Beta glucan for skin — in case you’ve been on a strict social-media cleanse, you’ve *prob* already seen the miracle ingredient popping up in everything from moisturizer to foundation.
But what exactly is beta glucan in skin care? And what are those magical beta glucan skin benefits everybody’s mad about? Consider this your full tutorial on all things beta glucan, from what it is to whether you need it.
What is beta glucan in skin care?
Let’s start with the science. Beta-glucans — written in super cool fashion as β-glucans — are essentially sugars found in the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, yeast, algae, and plants like oats and barley. That means they’re naturally occurring in the world, though not in the human body, which is why so many people turn to beta glucan skincare products to reap their benefits.
While the jury’s still out on everything beta glucans can treat medically, plenty of doctors already prescribe them to lower cholesterol, fight heart disease, control hay fever, and stimulate the immune system. You can take them in pill form or they can be extracted and applied directly to skin, the latter of which some docs are using to treat eczema. Research shows that applying beta glucan cream daily can improve itching and flares, which is *obvs* music to any eczema sufferer's ears.
What are the beta glucan benefits for skin?
When it comes to beta glucan for skin, the biggest reason we’re all obsessed is that beta glucan is — wait for it — a humectant hygroscopic moisturizer. Say what now?! Let’s break it down.
A humectant is simply a substance that keeps things moist. Humectants are used to retain moisture in all kinds of products, from food to cosmetics to medicine. Humectants can come from natural sources like beta glucan, of course, as well as glycerin, honey, and aloe vera, which we happen to use in our *supes* hydrating BOUNCE Soft Focus Gemstone Setting Powder.
Hygroscopic refers to any substance that tends to absorb moisture from the air. The word literally means "water seeking,” which tells you pretty much all you need to know about why its goals also happen to be #BeautyGoals.
What’s the biggest beta glucan skin benefit? Moisture, moisture, and more moisture.
Breaking down 5 beta glucan skin benefits
1. Creating a skin barrier
ICYMI, the world is full of environmental stressors that take a toll on your skin. Over time, smoke, sun, smog, and less-than-stellar cosmetics penetrate your skin’s natural barrier, causing redness and irritation. Beta glucan skincare products help you build up that barrier to keep all that nasty stuff out. The same way The Leveler mattifying primer creates a humidity-proof barrier to lock makeup in place, beta glucan does that for your skin with moisture.
2. Plumping skin
Okay, are you ready for the most shocking beta glucan skin benefit? When it comes to locking in hydration and preventing moisture loss, beta glucan may be even more effective than hyaluronic acid. We know — how is that even possible?! As we’ve told you before, one gram of HA can hold up to 25 cups of water. Well, beta glucan may be capable of holding up to 1000 times its weight in water, which is why it’s extra awesome at deeply penetrating skin to make it more supple while plumping fine lines and wrinkles.
Now, does that mean we can all ditch our hyaluronic acid products? As if! HA is still killer at locking in moisture, which is why we use it in both our BOUNCE Airbrush Liquid Whip Concealer and our Bounce Foundation. The answer is simply to add a few beta glucan skincare products into your routine to maximize the power of both BG and HA.
3. Decreasing the appearance of wrinkles and redness
In addition to plumping and smoothing skin like a pro, beta glucan is also full of anti-aging goodness. Because beta glucan is a unique type of molecule, it can bind to many receptors in your body, allowing it to have different effects depending upon where it lands.
If you use beta glucan skincare products on wrinkles, it will plump and hydrate. If you use beta glucan for skin that’s irritated, it will go into master calming mode. That means you can use this jack of all trades anywhere you like and it will decide what needs to be done there. Talk about hands-off — and brains-off — skin care!
4. Acting as an antioxidant
Remember how we mentioned some doctors are keen on beta glucan for skin because it may improve immunity? Well, those bona fides happen to have big benefits for skin.
Not only does beta glucan fight off bacteria that could break through your skin's barrier, but it also recruits other immune cells to attack unwanted outsiders. And this antioxidant army is especially protective for people who have dry or cracked skin. Talk about being a good little soldier!
5. Preventing damage and repairing skin
Last but not least, one of our *fave* beta glucan skin benefits: stopping — and maybe even reversing — skin damage.
Just as beta glucan prevents outside stressors from penetrating your skin’s barrier, it also happily goes to battle against cell damage caused by age or sun exposure. And once that war is won, it uses those reparative powers to alleviate redness, soothe irritation, and repair problem areas.
Try beta glucan skincare products
So now that we know how great BG is, who can take advantage of beta glucan skin benefits? EVERYONE.
While beta glucan in skin care is gold for people with underperforming skin barriers, we can all benefit from it — and use it as often as we like! And we know just where to start: skin tint.
Our brand-new Beautyblender skin tint is positively packed with soothing beta glucan, so it looks good, feels good, and is good for your skin. In addition to that, BOUNCE skin tint:
—Hydrates and plumps with hyaluronic acid
—Offers a naturally radiant finish with light-medium coverage
—Floods skin with all-day nourishment via smoothing niacinamide, and —
—Comes in 20 flexible tone-adapting shades.
Need one more reason to try BOUNCE? In a consumer study, 96% of participants said they’d replace their current foundation with BOUNCE™ Always On Radiant Skin Tint. We like those odds.