Experts Think Beta Glucan Could Be The New Hyaluronic Acid

At Refinery29 Australia, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All products are independently selected and curated by the editorial team, but we may earn commission or other compensation from the links on this page.
I don't know about you, but the seasonal change between autumn and winter wreaks absolute havoc on my skin. Between going in and out of heated office spaces and houses to getting out for my hot girl mental health walks on those crisp, almost winter mornings, my skin doesn't know which way's up. One day, it's extremely dry and sensitive, and the next, I'm breaking out because of excess sebum. She's a real rollercoaster ride, and one I'm always looking to get off.
That's where finding the perfect mid-season moisturiser comes in handy. You need something that's lightweight, barrier sealing and, of course, extra hydrating. On my hunt to find said miracle worker, I've found a new skincare ingredient that really piques my thirsty skin's interest — beta glucan. Specifically, the kind found in The Ordinary's new gel moisturiser.

What is Beta Glucan?

There's a lot of buzz in the beauty world right now around the fact that beta glucan might be the new hyaluronic acid (but 20% more hydrating). On the science side of things, beta glucans are a collective term given to a number of sugar-based polymers (repeating chains of molecules) found in grains, bacteria, yeasts, and fungi, explains The Ordinary's CSO, Prudvi Mohan Kaka. "Their benefits have been shown to differ depending on where they are sourced, which can impact their structure and molecular size. When relating to mushrooms, beta glucans are found primarily within the cell walls."
For The Ordinary's new Natural Moisturizing Factors + Beta Glucan moisturiser, the brand has sourced its beta glucan from the fungi species Ganoderma lucidum, more commonly known as Reishi mushrooms.

What are the benefits of Beta Glucan formulas?

According to Prudvi, the beta glucan within The Ordinary’s Natural Moisturizing Factors + Beta Glucan is an effective humectant that helps to retain moisture, supporting other technologies within the formula to offer immediate hydration and barrier support.
This means if you've got sensitive, dry skin or a damaged skin barrier, it's a great way to soothe your skin and protect and rebuild the barrier.

Where does it sit in our routines? 

The Ordinary's new gel moisturiser was designed to be the last step in your skincare routine. "Natural Moisturizing Factors + Beta Glucan sits in the 'seal' step of our three-step regimen. This is the last step that works to lock in the benefits from the 'treat' step products whilst maintaining and supporting the skin barrier," explains Prudvi.
The gel moisturiser is also suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin and oily and combination skin.

Does The Ordinary's Natural Moisturizing Factors + Beta Glucan play well with other products?

Short answer, yes! "The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + Beta Glucan provides immediate skin hydration and does not require the support of an additional moisturiser. However, if you prefer to combine moisturisers within your routine, you definitely can, as we avoid the inclusion of concern-led ingredients in our prep and seal steps to reduce the possibility of product conflicts."

Is The Ordinary’s Natural Moisturizing Factors + Beta Glucan any good?

I was a little hesitant to try it at first when I realised it was a gel moisturiser. I've always found that they tend not to play well with my other skincare products and often result in pilling. However, the Natural Moisturizing Factors + Beta Glucan didn't have that effect.
The minute the gel touched my skin, it started to lose its gel-like consistency and become more creamy before sinking into the skin. As it sunk in, I noticed there wasn't any tackiness — only a soft, glossy feel. My skin instantly had that hydrated, bounciness to it.
Over the course of the day, I noticed that my skin stayed super hydrated, even when coming in and out of heated spaces. It was only at about 3 pm in the afternoon that I felt the need to reapply, and that's mostly because I was feeling particularly dry from my office heater.
Overall, I think it's a great moisturiser for this time of year, especially if you're not ready to lather on the thick ones just yet. I also love that you can reapply without a tacky, greasy sheen or pilling, if you feel like it, although, it does provide around eight hours of hydration without reapplication.
The Natural Moisturizing Factors + Beta Glucan is available to buy now at, and I have a feeling it’s going to be one of The Ordinary's more popular moisturisers.
Want more? Get Refinery29 Australia’s best stories delivered to your inbox each week. Sign up here!

More from Skin Care