Spotlight on Oat Beta Glucan
The more we learn about hyaluronic acid, the more it seems to fall out of favour. Whilst a natural constituent to our skin’s extracellular matrix and considered one of the key players in the tissue regeneration process, low molecular weight hyaluronic acid has pro-inflammatory properties and can contribute to inflammation.
As with most skincare trends, over time a new contender starts to gather moss and eventually takes root as a trusted alternative. In my humble opinion, the time for hyaluronic acid to step aside is long overdue. Let’s raise the curtain for oat beta glucan!!
Beta glucans are found in yeasts, bacteria and fungi, and even lichen and seaweed. They are also naturally present in oats and barley. Oat beta glucans are a type of soluble fibre and prebiotic. Like hyaluronic acid, beta glucans are a polysaccharide (sugar), which form the structural components of cells, mimicking the natural structures found in the top layer of skin.
Like hyaluronic acid, oat beta glucan acts as a phenomenal humectant, which means that it locks in hydration and prevents moisture loss. What’s more, it has been proven to be 20% more effective than hyaluronic acid. While hyaluronic acid is known for its ability to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, beta glucan works by improving the skin’s natural ability to retain moisture. By boosting hydration and plumping up the skin, beta glucans help to decrease the appearance of wrinkles.
As a microbiologist, I have always been fascinated by the skin’s microbiome. And I love that oat beta glucan serves as a pro-biotic, essentially a food source for healthy bacteria on the skin. Good bacteria break oat beta glucan down into short chain fatty acids, which help to lower the pH of the skin and mitigate skin pigmentation.
Aside from hydrating properties, oat beta glucan has healing and soothing benefits. In medical circles, oat beta glucans are regularly used to treat facial burns. James Cross, MD, University of Texas, regularly uses oat beta glucan in surgery to help restores traumatized skin and advises that there is no better product available on the market.
Aligned with its anti-inflammatory and healing properties, oat beta glucans play an important part in helping to trigger an immune response, as dietician Kelly Scholtz explains. Beta glucans stimulate the release of cytokines and other immune cells, which strengthen the skin’s immune response.
Oat beta glucan has anti-bacterial properties and is a natural antioxidant. It helps to protect against the onslaught of free radicals from environmental aggressors like uv light and pollution and provides pro-aging benefits.
Oat beta glucans have been shown to support the skin’s barrier function, helping to reduce trans-epidermal water loss [TEWL], which otherwise can lead to dry skin, irritation or compromised skin. Oat beta glucan can help reduce inflammation, reducing redness and irritation and providing relief for eczema and acne prone skin.
Now, as a skincare formulator, oat beta glucan sits high on my wish list of active ingredients, and you will see it pop up in my Green Rooibos Skincare line more than once.
Maysama Green Rooibos Gel-Balm cleanser is fortified with oat beta glucan to boost hydration, moisturize and support your barrier repair. This gorgeous soap-free cleanser has a rich buttery texture, with the natural colour and scent of sweet rooibos tea.
Formulated with jojoba seed oil, which is closest in properties to our skin’s natural sebum, Maysama’s gel-balm cleanser removes SPF, dirt and impurities without irritation. It’s even gentle enough to be used around the eyes to remove heavy eye makeup.
If your skin is sensitive, this indulgent balm is soothing on application and non-striping, replenishing natural oils to aid your skin barrier function. If your skin is on the drier side, then use Maysama gel-balm cleanser as a stand-alone cleanse. Alternatively, if you are on the normal-to-oilier side, then use Maysama Gel-balm cleanser as a first cleanse, following with a water-based cleanser.
Don’t let those actives go to waste! For an extra boost of hydration, moisturisation and skin TLC, why not try Maysama Green Rooibos Gel-Balm Cleanser as a flash-mask? Apply your cleanser liberally over your entire face and neck and leave on for 15 minutes. Let those oils, humectants and nutrients soak into your skin for longer before you wash it off to reveal super soft, plumped up skin!
Look out for more skincare products from Maysama in future months, formulated with our hero Aspalathin-enriched green rooibos extract for superior antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and fortified with oat beta glucan for the boost your skin craves!
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