Millions of us around the world are constantly searching for ways to brighten and whiten our skin in order to get a healthy glow. In certain countries, skin-whitening is considered to be a highly desired beauty standard, but having bright and radiant skin is a universally admired quality.
There are many ways to get brighter and whiter skin, but a product that is growing in popularity is glutathione. What is it, how does it work, and how much is the dosage you need for whitening and brightening your skin? Or maybe it doesn’t work at all. We looked into it.
What is glutathione?
Glutathione is a potent antioxidant that is used in a wide range of brightening products such as creams and serums. Glutathione is naturally produced by the body, though can also be taken as a supplement, and is largely made up of the amino acids cysteine, glycine, and glutamine.
Much like other substances naturally created by the body, glutathione production slows down with age, and can also be negatively impacted due to stress, poor dietary choices, not getting enough sleep, and exposure to various toxins. This is why it’s essential to maintain a high standard of overall health so the body can continue making skin-loving materials.
Foods that help the body produce glutathione
Since glutathione is made naturally in the body, there are things you can do to help the process along. One of the best strategies you can implement is eating a balanced diet containing foods that can help stimulate the production of glutathione.
Some of the best foods to eat are as follows:
- Lean meat such as fish and chicken
Does glutathione help whiten and brighten your skin?
While there’s a lot of hype in the skincare world about the alleged whitening and brightening qualities of glutathione, the truth is somewhat harder to decipher.
In theory, glutathione can be used to brighten the skin. This is due to one of its main components, an amino acid called L-cysteine. L-cysteine is essential for the production of glutathione and has many benefits of its own. L-cysteine can help protect the skin from the sun’s UV rays, fight pigmentation, and can work to accelerate skin cell renewal. Coupled with glutathione, the body’s cells can remain healthy thanks to the removal of free radicals, harmful toxins, and heavy metals.
With all that being said, the evidence that glutathione supplements significantly increase the whitening and brightening of the skin is sketchy at best. There have been studies conducted that suggest the regular intake of 500mg of oral glutathione supplements  over a time period of 4 to 8 weeks, works to decrease the production of melanin in the body, which in turn can make the skin look brighter.
However, the bold claims of certain brands and their marketing campaigns that suggest your skin can be magically whitened by solely taking glutathione supplements don’t appear to be backed up with any significant evidence.
In this regard, we can only recommend you speak to a professional dermatologist who can evaluate your skin on a personal level and give individual advice on the use of glutathione. Otherwise, there are many other skin-brightening products on the market such as creams and serums that might yield temporary results.
Other benefits of glutathione
While the evidence that supports whether glutathione is effective for skin whitening and brightening is lacking and heavily reliant on anecdotal data, there are many other tangible benefits of glutathione that shouldn’t be ignored.
Here are some of the best benefits of glutathione for the body.
It’s a great antioxidant
Glutathione is a proven and effective antioxidant. This means it works very well at fighting free radicals, toxins, and oxidative stress. This is super important, as oxidative stress can lead to serious health problems such as diabetes and cancer if it’s left unaddressed. Making sure you’re getting enough glutathione is a great first step in reducing your risk of disease.
Improves insulin resistance and fat loss
As we age, we naturally produce less glutathione. According to studies, it was discovered that low glutathione levels were associated with fat storage and difficulty in losing weight. When older people were given glycine and cysteine to help their bodies produce more glutathione, it was found they became more insulin-resistant and were able to lose fat easier. Is this the secret diet we’ve been searching for?
Helps reduce symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating illness that affects the central nervous system, and it currently has no known cure. According to one study , it was observed that glutathione may have a positive impact on reducing symptoms such as shakiness and tremors in patients.
Glutathione can be a healthy and beneficial substance for the body, but the evidence that it can significantly whiten and brighten the skin isn’t conclusive. Thankfully, there are many skin-brightening products on the market that can have more concrete results.
Glutathione itself, however, provides many health advantages for the body, and you should take appropriate steps to ensure you are getting a suitable enough intake.