Do you know the properties of beta-glucan (β-glucan) for skincare? Behind this name, we find a polysaccharide or carbohydrate formed by the union of several glucose molecules.
Beta-glucans are part of the cell walls of bacteria, yeasts, fungi, algae, and cereals such as oats.
They are biologically active, increase the immune defense of the host. They have a protective effect against carcinogens and can inhibit tumor growth.
Among its benefits for the skin, soothing effect, increasing softness and maintaining the optimum degree of hydration.
In another article, we talked about The Health Benefits of Beta-glucans. Today we tell you more details about the properties of beta-glucan in cosmetics.
Properties of beta-glucan in cosmetics
These polysaccharides have shown multiple benefits for human health. It is an antitumor agent, antidiabetic, helps reduce blood cholesterol, and has immunomodulatory properties.
This article focuses on the benefits of beta-glucan for the skin, the result of research by Phytotherapy Research.
Anti-inflammatory and soothing
The β-glucan can reduce the effects of inflammatory cytokines, which is why cosmetic products with beta-glucan contribute to soothing the skin—for example, using creams with beta-glucan after sun exposure provides relief and improves sunburn.
In other situations that cause irritated skin, such as contact dermatitis, beta-glucan can also help to improve skin conditions.
Aging is a gradual process, and research is constantly seeking to slow down or prevent its effects.
There is natural aging (the skin of a 60-year-old human being will never be the same as when they were 20), and there is ‘accelerated’ aging. This is the result of other environmental factors, in addition to the passage of time.
Lifestyle habits such as smoking, poorly balanced diet, high doses of stress, often sunbathing without sun protection are factors that contribute to accelerated skin aging. They cause cellular oxidation.
This is where beta-glucans come in, as they are rich in antioxidants.
Improves wound healing
When an injury occurs, the body triggers a chain of infractions. First, it tries to repair the skin; an inflammatory process begins, followed by a proliferative phase and then a remodeling phase.
The action of beta-glucans enhances macrophage transport. Macrophages are cells of the immune system that phagocytize foreign bodies to reduce the likelihood of infection after injury.
Another benefit of beta-glucans to help wound healing is that they stimulate tissue granulation and improve collagen disposition. A protein, together with elastin, is responsible for maintaining healthy and elastic skin.
Tissue granulation refers to developing new tissue and blood vessels in a wound during the healing process.
The skin’s water content and surface lipids or fat are critical factors in its appearance and functionality.
Beta-glucans have shown beneficial activity in maintaining skin moisture.
For example, some extracts of the root of Lithospermum erythrorhizon are used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries as moisturizing agents.
In other studies by Kim et al. (2008), beta-glucan was isolated from Schizophyllum commune mushrooms. These compounds were applied topically on the skin, improving dryness.