L-Ergothione,  also known as Ergothione, or 2-thio-imidazole, is a natural sulfur-containing amino acid widely distributed in natural animals, plants and microorganisms. Ergothioneine can be found in mushroom extracts and some natural food sources such as oyster and shiitake mushrooms. Therefore, eating mushrooms is thought to increase ergothioneine levels in the body. Oyster mushroom extracts, for example, contain 5 milligrams of ergothioneine per capsule. Moreover, ergothioneine is found in a wide variety of cells, including fibroblasts. Although these two foods contain the highest amounts of ergothioneine, these are the most concentrated sources.

In recent years, ergothione has been widely studied in the fields of medicine, food and cosmetics due to its antioxidant and cytoprotective functions. There are many benefits of ergothioneine for skin, it is more stable and less susceptible to oxidation at physiological pH than other naturally occurring thiols (e.g., glutathione, N-acetylcysteine). You can choose the type based on your own needs and the results that you hope to achieve. You can also purchase ergothioneine supplements for your skin. For example, if you are prone to wrinkles, try ergothioneine gummies. These can contain up to five milligrams of the supplement. You can also mix ergothioneine with Vitamin C in your skincare products.

In a 2009 article in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine, Nevena et al. of Estee Lauder examined how ergothioneine functions in the body’s antioxidant defense system. In this paper, the antioxidant mechanism of ergothioneine is explained in detail. It enters mitochondria mainly through the transporter OCTN-1 produced by skin, which can directly remove free radicals and protect mitochondria. Therefore, skin can accumulate ergothioneine and apply it. Ergothione also inhibits lipid peroxidation and UV-induced apoptosis.


Antioxidants have long been a staple of personal care products, but new research has led to the discovery of powerful antioxidants. Ergothioneine is a potent antioxidant and has proven to protect the skin against sun damage and other signs of aging. Research suggests that ergothioneine protects cells from damage caused by ultraviolet rays. It reduces reactive oxygen species in the body and may help repair DNA damaged by ultraviolet rays. It also inhibits the apoptotic response of cells exposed to UVA rays, increasing their viability. Cells can readily take up and accumulate this powerful antioxidant, which helps them fight off aging.
As a potent antioxidant found naturally in the body, Ergothioneine works like carnitine does. It helps the skin cells burn food more efficiently. However, it also produces free radicals, which can damage skin cells and cause premature ageing, it can even help cool cells down when they are at their peak energy levels. According to Julie K. Salmon, MD, ergothioneine, one of the most effective, anti-aging compounds, scored 60,000 on the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) test, compared to a mere 16,000 for coffee berry.

Ergothioneine has a powerful cytoprotective effect. Ergothioneine is found in high concentrations around the cells of the bod and it also improves skin quality. It is a sulfur-containing molecule that functions as an immune regulator and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties used in sunscreen cosmetics. UVA in the sun can penetrate into the skin dermis and affect the growth of epidermal cells, making the skin surface cells aging earlier, and UVB is easy to lead to skin cancer. Ergothione was found to minimize the formation of reactive oxygen species and protect cells from radiation damage. It also stimulates collagen production in the skin and decreases inflammation. As one of the last organs to receive nutrients, it is essential to provide it with these nutrients in skincare products. At physiological concentrations, ergothioneine exhibits a potent controlled diffusional inactivation of hydroxyl radicals and prevents the generation of atomic oxygen, which protects erythrocytes from neutrophils from normally functioning or moribulently inflammatory sites. When combined with other antioxidants and skin care products, ergothioneine is effective in reducing the signs of aging and improving the overall appearance of the skin.

The results showed that the amount of ergothioneine powder added in cosmetics reached 0.01%-3%, which can play a role in preventing the formation and composure of pigment. In a half-face, double-blind test, a lotion containing 0.5% ergothioneine increased moisture content by 15% and elasticity by 20% after 4 weeks. All this proves that low concentrations of ergothioneine are effective in skin care. In addition to skin benefits, the natural amino acid ergothioneine protects the heart and the brain. In a recent study of 3200 people, researchers found that levels of ergothioneine reduced cardiovascular risks, mortality, and cognitive decline. This result is particularly significant as most people’s skin is protected from sunlight.

Ye Tao