Oat beta-glucan is a water soluble, linear polymer of glucose consisting of 1,4 (70%) and 1,3 (30%) linkages with an average molecular weight of 1 × 106 Da. Scientific reports indicate beta-glucan is a film-forming moisturizer, a biological response modifier, and a promoter of wound healing. Our objective was to study the penetration of oat (1,4:1,3) beta-glucan in human skin models and to evaluate clinically its efficacy for reducing fine-lines and wrinkles. Penetration studies performed on human abdominal skin used a single application of 0.5% beta-glucan solution at a dose of 5 mg per cm2. The results showed that beta-glucan, despite its large molecular size, deeply penetrated the skin into the epidermis and dermis. A clinical study of 27 subjects was performed to evaluate the effects of beta-glucan on facial fine-lines and wrinkles. After 8 weeks of treatment, digital image analysis of silicone replicas indicated a significant reduction of wrinkle depth and height, and overall roughness.
This work is the first ex vivo and in vivo demonstration of the physiological effects of beta-glucan in the penetration and restructuring of human tissue. The study supports the use of oat beta-glucan in the care and maintenance of healthy skin and the cosmetic treatment of the signs of aging.