Pullulan – Pepha Tight™ (INCI)

INCI names: Algae Extract | Pullulan

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What is pullulan?

Pepha Tight™ or pullulan is a skin-tightening extract from the microalgae Nannochloropsis oculata combined with a balanced blend of polysaccharides.

Basically being a thickening agent, it is used as a binder in the manufacture of various products. It is also used in breast strips as a film. Because it is a thickening agent, it is commonly used in skin care products for anti-aging and moisturizing. It is a large polysaccharide molecule made up of smaller sugar molecules. It’s called pullulan because it comes from the fungus Aureobasidium pullulans. Some studies also show that it is a form of glucan gum made from black yeast. It also has water-binding and antioxidant properties.

How does algae extract/ pullulan work?

It causes an immediate tightening effect due to the film-forming properties of the polysaccharides. In addition, the algae cocktail containing important vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants strengthens the connective tissue in the long term, so that the tightening is sustainable.

It basically works by dissolving water and creating a pullulan film. The film is elastic, thin and moisture absorbing. When it is placed on the skin, it will tighten the skin. Therefore, it can also be used as a thickener and a peel-off mask. It also acts as a support for the underlying layers of skin, protecting our skin’s microbiome. It is also a carrier for other skin care ingredients. It carries these ingredients to where they are needed most. In addition it can also be used to thicken products by mixing them in for easier application.

It has also been shown to dissolve microneedle products. Here it enhances the delivery of products through skin layers. It also has good thermal stability and low viscosity.
The aging process in the skin affects the daily regeneration process. It slows down the protective system and cell growth. Therefore, an anti-aging nanomaterial such as pullulan can be very important for your skin.

Is pullulan safe for the skin?

According to EWG’s Skin Deep score, pullulan is safe for the skin. It is free of carcinogenic effects and other toxic effects on development and reproduction. It is also safe for the immune system. (EWG – “Environmental Working Group Skin Deep” is one of the top regulatory bodies for testing and balancing cosmetic products.)

Does pullulan have benefits for the skin?

It improves the texture of the skin.
Thickens and firms thin skin by acting as an antioxidant.
Binds water and protects skin and hair moisture.
Also has film-forming and therapeutic effects on the skin.

Is pullulan better than Botox?

Botox is a toxin. Its full name is botulinum toxin. Initially, it can make your skin look younger, but many people have suffered from their eyelids drooping, an uneven smile, etc. You cannot remove it from the skin after injecting it until it stops working naturally. But in contrast, pullulan can be washed off the face and it performs the same as Botox. So you can say that with the properties of pullulan, it is a safe alternative to Botox.

What does pullulan do in cosmetic/ skin care products?

Pullulan can be transformed into hydrogels, translucent tissues and edible films. This is due to its unique physicochemical properties that are induced by the different functional groups that characterize its biomolecules, which are capable of producing complex active chemicals. In this way, it is used in a wide variety of forms for the manufacture of cosmetic products.

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