One of the best ways to take care of your skin is by keeping it moisturized. A good hydrant may keep many of your skin issues at bay, including flakiness, acne, shiny skin, and wrinkles. Beta-glucans are lesser-known ingredients that may keep your skin hydrated inside out. Although they are often referred to as the cousins of hyaluronic acid, many consider beta-glucans a better alternative.
Keep reading to know more about beta-glucans, their benefits, and why you need them in your skin care routine.
In This Article
What Are Beta-Glucans?
Beta-glucans or β-glucans are polysaccharides found in the cell walls of yeast, bacteria, fungi, cereals, and oats. They are dietary fibers and can control chronic metabolic diseases by lowering cholesterol levels, improving immunity, stabilizing blood sugar levels, and inhibiting cancer cells. They also help maintain skin health when consumed or applied topically (1).
In dermatology, beta-glucans are used in personal care products. They promote wound healing, moisturize the skin, and have anti-aging effects. They improve the skin’s resilience to infections (1). They are especially beneficial for sensitive skin, may help soothe symptoms of eczema and dermatitis, and protect the skin.
Keep reading to learn what beta-glucans can do for your skin.
What Do Beta-Glucans Do For The Skin?
1. Hydrate The Skin
Beta-glucan extracted from oats can hydrate and moisturize your skin. It can penetrate deep into the dermis (second layer) and improve skin roughness (2). It also increases the efficacy of the product.
2. Reduce Signs Of Aging
Oat-derived beta-glucan can rejuvenate the skin and minimize fine lines and wrinkles. It stimulates the fibroblast cells to promote collagen production and cell renewal process to tighten the skin and minimize crow’s feet in eight weeks to give you a youthful appearance (2).
3. Have Anti-Inflammatory Properties
Beta-glucan derived from mushrooms has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (3). This might help alleviate inflammation caused by skin conditions like eczema, burns, wounds, and dermatitis. Beta-glucans play an important role in treating and preventing allergic reactions triggered by the immune system (4). These properties make them effective agents for soothing allergy symptoms like skin rashes, redness, and swelling.
4. Prevent UV Damage
Excessive UV exposure produces harmful free radicals in your body, one of the main factors that cause photodamage and photoaging. The antioxidative properties of beta-glucans protect the skin against free radical damages and prevent signs of aging, hyperpigmentation, and cell damage (1).
You can use beta-glucans orally and topically to reap their skin benefits (5). Here is how you can incorporate them into your daily routine.
How To Use Beta Glucans For Skin
You can use serums, moisturizers, creams, and other skin care products with beta-glucans. You can also consume foods rich in beta-glucans to maintain your skin and overall health. You can eat:
- Whole grains
- Shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms
Beta-glucans are considered safe (both orally and topically)(5). They do not have any serious side effects unless you are allergic to them or any of the foods listed above. Let’s understand who can use or consume beta-glucans.
Who Should Use Them?
You can use topical (or oral) beta-glucans if you have:
- Dry and sensitive skin
- Mature skin
- Wrinkles, fine lines, and other aging signs
You can consume beta-glucans if you want to boost:
- Cardiovascular health
- Immune function
However, avoid consuming beta-glucans (through supplements or foods) if you have certain medical conditions like:
- Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Multiple sclerosis
This is because beta-glucans can further trigger the already overactive immune system in people with these conditions.
Beta-glucans work as humectants that hydrate your skin and prevent environmental damage. They have anti-inflammatory properties and are especially beneficial for people with inflammatory skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis. You can consume foods rich in beta-glucans or use products containing them to obtain all the benefits. However, before consuming them or taking supplements, consult a doctor to avoid any adverse effects.
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