No known benefits

Pullulan at a glance

  • Versatile skin care ingredient known for its hydration and antioxidant properties
  • Works well as a “carrier” to deliver active ingredients where they need to go
  • Has potential to help strengthen skin’s microbiome
  • Can provide temporary mechanical support for skin’s underlying structures
  • Continually being studied for its many therapeutic, film-forming benefits for skin

Pullulan description

Pullulan is a natural fibrous polymer produced by a type of black yeast known as _Aureobasidium pullulans_. It contains complex sugars known as polysaccharides, which makes it a good water-binding agent (i.e. hydration) and antioxidant in skin care products. It is proven to work well as a “carrier” for other skin care actives, effectively delivering the ingredients where they need to go. Additionally, research shows pullulan has the potential to help with strengthening skin’s microbiome. Studies also show it can provide temporary mechanical support for skin’s underlying structures as well as a subtle yet visible lifting effect owing to its non-irritating film-forming properties More recently, pullulan has been utilised in dissolving microneedle patch products where it is believed to enhance transdermal delivery of ingredients. Scientists are also exploring the therapeutic benefits of pullulan-based hydrogel films for various skin conditions. As a texture-enhancing ingredient, characteristics of pullulan include its water solubility and relatively low viscosity compared to other polysaccharides. It possesses good thermal stability and has earned Generally Recognised as Safe (GRaS) status from U.S. FDA.

Pullulan references

  • Journal of Functional Biomaterials, March 2020, pages 1-17
  • International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, December 2019, pages 290-298
  • Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, November 2019, pages 1,965-1,977
  • Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, October 2019, pages 2,325-2,334
  • International Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 2012, pages 202-219

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


We couldn't find this in our ingredient dictionary. We log all missing ingredients and make continuous updates.

Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.