Pullulan is a film former and binder popular in the production of breath strips, but it also appears as an ingredient in cosmetics and beauty products because of its solubility in water, and adhesive properties. According to Wikipedia, it is produced from the starch of the fungus Aureobasidium pullulans, and CosmeticsCop.com says that it is “Glucan gum produced by black yeast that contains polysaccharides, which makes it a good water-binding agent, thickening agent, and antioxidant,” although no other information corroborates any antioxidant properties or benefits.
Pullulan is seen as an ingredient in cosmetics and beauty products, specifically anti-aging products, because of its ability to provide an instant skin-tightening effect as it adheres to the skin. It is able to quickly form a sheer film that temporarily improves skin’s texture and appearance. According to Hayashibara, a Japanese manufacturer of Pullulan, it also provides a smoother texture to formulas, provides foam retention, is anti-static and oil resistant, and water soluble and therefore easily rinsed away.
Safety Measures/Side Effects:
The CosmeticsDatabase finds Pullulan to be a low hazard ingredient, although a Japanese study in 1985 did find that one or more in vitro tests of Pullulan on non-mammalian cells showed positive mutation results that could potentially lead to cancer. This is unlikely to result in cancer from the use of this ingredient in cosmetics or beauty products, however. No other studies were found that listed negative side effects or adverse reactions from using products or formulas containing Pullulan.