Beta-Glucan at a Glance

  • Naturally derived from yeast, fungi, seaweed, or oats
  • Often used as a skin-soothing agent/redness-minimising ingredient
  • Delivers beneficial antioxidant and moisturising properties
  • Studies indicate beta-glucan can help reduce the look of wrinkle depth and address other signs of ageing
  • Proven track record of safety

Beta-Glucan Description

Beta-glucan is a polysaccharide (complex sugar) that can be derived from various natural sources such as yeast, fungi, seaweed, or oats. It is commonly included in skin care products as a soothing agent and is considered an excellent ingredient for minimising redness and other signs of sensitive skin.

Beta-glucan also offers antioxidant properties and has been shown to help visibly minimise signs of ageing/sun damage (including reducing the look of wrinkle depth and rough, uneven tone). Certain sources of beta-glucan also offer film-forming moisturising properties.

In early research, it was hypothesised that beta-glucan’s high molecular weight would inhibit it from penetrating skin, thereby limiting its benefits to just the surface, but in more recent studies, beta-glucan has been proven to permeate skin by passing between cells.

In 2012, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel deemed beta-glucan as safe in cosmetic formulations in the present practices of use at a 1% max concentration.

Beta-Glucan References

Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, December 2018, pages 1,101–1,107
International Journal of Molecular Sciences, September 2017, pages 1–48
Phytotherapy Research, February 2014, pages 159-166
Cosmetic Ingredient Review, October 2012, pages 1-52
Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, February 2007, pages 167-170
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, October 2005, page 292

See mucopolysaccharide

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!