What are beta glucans and how do they soothe and firm skin? Since it’s really easy to become overwhelmed when searching for a new product, Ingredient Spotlight is here to break down the basics. Here we’ll teach you how an ingredient works and leave you with product recommendations to help you with your search.
Have you heard of beta glucans? Unlike tea tree oil or hyaluronic acid, beta glucans are a lesser known skin care ingredient that is popping up in more and more skin care products. As someone who suffers from extremely sensitive and reactive skin, I’m always searching for skin care ingredients that can help to soothe and repair it and I’ve recently discovered that beta glucans are one of the cures.
Here, we break down what beta glucans are and why you need to add them to your skin care routine as soon as possible.
What are beta glucans?
Beta glucans are polysaccharide sugars found in cell walls that are derived from various mushrooms, plants, algaes, yeasts or oats. They’re known to have immune-enhancing benefits which help to protect the body from pathogens, AKA bacteria, thanks to their ability to increase macrophage activity. Macrophages are scavenger cells that essentially search for and destroy pathogens.
In skin care, beta glucans work twofold to soothe and calm irritated skin and as an effective anti-ager to firm and plump fine lines and wrinkles. Similar to their immune enhancing capabilities, beta glucans use these macrophages to speed up wound healing. They lower infection rate and significantly soothe the skin by reducing inflammation. Oat-derived beta glucans combat skin damage thanks to their anti-irritant properties. They would work especially well for those with sensitive skin who are prone to red and reactive skin.
Beta glucans are also high in antioxidants to protect against oxidative stress that can prematurely age us. They do this by neutralizing free radicals and, as a result, preventing cellular damage. Antioxidants are integral to any routine since we don’t naturally produce them and because of the fact that we’re exposed to oxidative stress from pollution and sun exposure on an everyday basis. Applying beta glucans topically can prevent and alleviate any potential damage.
One study also found that beta glucans significantly reduced the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, thanks to the ability of the oat-derived beta glucans to penetrate the epidermis and dermis to deeply moisturize the skin. The ability of beta glucans to effectively moisturize the skin can prevent the increased appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by maintaining proper skin health and reducing transepidermal water loss.
The Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner is a great hydrating toner that contains beta glucans. This toner increases the absorption of your other products and soothe skin post-cleansing. It’s also formulated with aloe barbadensis leaf extract, licorice root, and centella asiatica to remove excess dirt and sebum while restoring your skin’s pH balance. If you suffer from dry skin, this toner will force-feed your skin nutrition, leaving it feeling firmer, plumper, and definitely more hydrated.
Another excellent toner that contains beta glucan is the SkinRX Lab MadeCera Cream Double Essence Toner. Known as the “strawberry milk toner” in Korea due its pink and creamy texture, this double essence toner is formulated with ceramides and milk protein to gently exfoliate and protect the skin barrier from harsh micro dust and UV rays, while skin soothing and anti-aging ingredients like madecassoside and beta glucan work together to hydrate, plump and calm irritated skin.
If you are looking for a moisturizer, the Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream is a nutrition-dense moisturizer that contains yeast-derived beta glucan, jojoba oil, and ceramides to soothe and repair damaged skin. The beta glucans decrease inflammation and irritation while also providing intense moisture. This soothing cream is an excellent addition for anyone who suffers from reactive skin since it will calm it down while also leaving it hydrated.
For anti-aging benefits, The Plant Base Time Stop Collagen Ampoule is a good choice. It contains beta glucans to smooth and firm skin along with 76.52% mushroom extract to stimulate collagen production and a blend of panthenol, hyaluronic acid, and macadamia seed oil to deeply hydrate skin, helping to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This potent serum is a must-have for those looking to plump and hydrate skin as it does just that and more.
For the delicate eye area that is prone to fine lines and wrinkles, the Benton Fermentation Eye Cream would work well to plump the skin. It’s formulated with bifida ferment lysate and galactomyces ferment filtrate which work by repairing skin damage and restoring skin’s vitality by speeding up the its natural renewal process. Beta glucans are also included, along with adenosine to smooth fine lines and wrinkles, helping the eye area appear more youthful.
Beta glucans are effective ingredients that can address multiple concerns, from soothing sensitive skin to smoothing fine lines and wrinkles. If you suffer from constantly irritated skin and are looking for a product that does double duty to combat signs of aging and calm redness and irritation, it’s time to add some beta glucan-heavy products to your routine.