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10 Reasons to add Shitake and Reishi to Your Skin Care Routine

by Helen K. |

Shitake and Reishi mushrooms are high in antioxidants, complex B vitamins and Kojic acid. By incorporating their extracts into your skin care routine, you can reap numerous benefits.

Here are 10 Reasons to add Shitake and Reishi mushrooms to your skin care routine:

  • Less redness and irritation
  • Brighter and more even skin tone
  • Increase in collagen production
  • Healthy skin hydration levels
  • Softer, more elastic skin
  • Reduction in dark sports
  • Reduction in scars
  • Reduction in the severity of acne
  • Protection from environmental aging
  • More radiant skin

 

Mushrooms are not just for pizza anymore. They are full of nutrients, antioxidants, amino acids, and proteins.  They can provide tremendous health benefits for your entire body.

 

We will look at each mushroom closely, shitake and reishi. Look at their history, there nutritional value, how these are used and how they can help you look and feel our best.  We will also discuss how to incorporate these fungi into your daily skin care routine to make sure your skin is getting all their benefits.

 

History of Shitake Mushrooms

Shitake mushrooms are edible mushrooms from East Asian countries of China, Japan, Indonesia, and Taiwan.  The mushroom is usually a tan or brown color. Shitake grows on the decaying part of certain trees, like chestnut, maple, beech, and hornbeam.  These mushrooms have been consumed for centuries.

 

How Shitake Mushrooms Are Used

Shitake mushrooms are traditionally used in eastern Asian cooking.  They are used in soups, stir fries, teas and medicines. They have a meaty texture and flavor is earthy and at times smoky. These mushrooms are nutritious and magical.

The mushrooms, they are exquisite. Infused with positive energy—there should always be harmony between the person cooking, the person eating, and the ingredients….Jeong Kwan, Buddhist nun considered to be one of the best chefs in the world


In Japan, China and Korea shiitake mushrooms are consumed fresh or dried.  Dried is usually preferred because it has more of an intense woody flavor.  They are used in soups, like miso, in stir fry and as side dishes.  In Japan, they are even used medicinally to treat cancer.

 

Key Nutrients in Shitake

Shitake mushrooms have high amounts of copper, selenium, and beta-glucans.  These nutrients help support healthy blood vessels, bones, and overall immune system.  Shitake mushrooms also contain phytonutrients that help cells from sticking to blood vessel walls, preventing plaque buildup, high blood pressure and cholesterol.

That is not all, Shitake mushrooms are also a great source of vitamin D and Complex B vitamins.  Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, because it is absorbed by your skin with sun exposure, it is a key nutrient for strong bones, strong teeth, prevents skin damage and stretch marks.  If that is not enough, vitamin D can also boost your mood and reduce anxiety levels.

 

Vitamin B3 is better known as Niacinamide, yes that Niacinamide, the skin super food.  Niacinamide helps keep your skin hydrated, reduces irritation, inflammation and helps regulate oil production.  Niacinamide is an amazing ingredient that benefits every skin type.  Vitamin B5, which you’ve probably know from all the Pantene commercials is good for your hair, but did you know it is also good for your skin.  Like very good.  Vitamin B5 or panthenol helps your skin retain moisture by binding to water molecules.  It also has anti-inflammatory benefits and can help reduce skin inflammation and any skin redness.

 

Shitake is also a good source of Folate, Thiamin, Potassium and Magnesium.  Key vitamins that help ensure your body is functioning properly.  Folate is necessary for your body to produce DNA or genetic material.  Thiamin helps your body get the most energy out of the food you consume.  Potassium and magnesium are important minerals for muscle function, healthy bones, and vascular health.

 

Nutrition Information for Shitake Mushrooms

100 grams of shiitake mushrooms contains about:

  • 34 calories
  • 0.5 gram fat
  • 6.8 grams carbohydrates
  • 2.5 grams dietary fiber
  • 2.4 grams sugar
  • 2.2 grams protein
  • 4 milligrams niacin (19 percent DV)
  • 1.5 milligrams pantothenic acid (15 percent DV)
  • 0.2 milligrams vitamin B6 (15 percent DV)
  • 0.2 milligrams riboflavin (13 percent DV)
  • 18 international units vitamin D (4 percent DV)
  • 0.2 milligrams manganese (12 percent DV)
  • 112 milligrams phosphorus (11 percent DV)
  • 5.7 micrograms selenium (8 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligrams copper (7 percent DV)
  • 1 milligram zinc (7 percent DV)
  • 304 milligrams potassium (6 percent DV)
  • 20 milligrams magnesium (5 percent DV)
  • 0.4 milligrams iron (2 percent DV)

Nutritional data credit: www.draxe.com

 

Where to Find Shitake Mushrooms

Currently, half of the world’s supply of shiitake is produced in Japan.  Nowadays, dry shitake mushrooms can be found in most grocery stores.  There are also supplements available in health food stores.  But, before you start popping any supplements, it is best to speak to your doctor.  There are people who have gotten shiitake dermatitis, which is essentially a rash after they have consumed too much of the mushroom.

 

Skin Conditions that would Benefit from Shitake

Acne – Shitake mushrooms are a powerhouse of antioxidants that will help reduce skin inflammation which triggers acne.  Kojic acid is a natural skin brighter and can help fade acne scars.

 

Dry, Sensitive Skin – The complex B vitamins in the mushroom can help keep maintain skin hydration levels.

 

Rosacea – One of the best things for this inflammatory skin condition is antioxidants.  Lowering inflammation can help reduce redness and dry patches.

 

Psoriasis – The high amounts of vitamin D in shitake mushrooms can help control psoriasis.  A dermatological study from 2011 found that vitamin D can help inflammatory diseases like psoriasis and eczema.

 

Vitamin D has been found to be an immune regulatory hormone with beneficial effects on inflammatory diseases, mediated by helper T-lymphocytes type 1 (Th1) cells [23], such as diabetes, psoriasis, Crohn's disease, and multiple sclerosis

Source: (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3130965/)

 

Shopping for Shitake Skin Care

Now that you know the nutrients in shitake mushrooms and how beneficial they can be to your skin and overall health you might want to incorporate more of them into your life.  If you do not love mushrooms or you cannot imagine eating them regularly, do not worry, you can get the same skin benefits by applying them topically.

“Mushrooms have been around for quite some time; however, it was primarily in the world of health food stores as an oral supplement. Topically applied mushrooms took longer to catch on.”

Dr. Jeanette Graf, board-certified dermatologist, and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine

 

Shitake mushrooms are adaptogens, herbs that help regulate stressors in the body.  We know that stress can have a negative impact on our health and can show up in our skin.  We also know that stress causes inflammation in the body and skin.  Using products with adaptogens can help regulate how your skin handles stress.  Shitake is a powerful adaptogen that can be very beneficial to your skin’s health.  There are also other adaptogens that can provide similar benefits.  Continue reading to find out more about Reishi mushrooms and their benefits.

 

Getting Adventures – Get Ready to Try Other Mushrooms

When your ready to try another mushroom, we suggest you try Reishi. 

 

History of Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi is an edible fungus that orientated in China but are used all over Asia.  They have a unique moon shape and are a burnt orange color.  They have a bitter taste, and the texture is rough and rubbery.  Unlike, shitake they are not typically used in soups or stir frys.  Reishi is often found in powder form and used in medicinal teas.  You may have heard it referred to as “king of mushrooms” or the “mushroom of immortality.”  Known for its anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, and skin soothing properties.  Reishi mushrooms are a powerful tool against anti-inflammatory diseases and skin conditions.  Keep reading to know more about these nutrient dense fungi.

 

Key Nutrients in Reishi

Reishi mushrooms have the following nutritional components:

  • Polysaccharides
  • Dietary fibers
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Peptides
  • Proteins,
  • Zinc
  • Cooper
  • Iodine
  • Selenium
  • Iron
  • Amino acids

Benefits of Reishi Mushrooms for Skin

Reishi mushrooms are a nutrient powerhouse, full of skin loving ingredients.

Full of Antioxidants: 

"Reishi mushrooms sustain levels of two of the most powerful antioxidants in the skin, namely ergothioneine and reduced glutathione." "These prevent premature aging and free radical formation, and also enhance sun protection."

Dr. Jeanette Graf, board-certified dermatologist, and assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Anti-Inflammatory: 

Like shitake, reishi can help fight inflammatory skin conditions like rosacea and psoriasis.  Inflammatory skin is usually red, sensitive, and prone to irritation.  Reishi has soothing properties can calm stress skin reducing inflammation.

 

Health Benefits of Reishi

Reishi mushrooms are full of antioxidants, beta-glucans, amino acids and polysaccharides.  These nutrients are also found in superfoods and help boost the immune system and help protect DNA from mutations. 

 

Balance your Hormones

Stress causes inflammation in your body and that inflammation can cause your hormones to get out of whack.  Adaptogens, like Reishi can help regulate how your body reacts to stress.  Less stress, less inflammation and closer to balance.

 

Reduction of Cholesterol

Reishi mushrooms contain triterpenes that may help increase good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol.  Reishi may also help increase circulations within your arteries resulting in lower blood pressure and inflammation in the body.

 

How to Use Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi mushrooms are usually consumed in powdered form, in a tea or in a tincture.  There are some teas currently on the market that combines Reishi with chocolate and chai. 

Some people prefer to take supplements, but before taking any supplement it is always best to check with your health care provider.

You can also use Reishi mushrooms in your daily skin care routine to help fight skin inflammation.  Keep reading to find out how to shop for Reishi or apoptogenic skin care in general.

 

Shopping for Skincare with shitake or Reishi Mushrooms

Shopping for skincare can be a daunting task these days.  There are so many different brands, with different formulations, claiming to solve all our skin’s problems.  How do you start shopping for skincare?  What should you look for?  What ingredients are important?  You know you want to include mushrooms in your skin care routing, but you do not know what to look for and how to start.  Keep reading as we walk through how to shop for skin care and make sure your getting adaptogens that will help get your skin to where you want it to be.

 

To begin, it is important to understand that that shitake and Reishi mushrooms are adaptogens, meaning there are natural herbs that act like a thermostat on your skin.  They help your skin better handle stressors.  Now you might be thinking, what stress could my skin possibly have?  The answer is a lot.  Your skin is constant faced with environmental stressors, pollution, ultraviolet rays from the sun, blue light emitted from your technological devices, drying effects from wind, heaters, etc.  Your skin is also impacted by internal stressors, hormones, lack of sleep, lack of water, poor diet, and emotions. 

 

These all impact how your skin behaves, how it looks and how it feels.  To have great skin, you must address all these things.  All stress causes inflammation in the body and most skin issues, acne, psoriasis, etc. are caused by inflammation.  So, if your skin can better respond to these stressors, the less stress it will be and the less stressed your skin will look and feel.  That is the reason we love adaptogens and think they are incredibly beneficial in skin care.  We also love clean ingredients and think those are important too. If you want to learn more about clean skin care, click here

 

When looking for products, think about which products have the longest contact with your skin’s dermis.  Moistures sit on your skin and can provide your skin with a protective barrier.  Protecting your skin from environments while nurturing your skin underneath.  How do you nurture your skin underneath? 

 

Look for a moisturizer with adaptogens, nourishing oils like grapeseed oil, ideally humectants like glycerin and ideally, choose a moisturizer with additional antioxidants, like vitamin e, berry extracts, vitamin c or super foods like kale.  You can never have enough antioxidants; they are our best defense (other than sunscreen) against the free radicals that cause aging.  To read more about adaptogen moisturizer, click here .

 

Another great skin care product to consider are serums.  Serums are concentrated formulas usually in liquid form.  They are easy to apply and generally absorb quickly. When shopping for serums, look at the ingredients list.  You should so this for all products you buy. 

 

Look closely at the ingredients list and make sure you see adaptogens (shitake, reishi, gotu kola, licorice, green tea, ashwagandha) and look for nourishing ingredients like glycerin, vitamin e and aloe vera.  Great ingredients make great products.  Be sure to always apply your serum on

clean skin before your moisture. Of course, above all else, be sure to always apply sunscreen in the morning before you go outside. 

Follow these steps when shopping for your next skin care products and you will be sure to get products that improve the look, feel and condition of your skin.

 

References:

https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-benefits-of-shiitake-mushrooms-for-skin-and-health/

https://coveteur.com/2020/08/03/mushrooms-skincare-benefits/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shiitake

https://www.bonappetit.com/story/jeong-kwan-temple-chef.

https://draxe.com/nutrition/shiitake-mushrooms/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23557365/

https://www.byrdie.com/reishi-mushrooms-for-skin-health-5024871

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