This group is composed of highly effective skincare ingredients which are derived from diverse natural sources: plants, grains, fungi, yeast. The majority of carbohydrates incorporated in beauty formulas are glucans, long chains of glucose molecules that are connected together. Being derived from plants or microorganisms these compounds are pretty familiar to our body cells, so they don’t cause any dermal irritation or sensibilization. Some of the glucans are even utilized in food industry. Obviously, they are safe in concentrations used in cosmetics.  

Glucans are total win-win for all types of complexions. First, these carbohydrates are exceptional moisturizers.  Being applied on top layer of epidermis they form a delicate layer on it and, thus, hinder the water evaporation from face surface. From the other hand, due to their chemical structure, they have the ability to bond water molecules and keep them inside dermal layers. Double moisturizing effect of these molecules protects skin from dehydration, consecutive dermal destruction and wrinkle formation.  

Next, they are potent antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. These carbohydrates efficiently hunt and neutralize free radicals, which are the main cause of collagen quantity drop and wrinkling. Actively penetrating epidermis and dermis they also stop harmful cascade of inflammatory processes and prevent degradation of skin frame.  

Also, these compounds are involved in inhibition of melanin production. In this way, they battle hyperpigmentation, one of the most common problems of aging skin.  

And this is not the end. Some carbs are incorporated into beauty formulations to serve as prebiotics (food for dermal microflora). Microorganisms are essential part of our body uppermost layer and their bioactivity straightforwardly affects skin integrity. This is why microbiome-friendly beauty formulas are one of the trends of 2021.  

Taking into account all these impressive benefits of polymeric carbs many famous beauty experts mention glucans as must-have ingredients of result–delivering skincare products. 

Acacia Senegal
Topically, it has been used in lotions as a soothing agent, oil-in-water emulsifier, and as astringent. Acacia Senegal gum is used externally to cover inflamed surfaces like bums or nodular leprosy.
Alpha-Glucan Oligosaccharide
Thanks to the specificity of its inter-glycosidic bonds, Alpha-Glucan is a selective substrate for the nutrition and development of the skin's saprophytic (beneficial) flora to the detriment of undesirable opportunists flora (pathogenic or not) ready to invade the skin at the slightest sign of imbalance.
Thanks to cosmetogenomics, Aquaxyl™ makes us travel inside the heart of the cell to unveil the secrets of a well-moistured skin. Water, lipids, and proteins work together to reinforce the natural dehydration shield.
Arabinogalactan (Galactoarabinan)
It is a prebiotic balancing skin microbiota. Studies showed that Galactoarabinan stimulates dermal fibroblast activity and proliferation enhancing collagen and elastin fibers production.
Bioecolia is an alpha-glucan oligosaccharide, obtained from sucrose and maltose (natural sugars) via enzymatic synthesis.
Difructose anhydride
Caramel is mainly used as a water-soluble pigment (colorant) in skin care products, but it has several beneficial actions identical to mono- and poly-saccharides.
Cellulose is the primary component of green plants. It is an organic polysaccharide (complex carbohydrate) derived from beta-glucose and is used in conjunction with a marine focus as a natural exfoliating agent.
Multiple studies demonstrate that CM-Glucan is an effective agent in cosmetic and dermatological formulations, with potent antioxidant, protective, and cell growth-promoting effects.
CM-Glucan Forte is a special beta-glucan extracted from baker’s yeast (magnesium carboxymethyl beta-glucan). This single-substance ingredient is designed to balance the immune system of the skin, soothe irritation and fortify the natural barrier of the skin.
Fruit Extract Complex is a hydroglycolic blend of peach leaves, apples, and raspberries used to fight against the aging process.
A perfectly balanced complex of precursors and activator of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) production. GAGs-boost provides building blocks (Disodium Acetyl Glucosamine Phosphate and Sodium Glucuronate) for glycosaminoglycans synthesis.
Galactose is used in cosmetics for tissue repair, as an anti-inflammatory ingredient, and moisturizer that increases water retainment of the skin.
Glucomannan is a polymer of polysaccharides that form a film on the skin, reducing transdermal water loss. It also enhances product stability and shelf life.
Like other sugars, glucose also captures water molecules enhancing moisture-binging capacity and maintaining skin hydration. In addition, proliferated skin cells like keratinocytes and fibroblasts use it as a fuel converting it into ATP that energizes and stimulates their functions.
Thanks to its ability to form an ultra-strong matrix (network) on the skin surface, Glycofilm provides a protective shield like a second skin or vail that guards the skin against physical, chemical invasions, and other environmental damaging factors.
Recent scientific evidence indicates that honey is also a potent would healer—an excellent antibacterial agent and humectant.
Avena sativa - green oats
Oats are an excellent source of manganese and selenium – which may assist in building strong bones and promoting a healthier immune system; phosphorous; B Group Vitamins; magnesium; zinc, and dietary fiber.
Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose is a water-soluble polymer offering a broad range of properties. It is a multifunctional cellulose-based thickening agent - for improved foam quality.
Inositol is a powerful skin moisturizer and a substance that optimizes the skin's water-lipid barrier. Inositol molecules are incorporated into membrane lipids, enhancing the natural defenses of the skin.
Inulin is an indigestible fiber that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria on the skin surface. Thus, they have positive health effects and are even implicated in disease prevention (prebiotic effects).
Lactose is good probiotic as it's a nutrient for Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. Meanwhile, the majority of harmful bacteria and yeast unable to hydrolyze (into galactose and glucose) and consume it. It changes and improves skin microbiota balance providing a healthy, youthful, and refreshed appearance.
Lipomoist-2036 is a complex that forms a monolayer molecular film that contains a dispersion of heteropolysaccharides, amino acids, and plant-derived peptides obtained by the microfluidization method under very high pressure.
LP FOS complex improves the balance of the skin’s micro-flora for an optimal protection barrier.
Maltodextrin is a generalized name for polysaccharides composed of short-to-medium long chains of glucose units (from 3 to 20 units, linked primarily by α-1–4 bonds) produced from starch.
Mannitol has hydrating and antioxidant properties that make it an ideal ingredient for use in skincare formulations.
MG 60 Skin Softener reduces irritation, provides skin protection and counteracts inflammation.
Pentavitin® is a complex of vegetable carbohydrates capable of binding and retaining moisture in the skin for a long time. Vegetable carbohydrates are very similar in composition to carbohydrates in the upper layer of the epidermis.
Chicory flower
Prebiulin is a natural prebiotic that balances the skin micro-flora by assisting to restore due to any disruptions.
Maltotriose unit of Pullulan chain
Pullulan is a naturally occurring polysaccharide produced by fermentation providing an instant lifting-tightening effect and smoother texture to the skin.
Ribose - linear
The fundamental building block of the ATP molecule, D-Ribose, induces the production of new energy units (ATP) to restore the energetic pool and increases skin cell respiration to recover an optimal cellular metabolism.
Saccharide Isomerate increases the water-binding capacity of the stratum corneum; adheres to the keratin of the horny layer; reduces dryness and irritation caused by Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs).
Siligel is an eco-friendly green prepared gelling complex that assists to reduce transepidermal water loss to keep skin moisturized.
It is a multifunctional ingredient derived from natural raw materials for skin care applications valued for its moisturizing, softening, and conditioning effects on the skin.
A plant-based probiotic and sugar combined to create a microbiotic solution for sensitive skin.
Manihot esculenta
Tapioca starch is a naturally derived, unique water-soluble ingredient that can absorb oils and fragrances in a powder form but readily disperses them in warm water.
Caesalpinia Spinosa
Galactomannans from Caesalpinia Spinosa, in particular, have a 3:1 mannose:galactose ratio (Man:Gal) and relatively regular distribution of galactose along the main chain.
Vitamin C Booster is a plant derived sugar, which transfers fatty acids into the mitochondria to help use more oxygen efficiently.
Xanthan Gum
Xanthan gum is a natural carbohydrate gum produced by a yeast-like micro-organism. It has soothing properties and is used as an emulsifier and thickener to help with the consistency and stability of creams.
Yeast beta glucan is a natural polysaccharide extract, powerful humectant, attracting water to skin’s surface for the ultimate in hydration and moisture retention.
Zea Mays (corn)
Zea Mays (corn) starch is a natural fine powder that may directly replace talc in skincare formulations. It effectively absorbs moisture and oil from the skin surface mattifying and providing a silky-soft feel.