A Potent Anti-Aging Ingredient: Shiitake Mushroom Extract

anti-aging ingredient
anti-aging ingredient

There are nearly 150,000 different known species of mushrooms in the world. Some of the most popular are shiitake, reishi, maitaki, enoki, oyster and cordyceps. They contain polysaccharides, long-chain molecules composed of sugar units, which are responsible for their action as immunopotentiators. When it comes to skincare, mushrooms are good for their lightening antioxidant properties, helping to reduce irritation and inflammation. In this Ingredient Spotlight Series, we will learn more about the skin benefits you can reap from shiitake mushroom extracts and why it is a potent anti-aging ingredient.

What are shiitake mushrooms?

Shiitake mushrooms have been rapidly merging from the culinary kitchen and into the beauty community due to their many benefits for the skin. Shiitake has great potential for therapeutic applications, being the first medicinal macrofungus to enter the realm of modern biotechnology. 

A potent anti-aging ingredient

Shiitake mushrooms can be a good anti-aging ingredient as it contains the antioxidant L-ergothioneine. It helps prevent cell breakdown and encourages a faster cellular renewal process. This will lead to healthy collagen and elastin production. Antioxidants present in Shiitake mushrooms help to protect our skin from harmful free radicals which can damage and destroy cells. Shiitake’s anti-inflammatory properties help improve vitality and also encourage faster skin renewal and increase skin elasticity. Hence, making it a potent anti-aging ingredient. Furthermore, one study published in the Archives of Dermatological Research found that phenolic veratric acid, a compound found in mushrooms known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, helps improve the look of wrinkles.

Brightens skin tone 

Shiitake mushroom extract contains a high amount of kojic acid, which is the second most common natural skin-lightening ingredient on the market. It works by slowing down the production of melanin in the skin and can penetrate deep into the upper layer of the skin. Not only can lightening your skin give a brightening effect, but it can also give you a youthful glow by fading out scars and age spots, achieving brighter-looking skin over time without invasive treatments like bleaching or skin peels.

Anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant

Furthermore, Shiitake mushrooms are anti-inflammatory, which makes them perfect for calming the skin. They are rich in B complex vitamins, specifically B3, also known as niacinamide. This vitamin possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe the skin from any irritants. Shiitake mushrooms are also rich in vitamin D and selenium. These phytonutrients help to defend the skin from environmental damage and lock in water. There have even been claims that the extract has the ability to banish inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, and eczema. Hence, shiitake extract can help treat many skin problems caused by inflammation and excessive free radical activity.  

Improves hydration

Lastly, Shiitake mushroom extract contains ceramides, which are compounds that help the skin to maintain a healthy barrier. This not only aids in preventing toxins and bacteria from entering your skin but also locks in moisture to keep your skin hydrated. Moreover, the extract is full of essential amino acids like lycine, which aids the balanced transport of water through the skin’s layers. Therefore, shiitake mushroom is able to help boost hydration of the skin.

How can Shiitake mushrooms be included in my skincare?

Dr TWL’s Mineral Booster, a dual function refreshing mist, contains skin-calming and repairing active ingredients, including Corthellus Shiitake Mushroom Extract, precious rice bran extract, potent licorice extract, and also the antioxidant soy extract suspended in a purified deep sea water mist harvested 600m below sea level using sophisticated technology.

The Mineral Booster is a dual-function refreshing mist to increase absorption of skincare at night, for a perfect look with make-up & during touch-ups in the day. Contains skin-calming & repairing active ingredients, including precious rice bran extract, potent licorice extract, and also the antioxidant soy extract suspended in a purified deep sea water mist harvested 600m below sea level using sophisticated technology. Perfect for tropical and humid climates.


Taofiq O, Heleno SA, Calhelha RC, et al. Development of Mushroom-Based Cosmeceutical Formulations with Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Tyrosinase, Antioxidant, and Antibacterial Properties. Molecules. 2016;21(10):1372. Published 2016 Oct 14. doi:10.3390/molecules21101372

Bisen PS, Baghel RK, Sanodiya BS, Thakur GS, Prasad GB. Lentinus edodes: a macrofungus with pharmacological activities. Curr Med Chem. 2010;17(22):2419-2430. doi:10.2174/092986710791698495

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