As you likely know, BREVENA’s line of skin care products all feature an ingredient called Macro β Complex, but have you ever wondered what it is exactly? I’m here to explain the science behind this transformative technology.

In order to explain the science, we have to go back twenty years to the labs in which it was created.  BREVENA founder, Barbara Klein was working in the medical field calling on burn care doctors, in hopes of advancing the care of critically injured patients.  It became clear that a new topical product was needed to expedite the healing time of these patients.  Inspired, Barbara took her in-depth knowledge of wound care and partnered with a team of scientists from the University of Minnesota to develop what soon became the standard of care in the burn care industry- a line of topical products all using the regenerative power of refined Oat Beta Glucan.  What is Oat Beta Glucan you ask?  Great question!  Oat Beta Glucan is a carbohydrate found in the cell wall of an oat and like oats, it has many health benefits.  In medical applications, refined Oat Beta Glucan is known to work as an anti-irritant and works with your body’s natural immune response to expedite the recovery of healthy skin. Oat Beta Glucan is found in a variety of skin care products, but like most ingredients, not all Oat Beta Glucan is created equally.  BREVENA and its medical sister-company, Stellen Medical, own the proprietary technology to refine Oat Beta Glucan to its purest state, making it ideal for the delicate skin afflicted with all forms of skin damage.  It’s no wonder that this technology is now used in burn care centers across the United States.

So, if this technology is so established in the medical arena, why did Barbara Klein decide to create a cosmetic skin care line?  Barbara explained that, “Doctors and nurses were using the products on their own dry and damaged skin and were seeing such fantastic results, that creating a cosmetic skin care line was a natural next step”. That being said, let’s explore how this ingredient, now known as BREVENA’s Macro β Complex, benefits everyday skin health, including the types of skin damage we all experience like fine lines and wrinkles, dry or irritated skin.  In a recent study conducted by Dr. Pillai and his colleagues (published in 2005 in the magazine of International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists) found the application of oat beta glucan to result in enhanced elasticity of the skin, wrinkle reduction and a delay in the aging process [1].  BREVENA’s own clinical study found similar results.  A 31-subject study, performed by an independent clinical testing facility, found that 100% of participants showed improvement in skin texture, firmness, elasticity and moisturization of the skin.  97% showed improvement in the appearance of crow’s feet and 90% showed improvement in skin luminosity.  As an Advanced Practice Esthetician, this is the proof that I need before trying a new product myself or recommending one to a client.

Thanks to Macro β Complex, this line of skin care products is fantastic at calming the irritation of my most sensitive-skinned clients and provides the gentle hydration the vast majority of my “normal-skinned” clients need as well.  BREVENA products are gentle, yet effective and provide results you can see, and who doesn’t want that?


Susannah Courteau

Advanced Practice Esthetician

& Skin Health Consultant




[1] Ravi Pillai, Mark Redmond, Joachim Roding.  Anti-Wrinkle Therapy:  Significant new findings in the non-invasive cosmetic treatment of skin wrinkle with beta-glucan.  International Federation of Societies of Cosmetic Chemists, 2005, 8: 1-6.