiitake mushroom benefits can also help attract and retain moisture in the outer epidermal layer of the skin.
4. Reduces inflammation
Inflammation is a normal response by our body to injuries or infections. When it occurs in the skin, it leads to redness, swelling, pain, and sometimes pus. While inflammation is a necessary part of the healing process, prolonged or chronic inflammation can lead to further damage and even an increased risk of developing certain skin conditions.
The anti-inflammatory effects found in shiitake mushrooms are effective at reducing inflammation in the skin. This can help reduce redness, swelling, pain, and treat inflammatory conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
5. Treats fungal skin infections
Shiitake mushrooms contain chemicals called beta-glucans that have antifungal properties. They can help kill fungi such as dermatophytes, which are responsible for causing ringworm and other topical infections on the skin.
6. Improves skin tone
Dark spots and dark circles are a common concern for many people. They can be caused by sun damage, genetics, or certain skin conditions. Whatever the cause, they can be difficult to get rid of and often lead to an uneven skin tone. Other skin problems like acne scars can also cause uneven skin tone.
Shiitake mushroom benefits for skin can help improve skin tone by lightening dark spots and evening out the complexion. The polysaccharides found in shiitake mushrooms can help promote cell turnover and regeneration, which leads to brighter, healthier skin. Kojic acid, a compound found in shiitake mushrooms, can also help with skin discoloration. Due to its ability to inhibit the production of tyrosinase, an enzyme that causes dark patches on the skin, kojic acid has been used as a topical ingredient in many skin lightening creams and products.
7. Reduces pore size
Pores are the openings in your skin that allow oil and sweat to be released. They can become clogged with acne-causing bacteria and dead skin cells, which can lead to breakouts. Large pores can also make oily skin look even shinier.
The beta-glucan compounds found in shiitake mushrooms have been shown to reduce pore size. In one study, a cream containing shiitake mushroom extract improved the appearance of pores in people with oily skin.
8. Soothes sunburns
Sunburns occur when the skin is exposed to too much ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. They cause redness, pain, and sometimes blistering. Shiitake mushrooms contain compounds that can help soothe the skin and reduce inflammation. By applying a cream or ointment containing shiitake mushroom extract to sunburned skin, you can help relieve pain and speed up the healing process.
9. Strengthens and protects the skin barrier
Environmental stressors like UV radiation can affect every skin type. But people with sensitive skin are particularly vulnerable to the damaging effects of the sun and other irritants. This is because their skin barrier is weaker, which makes it more difficult for their skin to protect itself.
Shiitake mushroom benefits for skin can help strengthen and protect the skin barrier. The compounds in shiitake mushrooms can help increase the production of ceramides, a type of lipid that is important for healthy skin. As a result, shiitake mushrooms can help reduce stinging and itching as well as improve hydration levels.
10. Improve completion and brighten the skin
Shiitake mushrooms can help improve the complexion and make the skin look brighter. The kojic acid in shiitake mushrooms can help lighten dark spots while the polysaccharides can promote cell turnover, leading to healthier and brighter skin. In addition, shiitake mushrooms contain a compound called lentinus edodes, which has been shown to improve skin elasticity.
Melanin production and pigmentation are two factors that can affect the overall complexion of your skin, whether you have sensitive or normal skin. Shiitake mushrooms can help improve these issues by inhibiting tyrosinase and melanin production. Additionally, shiitake mushrooms contain polysaccharides that promote cell turnover and regeneration, leading to brighter and more even skin.
As a skin lightener with antioxidant benefits, shiitake mushrooms can improve your skin’s overall appearance.
Related: These Vitamins C Serums Will Immediately Give Your Skin A Healthy Glow
11. Fights free radical damage
Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and lead to premature aging. They are caused by environmental stressors like pollution and UV radiation. Free radical damage is one of the main causes of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.
Shiitake mushrooms are rich in antioxidants, which can help protect the skin from free radical damage. The compounds in shiitake mushrooms can also help repair damaged cells and reduce inflammation.
12. May help prevent cancer
Shiitake mushrooms contain a compound called lentinan, which has been shown to have anti-cancer properties. Lentinan can help kill cancer cells and prevent them from spreading. It has also been shown to improve the effectiveness of cancer treatment.
While more research is needed, shiitake mushrooms may help prevent or treat cancer.
13. May help treat psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic autoimmune condition that causes the skin to appear red and scaly. There is no cure for psoriasis, but there are several treatment options available, including shiitake mushrooms. Phenolic compounds in shiitake mushrooms can help reduce the symptoms of psoriasis. They can also help reduce inflammation and slow the growth of skin cells.
In one study, people with psoriasis who took a supplement containing shiitake mushroom extract for 12 weeks had a significant reduction in the severity of their symptoms.
14. Makes skin look more subtle
The symbol of youth is smooth and supple skin, which shiitake mushrooms can help achieve. Shiitake mushrooms are rich in proteins and polysaccharides that help moisturize the skin, making it look more luminous and subtle. Betulinic acid, a compound found in shiitake mushrooms, can also help improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
15. Inhibits the growth of acne-causing bacteria
Acne is a common skin condition that is characterized by blackheads, whiteheads, and inflamed pimples. It is caused by a combination of factors, including genetics and hormones. One of the main causes of acne is a type of bacteria called p. acnes, which feeds on sebum (the natural oil in your skin). This can lead to clogged pores and pimples that are red, painful, and sometimes pus-filled.
Shiitake mushroom benefits for skin contain compounds like lentinan that can inhibit the growth of p. acnes, reducing the likelihood of acne outbreaks. They also contain polysaccharides that can help kill bacteria and reduce inflammation.
Natural ingredients like medicinal mushrooms are showing up in several skincare products today. These types of mushrooms are trending in the beauty world for good reason. Shiitake extract that comes from the mushroom of immortality has numerous skin advantages. The therapeutic mushrooms are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, making them beneficial for skin health.
How to receive shiitake mushroom skin benefits
1. Eat shiitake mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms are not only delicious but they’re also packed with nutrients that are great for your skin. Eating shiitakes can help improve your skin’s elasticity, fight wrinkles, and even clear up blemishes.
2. Use a shiitake mushroom extract. You can find shiitake mushroom extract at many health food stores. Simply apply the extract to your skin using a cotton ball or Q-tip.
3. Make a shiitake mask. Combine 1/4 cup of cooked, mashed shiitake mushrooms with one egg white and one tablespoon of honey. Apply the mixture to your face and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water, and follow up with your favorite moisturizer or facial oil.
4. Try a shiitake toner. To make a homemade shiitake toner, mix 1/2 cup mushroom broth with one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a small spray bottle. Use the toner daily to keep your skin looking bright, healthy, and clear.
5. Incorporate shiitake mushrooms into your skincare routine. There are many shiitake-based skin care products available, including serums, creams, and masks. Using a product with shiitake mushrooms can help keep your skin looking healthy and youthful for years to come.
Whether you’re trying to improve dull skin or battle signs of aging, incorporating shiitake mushrooms into your routine can be an effective way to receive all of their amazing skin benefits. With just a few simple steps, you’ll be on your way to glowing, radiant skin in no time!