Should Glutathione Play a Role in Your Skincare Routine?

From retinol to copper peptides, vitamin C serum to hyaluronic acid, ingredients are increasing being added to the daily skincare routines of serious beauty buffs. American skincare users spend around $8 per day on skincare – according to research undertaken by beauty retailer, SkinStore. The figures are more a reflection of the fact that skincare routines have become more sophisticated, comprising a larger number of steps. One ingredient that is fast becoming a firm favorite among skin specialists is glutathione. A 2017 study published in the journal Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology has found that glutathione does indeed have powerful effects against skin aging.

How can Glutathione Help Fight Aging?

Much of the glutathione boom can be attributed to research showing that this powerful antioxidant helps people resist daily toxic stressors (including pollution, heavy metals, chemicals in skincare products and medications, etc.). The researchers noted that glutathione levels wane as we age, and that this compound could potentially be used to help older adults detoxify and prevent disease. Because oral, topical, or intravenous glutathione has antioxidant properties, it can also help fight the free radicals that cause skin to age, wrinkle, and lose firmness.

Glutathione in Skincare

Firms like Perricone MD (famed for its active skincare range) include glutathione as one ingredient among others (including Vitamin F and Vitamin B3) in creams to lessen wrinkles and fight dark spots and patches (pigmentation). Although these products are deeply hydrating, science is still at odds regarding their efficiency. One of the most recent studies focused on glutathione supplements found that taking 250mg per day reduced the level of sunspots and lowered melanin levels in skin. It also improved wrinkles and overall skin condition. However, just one year later, another study noted that although glutathione is safe, more evidence is required to prove its long term efficiency. Larger, well-designed studies need to be carried out to check aspects such as longevity. For instance, if you use glutathione regularly in your skincare but you suddenly stop, will the problems come back immediately?

Glutathione is one of the many ingredients that show potential for battle wrinkles and sun damage. In some countries in Asia, it is also being touted as a useful ingredient for ‘skin lightening’. If you are interested in trying this product out for your skin, you might start out with a reputable cream. For supplementation and injections, always consult with your doctor to check if this product is suitable for your age, skin condition, and overall health.