Beta glucan is an increasingly popular ingredient in skin care products, touted for the many benefits it purportedly offers. But what is it, what does it do, and what's the point of including it in a skin care regimen? We'll answer all of those questions and more in this article.
What Is Beta Glucan?
Beta glucan is a form of fiber that’s most well known for its health-promoting properties in foods wheat, oats and barley. It's a soluble fiber, meaning that it forms a gel-like substance when added to water. Beta glucan can be found within the cell walls of certain plants, bacteria, yeasts, algae and fungi. It's also available in supplement form and is used for everything from blood sugar management to treating inflammation.
Beta Glucan In The Context Of Skin Care
In addition to its other applications, beta glucan is commonly used in the health and beauty industry as a key ingredient in skin care products. It's added to a range of creams, moisturizers and serums to help improve skin texture, fight signs of aging and promote wound healing.
How Beta Glucan Works In Your Skin Care Products
Beta glucan plays an important role in your skin care regimen - but what does it actually do? Read below to find out.
Protects Skin Surface
When applied topically, beta glucan forms a physical barrier on the surface of your skin. This barrier helps to lock in moisture, protect against environmental damage and keep irritants and bacteria out.
Stimulates Collagen Production
In addition to its barrier-forming properties, beta glucan is also known for its ability to stimulate collagen production. Collagen is a protein that plays a major role in skin elasticity and firmness. As we age, our bodies produce less collagen, leading to wrinkles, fine lines and a loss of skin tone.
Applying products that contain beta glucan can help to boost collagen production, resulting in firmer, smoother and more youthful-looking skin.
Beta glucan is a natural humectant, meaning that it has the ability to attract and retain moisture. When applied to the skin, it helps to keep cells hydrated, resulting in a plumper, more youthful appearance.
Beta glucan is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. When applied to the skin, it can help to soothe irritation, redness and swelling. This makes it an ideal ingredient for those with conditions like eczema and rosacea.
Accelerates Wound Healing
In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, beta glucan has also been shown to promote wound healing. When applied to cuts, scrapes and other wounds, it helps to stimulate the production of new cells and blood vessels. This, in turn, helps the wound to heal more quickly and effectively.
The Benefits Of Beta Glucan For Your Skin
Now that you know how beta glucan works, let’s take a look at some of the specific benefits it can offer your skin.
Smoothes Fine Lines And Wrinkles
One of the most obvious signs of aging is the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. These are caused by a breakdown in collagen, which leads to a loss of skin elasticity.
Applying products that contain beta glucan can help to smooth fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen production and keeping skin cells hydrated.
Fades Dark Spots
Dark spots, also known as age spots, are a common sign of aging. They’re caused by a build-up of melanin in the skin and tend to appear on areas that have been exposed to the sun.
Using products that contain beta glucan can help to fade dark spots by hydrating the skin and promoting the production of new cells.
Reduces Puffiness And Under-Eye Circles
Puffiness and under-eye circles are common concerns, especially as we get older. They’re often caused by dehydration, a build-up of toxins or an imbalance in hormones.
Applying a beta glucan-rich cream or serum can help to reduce puffiness and under-eye circles by hydrating the skin and promoting lymphatic drainage.
Heals Dry, Chapped Lips
Dry, chapped lips are a common problem, especially in the winter months. They can be caused by a number of factors, including dehydration, windburn and sun damage.
Using a lip balm or gloss that contains beta glucan can help to heal dry, chapped lips by hydrating and protecting them from further damage.
Soothes Eczema And Psoriasis
Eczema and psoriasis are two common skin conditions that can be extremely painful and frustrating. They’re both characterized by dry, irritated and inflamed skin.
Applying products that contain beta glucan can help to soothe the symptoms of eczema and psoriasis by reducing inflammation and stimulating the production of new cells.
Protects Against Sun Damage
One of the best ways to prevent premature aging is to protect your skin from the sun. UV rays can cause a breakdown in collagen, leading to fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots.
Using products that contain beta glucan can help to create a barrier against the sun’s harmful rays, protecting your skin from damage.
How To Use Beta Glucan For Your Skin
Now that you know all about the benefits of beta glucan for your skin, let’s take a look at how to use it.
There are a few different ways to incorporate beta glucan into your skincare routine.
Use A Beta Glucan-Rich Moisturizer
One of the easiest ways to use beta glucan is to apply it topically in the form of a cream or lotion. Look for products that contain a maximum concentration of 1% beta glucan, and apply them to clean, dry skin.
Add A Beta Glucan Supplement To Your Diet
You can also take beta glucan internally in the form of a supplement. This is a great option if you want to target specific skin concerns, such as wrinkles or sun damage. Taking 100 mg to 500 mg each day has been clinically studied as an effective means of supporting immune function.
Use A Beta Glucan-Rich Facial Mask
Another way to use beta glucan is to apply it in the form of a facial mask. This is a great option if you want to give your skin a boost of hydration and nutrients.
The Bottom Line
The benefits of beta glucan are innumerable, and there’s no doubt that this powerful compound can have a positive impact on your skin.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your skin health, reduce wrinkles, or fade dark spots, consider incorporating beta glucan into your skincare routine. You’ll be glad you did!