What are polysaccharides, and why does our skin need them?Posted on November 2, 2021 Written by: 100% PURE ®
We hear you asking: what are polysaccharides? And, while we’re at it, what the heck do they do for your skin? You’re not alone in wondering. In fact, polysaccharides are not actually just a single miracle skin care ingredient. They’re a class of ‘complex’ ingredients, but we’ll have you understanding them in no time.
Polysaccharides have come onto the beauty radar lately. However, we’ve been praising this class of beauty ingredients for years. Find out what this magical hydrator can do for your skin, and where you’ll find it in clean beauty.
Polysaccharides are essentially complex carbohydrates, or, more specifically, sugar molecules linked together. Rather than just one ingredient, they’re actually a class of ingredients with multifunctional properties for the skin. Its top prized powers are as a water-binding agent or humectant and emollient – both moisturizing superstars!
To learn where polysaccharides come from, think of them as the quiet group in the corner of a work party. Though they’re more silenced compared to others, their presence is needed for them to be team players. But when they mingle with others with important roles, everybody lands in the top 10 of the Fortune 500.
Polysaccharides like cellulose and chitin, which are types of thickening and hydrating ingredients, do a great job in the background (or corner) in skin care formulas. When they are paired with other active important ingredients (bosses) such as water-loving hyaluronic acid, then they become a critical ingredient in healthy skin structure and its overall integrity.
Polysaccharides also come from natural sources such as mushrooms or seaweed. For instance, alteromonas ferment is a polysaccharide. It’s sourced from a marine bacterium found in deep sea water. It’s great for soothing dry skin and helping skin absorb water. Algin, also gained from seaweed, is a natural thickener and emollient found in the cell walls of brown algae.
So, what are polysaccharides’ roles in skin care? Polysaccharides play a big role in their ability to mimic the natural carbohydrate fraction found in the top layer of skin. As a skin-replenishing overachiever, polysaccharides are responsible for the skin’s natural ability to hydrate and retain water. They are also critical for skin repair and skin renewal.
The special magic powers of polysaccharides are to bind to the skin stronger and longer than other moisturizer ingredients. That way, it can keep the skin effectively hydrated longer and better than usual. Why is this so important?
Hydration level plays a major role in your skin's health and integrity. It helps strengthen your skin's natural protective barrier. Otherwise, damage such as from the sun or environmental aggressors breaks it down, leading to natural water loss and dry skin.
When your skin is dry, it’s more prone to the signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles, and loss of elasticity. It’s also more prone to an oil imbalance, which could spur breakouts and acne. The natural aging process can also cause a reduction in the concentration of the skin’s polysaccharides.
Healthy skin hydration helps preserve the youthfulness of your skin. In addition, pairing all-star hydrators with other natural, effective skin care ingredients is a match made in heaven. For instance, a good mix of antioxidants, water-loving hyaluronic acid, and seaweed, fosters the perfect polysaccharide balance. It also supports smooth, bouncy skin.
Seaweed is a beauty miracle because of how it can similarly absorb and trap moisture into your skin for an endless glow. Seaweed, algae, and kelp are hydration powerhouses packed with sea minerals. They contain anti-inflammatory polysaccharides that are soothing for your skin, as well as antioxidants for fighting signs of aging.
We love the beauty benefits of seaweed polysaccharides so much that it’s integrated into many of our restorative formulas. So if your skin is needing a boost of hydration and glow, it’s time to delve into the oceanic wonders of these.
We recommend starting with our Restorative Sea Culture Hydrating Toner. It utilizes sea kelp and algae extract as well as witch hazel and hyaluronic acid for refreshed, toned and pH-balanced skin.
While we love this toner for its deep moisturization and nourishment, it works even better when paired with a serum that can deliver hydration to even deeper skin layers. The Restorative Sea Culture Replenishing Serum ticks those boxes with plenty of antioxidants and hyaluronic acid to lock in long-lasting moisture. Combined with seaweed polysaccharides to hydrate and plump skin for a more youthful complexion, you can say goodbye to dry skin.
What skin routine would not be complete without the deep moisturization and nourishment from a face cream? Enter our Restorative Sea Culture Extra Riche Crème. This seaworthy face cream is packed with natural skin conditioners, vitamins, and trace minerals. Alteromonas (a polysaccharide from the sea) delivers nutrient-rich sea minerals to skin.
Some say that Cassia Angustifolia (a polysaccharide from the senna plant) is a more powerful hydrator than hyaluronic acid, holding up to 1,000x its weight in water. Wow! Our last key ingredient is seaweed algin. It’s a polysaccharide that helps enhance water retention and suppleness in dry, aging, or normal skin.
So, what’s the takeaway? There are endless benefits of polysaccharides for your skin, but hopefully, we’ve started you on your journey! When it comes to the hydration and anti-aging-packed benefits of polysaccharides, it’s a no-brainer addition to your natural skin care routine.
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The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.