Unlike retinoids, which work by increasing cell turnover (often leaving redness and flaking), rhamnose signals a jump-start, allowing more aged cells to act younger. It was shown to thicken the epidermis significantly after eight weeks and increase production of elastin, collagen, and other beneficial proteins while diminishing the enzymes that break down collagen and lead to wrinkles.
Existing naturally on the surface of cells, glycans are sugar molecules that aid in cellular communication. Problem is, our stores of glycans decrease with age—as does cells’ ability to regenerate effectively. Glycans act as important assistants to your immune system and its function. They “inform” your immune system which cells in your body are normal and should be preserved. They also tell your immune system which cells are precancerous, are infected, or deformed, and should be destroyed.
In skin aging, glycans work to save your normal, youthful skin cells while getting rid of damaged cells. As glycan levels fall, remaining glycans become weaker and less efficient at saving normal cells and destroying damaged cells. The process can get confused with normal cells being destroyed and damaged cells preserved. The impact of too many damaged cells show up in the skin as fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation unevenness and saggy lifeless skin.
By adding glucose to your skin’s surface cells via a transdermal vehicle such as a cream or serum older skin cells are revived. Skin begins to act more youthful: Making more collagen, restore skin elasticity and tighten sagging. There are several good glycan-containing skin products on the market. Some of them list the glycan as “polysaccharides” or “oligosaccharides” obtained from plants like fruits, seeds, and plants.