Is Beta-Glucan Vegan? What Is It Made Of?

By Anett Rannamets. Updated: April 2023.
We may receive a commission for purchases made through the links in this post. Learn more.

Beta-glucan is always vegan. The bioactive polysaccharide is found in nature and made industrially by microbial fermentation. For this purpose, manufacturers use fungi, bacteria, or other microorganisms.

In skincare, beta-glucans are mainly used to stabilize moisture levels. As well as reduce signs of aging, irritation, and redness. In addition to these properties, beta-glucan has other beneficial features. So let’s take a closer look.

What Is Beta-Glucan And What is Beta-Glucan Made Of?

Beta-glucans are sugars found in the cell walls of bacteria, yeast, algae, and lichens. Plus other plants like oats and barley. Beta-glucans are always vegan.

Beta-glucan also naturally exists in the human body. However, people mostly consume it with food. Still, it can be extracted into a skincare compound for its good properties.

As it is an increasingly popular skincare ingredient, it is now produced industrially. Usually by microbial fermentation. For this purpose, industries use microorganisms, mainly fungal ones, such as Botryosphaeria Rhodina.

Why Is Beta-Glucan Used In Skincare?

Beta-glucan is used in skincare because it boosts moisture levels. It also reduces the appearance of wrinkles, redness, and irritation. The bioactive polysaccharide strengthens the skin’s immune system. And without disturbing its natural balance. Thus is often found in moisturizers.

Beta-glucan has as good or even better skin hydration capabilities as hyaluronic acid. Beta-glucan is a humectant. Meaning it locks the moisture in and prevents moisture loss. As hyaluronic acid holds 1000 times its weight in water, beta-glucans can do the same.

Further, beta-glucan is a barrier booster. The molecule binds to form a thin and undetectable layer on the skin’s surface. This strengthens the natural barrier. And protects the delicate skin from daily environmental stressors.

So, beta-glucan boosts the skin’s immunity and fights off invading bacteria and pathogens that might disrupt skin health. Therefore, if redness and irritation are your skin’s main concerns, beta-glucans might help.

The barrier-promoting functions also help to treat dermatitis, eczema, bedsores, wounds, and burns. And prevent damage associated with aging or sun-exposed skin. Beta-glucan is particularly suitable for people with dry, rough, or chapped skin. 

On top of all that, beta-glucan also has an anti-aging effect. The sugar molecule binds to many receptors in the body. And depending on where it lands, it has a different effect. But when it penetrates deep into the epidermis, it can fill in fine lines and wrinkles.

FAQ About Beta-Glucan

What Is beta-glucan?

Beta-glucan is a sugar found in the cell walls of bacteria, yeast, algae, and lichens. As well as other plants like oats and barley. In skincare, it boosts moisture levels. Plus reduces the appearance of wrinkles, irritation, and redness.

What is beta-glucan made of?

For industrial use, manufactories produce beta-glucan by microbial fermentation. For this purpose, they use fungi, bacteria, or other microorganisms.

Is beta-glucan vegan?

Yes, beta-glucan is vegan.


Beta-glucan is a safe and powerful vegan skincare component. And is often compared to hyaluronic acid. Beta-glucan helps to keep the skin moisturized and fights the signs of aging.

In addition, this polysaccharide creates an additional protective layer on the skin. This helps the skin against various environmental damage and bacteria.

In case of heavier skin concerns, we still recommend consulting a dermatologist before use. To find the best vegan skincare products, shop at vegan skincare brands.

See also: Vegan Skincare Products

Anett is a passionate journalist, writer, and magazine editor with almost 7 years of experience. Through engaging articles, she brings kinder and more environmentally-friendly choices closer to everybody.