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.
Beta Glucan Skin Benefits
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.
What Are the Benefits of Beta-Glucans in Skin Care?
Beta-glucans have long been used for various health purposes. It’s only more recently, though, that beta-glucans have been recognized for the benefits they can provide your skin, which according to Dr. Kwan includes helping to heal wounds, diminishing the appearance of wrinkles and reducing skin irritation. Some people have gone as far as saying that beta-glucan is the “new hyaluronic acid.” But while Dr. Kwan names beta-glucan a reasonable, non-irritating addition to skin-care products, he wouldn’t call it a replacement for hyaluronic acid. “Hyaluronic acid is one of the building blocks of all organisms and is irreplaceable as a humectant that preserves moisture,” he says. Additionally, according to the NCBI, beta-glucans have been successfully used to address burns by helping to reduce pain and improve healing.
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.
Beta Glucan Skin Studies
Beta Glucan is a natural biopolymer derived from mushrooms, yeast, algae and plants. For years, Beta Glucan has been studied by scientific and medical researchers for its ability to support the immune system and even as a potential cancer therapy.
Studies have shown that Beta Glucan can penetrate the skin into the epidermis and dermis, balancing the skin from the inside out. These studies have also shown that it is so effective at boosting and protecting the skin barrier it has been extremely beneficial to anyone suffering from extremely dry, cracked skin conditions.
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.
Beta-Glucan vs Hyaluronic Acid
Some studies show that beta glucan is 20% more hydrating than hyaluronic acid at the same concentration. Beta glucan is a humectant, which means it not only provides intense hydration for the skin but also helps to prevent moisture loss!
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.
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