Ergothioneine, a key amino acid in skincare

Ergothioneine is an intriguing ingredient.

It is an amino acid that has fabulous results, with improving the vitality of our skin.


A common amino acid used in skin care is known as carnitine, this helps the skin cells burn food more efficiently to make more energy.

Unfortunately there is a downside to this amino acid, it heats up energy production and it can produce Free Radicals, that damage our skin cells and leads to premature ageing.

Studies have found that the essential amino acid ergothioneine, has the same antioxidant effect on skin cells that carnitine has, however unlike carnitine it has the ability to cool down cells during peak energy production.


Essentially, ergothioneine is an antioxidant amino acid, it naturally occurs in our body, and is found in high concentrations around our cells that are subject to damage from free radicals and oxidization.

The downside is, that our bodies can’t easily synthesis it, and because skin is the last organ to receive the benefits of any uptake of nutrients, it may be better to apply it topically.

Skin care products that contain ergothioneine are used for reducing signs associated with ageing, such as crow’s feet, fine lines and wrinkles.

Often these anti-ageing creams will contain other antioxidants along with ergothioneine to maximise the skin benefits, for instance when combined with Vitamin C, it is found to be far more effective.

This amino acid is the perfect antidote for a lack-luster skin, and certainly one ingredient to watch out for in dry skin products, for those whose skin lacks vitality and requires a little boost.

This is a great little video on ergothioneine, and the fact that it may become a new vitamin.


Research suggests that ergothioneine is not harmful for our skin because it occurs naturally, it is not likely to cause any type of irritation when applied topically to the skin.

There are also a number of studies under way that suggest ergothioneine may be effective as a natural preservative.

Should this research prove to be successful, then it could quickly become the preservative of choice for a sensitive, thin skin due to its safety.

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