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The topical administration of oats has long been recommended for its skin benefits and it is partially due to one of its constituents; oat beta glucan. While beta glucan is a component found in oats, it is also found in yeasts and other cereals.

What Is Beta Glucan?

Beta glucan is a group of glucose molecules that are linked together in a certain way. In addition to being a useful moisturizing ingredient - it is particularly beneficial to individuals suffering with dry and itchy skin - beta glucan has demonstrated efficacy in healing skin abrasions, wounds and some burns. Though its exact mechanism of action is not clear, it's thought to work by stimulating the wound healing process involving fibroblasts and collagen.

A study published in 2005 recently uncovered evidence of beta glucan's anti wrinkle effects. An experiment found that beta glucan not only was able to penetrate skin, but that beta-glucan treated areas fared significantly better than placebo, with wrinkles and roughness diminishing more than the non-treated areas. Skin firmness was also shown to increase.

The availability of skin care products containing oat beta glucan is still limited, but we do know that it has a long history of safe and effective use in skin care, particularly as a moisturizing agent. More research would be welcome, but in the meantime it is exciting to have another ingredient to add to the anti aging arsenal.

If the idea of beta glucan appeals to you, consider [Link Removed] and Vitamin E. The combination is effective in fighting free radical damage, strengthening the skin's barrier system and protecting skin cells.

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed].
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