What Is Pullulan, and What Does It Have to Do With Fungi?
That’s right! Pullulan is a polysaccharide that is produced by fungi. Polysaccharides are basically just long chains of sugar molecules, and pullulan is no exception. It’s made up of glucose units, which are connected to each other in a long chain. This particular polysaccharide is water-soluble, which means that it can dissolve in water.
It’s most commonly derived from the fungus Aureobasidium pullulans, though other species can be used as well. This ingredient has been used in Asia for centuries, but only recently caught on in the Western world. We’ll explain what it does in different types of products.
What Does Pullulan Do in Breath Fresheners?
Pullulan is the key ingredient in Listerine’s PocketPaks, which are little breath strips that dissolve on your tongue. When you put them in your mouth, they quickly start to work. The pullulan film that coats your tongue actually traps bacteria and other particles that cause bad breath. This way, you can have a fresh breath on the go!
What Does Pullulan Do in Skincare Products?
This ingredient is also found in some skincare products, though it’s not as common. Pullulan can give your skin an instant lift-up, making it look firmer and more youthful. It does this by forming a temporary elastic film on your skin that acts like a second skin. This film helps to hold in moisture, which can plump up your skin and make it look more hydrated.
Here are some other ways that pullulan is used in skincare products:
- as a thickening agent;
- to make the texture of the product smoother;
- as a stable carrier for active ingredients (especially in peel-off face masks);
- as an anti-wrinkle agent.
Thanks to its low viscosity, pullulan can be used in serums and other lightweight skincare products. It doesn’t alter the properties of the active ingredients, which makes it a great choice for products that need to be absorbed quickly by the skin.
Pullulan in Hair Care Products
While pullulan is mostly used in skincare and oral care products, it’s also starting to pop up in hair care products. This ingredient can help to detangle your hair, and it also makes it softer and smoother. It acts similarly to silicone in that it creates a barrier on your hair shaft. This barrier can protect your hair from damage, and it also makes it more manageable.
Is Pullulan Safe?
Yes, pullulan is considered to be safe. It’s edible, which is why it can be used in breath fresheners. It’s also non-toxic and non-irritating, which makes it safe to use on your skin. The only side effect of using pullulan is that it can make you more prone to flatulence when ingested in large quantities. However, this is only a temporary side effect and it will go away once your body gets used to pullulan.
Does Pullulan Have Taste?
No, pullulan is tasteless and odorless. This makes it a great choice for products that need to be flavorless or flavored with another ingredient. If you’ve been using Listerine’s PocketPaks, you probably haven’t even noticed the pullulan in them! All you can taste is the menthol flavor.
So there you have it! That’s everything you need to know about pullulan. This strange ingredient actually has a lot of uses, and it’s safe to use in both skincare and oral care products. If you see pullulan on the ingredient list of a product, you can be sure that it won’t do any harm.
Do you have any pullulan-containing products in your beauty routine? Let us know in the comments below!
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