Dry, Sensitive, Irritated Skin Needs the Plant (and Mushroom) Based Beauty Benefits of Beta-glucans

Dry, Sensitive, Irritated Skin Needs the Plant (and Mushroom) Based Beauty Benefits of Beta-glucans

Beta-glucans are naturally occurring polysaccharides that can have a powerful impact on skin. Whether consumed or used in skincare, these special sugar molecules have a multitude of health benefits you definitely want in your life.


  • are complex polysaccharides that stimulate the human body’s immune system
  • are anti-cancer, anti-wrinkle, collagen building, and soothing
  • can be found in Reishi, Shiitake, or Maitake Mushrooms, Oats, Barley, and Yeast extracts

Beta-glucans are found in the cell walls of fungi, yeasts, lichen, and plants such as oats and barley. Beta-glucans are notable in part for their ability to modulate and activate the human body’s immune system. There are a wide variety of beta-glucan molecules that come from each of these botanical sources and each may act a little differently.

One of the  best properties of beta-glucans is their anti-cancer properties, which have been verified in live (in vivo) studies. This makes them exceptionally valuable for people who have had extended sun exposure or a tendency towards abnormal skin cell growth. Medicinal mushrooms are ideal to use to help maintain healthy cells.

Oats have been used for centuries to soothe skin.  While they have a large molecule size of around several hundred thousand Daltons beta-glucans do have the ability to penetrate into the epidermis and dermis through the intercellular matrix.

The fact that they do penetrate through the epidermis is part of why they are just so darn effective at helping skin. From the inside they stimulate collagen growth as well as improving skin moisturization. This makes oats a wonderful ingredient to combat daily skin stress from environmental challenges and irritations. 

Creams containing oat extracts have been shown to alleviate itch and improve moderate to severe dryness in skin.  They improve the condition and function of the stratum corneum, your outermost layer of skin, making your skin more resilient overall. It doesn't take long for these results to show up, either. Study participants in 2015 reported significant improvements to their skin within just 1 day.  People with eczema and dry skin will love the anti-inflammation relief that oats can offer.

Recently  oat beta-glucans have been shown to have anti-wrinkle benefits as well.  In a 2005 study they decreased wrinkle depth, height, and overall roughness. Since many ingredients like retinols and AHAs used to promote the look of youthful skin are often irritating to people with sensitive skin an ingredient that can do both is cause for celebration.

Oats especially can be one of the simplest ingredients to use for benefit in a weekly skincare routine. A simple mask can be made using just honey, oats, and water.

Keeping your cells well-supplied with healthy building blocks is partly an inside job, and consuming oats and mushrooms on a regular basis can boost your beauty and skin comfort as well. The digestive and circulatory systems benefit from their healthy chemistry.  Your gut contributes directly to your glow, and both systems are involved in nutrient delivery to your skin. That sounds like a win to us!

Beta-glucans are the epitomy of how phytonutrients contribute to healthy beauty. They give your skin and body systems the support it needs to be its best each day.

Do you incorporate oats or mushrooms in your plant based beauty lifestyle?

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is general in nature and for informational purposes. It is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. None of the statements on this site are a recommendation as to how to treat any particular disease or health-related condition. If you suspect you have a disease or health-related condition of any kind, you should contact your health care professional immediately. Please read all product packaging carefully and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise, supplementation or medication program.