Glutathione Benefits For Skin

5 Top Glutathione Benefits for Skin & It's role in Skin Lightening

The quest for getting a perfect glowing skin is endless. It is more than good genes, hydration, exfoliation and sun protection. Realizing this growing desire of glowing skin care, dermatologists and skin care experts are often inclined to glutathione tablets, enticed by research claims. Because research is the cornerstone of both beauty and wellness.

In this realm of antioxidants, glutathione is a revolutionary product which benefits skin with effective results without causing any adverse effects. It is in vogue for skin brightening and radiance with years of research behind it. It is the saving grace for your dreaded hyper pigmentation and aging signs. (If you have dark spots or discoloration on your face that seems difficult to go away, it may be hyper pigmentation. Learn these tips to get rid of pigmentation.)

As a master antioxidant and detoxifier, it fights against external and internal free radicals produced by pollution, sunlight, stress, drinking and smoking habits. Free radicals deteriorate the overall structure of skin and lead to skin concerns like premature aging, inflammation, hyper pigmentation and destructed skin function.


Why is Glutathione integral for your skin care?

Enriched with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, depigmenting and anti-aging actions, glutathione attracts attention in the arena of skin care. This very day, it is included in a wide range of skin care products including creams, lotions, gels, serums and even dietary supplements available in the form of tablets.

Let's take a deep dive and explore the importance, benefits and effective ways to incorporate this magical ingredient in your daily skin care regimen.

What is glutathione?

Glutathione is a small, low-molecular weight, and water-soluble tripeptide. It is formed from three amino acids viz. glutamate, cysteine and glycine and present in two forms; reduced (GSH) and oxidized (GSSG).


Reduced glutathione is the most active form of glutathione which interacts with a number of biochemical systems. The active form neutralize the oxidative free radicals, thus converting it into oxidized form, the inactive form of glutathione.

“At rest, healthy cells have GSH/GSSG ration >100, which on exposure to oxidative stress, falls to 1 to 10 cells”

What are the health benefits of Glutathione?

Glutathione plays a significant role in modulating pivotal physiological processes involved in various disease pathophysiology. The important physiological functions of glutathione includes:

  • Reduction in oxidative stress,
  • Sustenance of redox balance,
  • Maintenance of immune system,
  • Improvement of metabolic detoxification, and
  • Regulation of certain cellular events

Extensive research in various disease specialties indicates that glutathione can prevent and/or mitigate various human diseases including chronic liver disease, hypertension, uncontrolled diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, cognitive impairment, cystic fibrosis, parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis, allergic disorders and some others.

How does Glutathione benefit your skin?


Glutathione plays a significant role in keeping skin healthy and young. It not only acts as an astonishing skin-brightening agent but also known to reduce wrinkles, fine lines and improve skin elasticity. All these attributes of glutathione are due to its amazing skin-protecting properties.

Related: How to get rid of Wrinkles?

Let's explore its properties in detail one on one!

1. Antioxidant actions

Being a potent antioxidant, it aids in neutralizing the free radicals formulated due to intense exposure to ultraviolet radiations and environmental pollutants. As discussed above, free radicals causes significant damage to skin cells and also causes premature aging leading to wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots Overall, hydration and barrier function of your skin gets disrupted, making it loose, saggy, uneven, dull and dry.

As the levels of toxins become high, your skin needs to detoxify. It is only possible when the levels of antioxidants are adequate in your body. Glutathione, as a master antioxidant, fights against oxidative stress and reduces the levels of these toxins, making skin strong and healthy.

2. Depigmenting actions


Glutathione is renowned for its depigmenting property. This molecule is in limelight for getting lighten, brighten and radiant skin, when used either in topical or any other form. Research studies indicated that glutathione shows its action on hyperpigmentation via three mechanisms:

  • Inhibition of tyrosinase activity

The primary mechanism by which glutathione effectively reduces the dark spots, patches and uneven skin tone is the inhibition of tyrosinase activity.

Tyrosinase is a integral enzyme in melanogenesis (the process by which melanin is produced) Inhibition of this enzyme significantly affects the levels of melanin (the pigment which imparts color to your skin, higher the levels darker is the skin). This results in improving the skin brightening and even tone.

To learn more, read how melanin pigment affects your skin tone?

  • Activation of pheomelanin pathway

Another mechanism by which glutathione reduce hyper pigmentation is the stimulation of the pheomelanin pathway. Glutathione converts eumelanin to pheomelanin, thus regulating the melanogenesis with or without exposure to the sun.

  • Antioxidant activity

The third mechanism which contributes to depigmenting property of glutathione is it's potential antioxidant activity. As discussed earlier, it significantly reduces the formation of reactive oxygen species in the skin cells after intense UV rays exposure and environmental pollution, thus lowering the risk of melanogenesis.

Do you know? Pollution not only generates free radicals but can lead to several skin disorders. Here’s how you can protect your skin from pollution.

3. Anti-inflammatory actions

Inflammation is the root cause of several skin concerns such as hyper pigmentation and acne. It exhibits anti-inflammatory property and thus reduces the levels of pro-inflammatory mediators. This, in turn, helps in reducing acne, post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation, and melasma.

If you want to get rid of brown or gray patches, try some home remedies to get rid of melasma.

4. Anti-ageing actions


Glutathione has demonstrated anti-aging properties. Research studies have shown that glutathione shows a significant effect on reducing wrinkles and increases skin elasticity in all areas exposed to sun.

Along with glutathione, try some home remedies to get rid of wrinkles faster at home.

Above-mentioned properties indicate how essential it is to balance the levels of glutathione in the body. These properties of glutathione aids in making your skin supple, young, brighter and radiant.

What are the different ways to incorporate Glutathione in your skin care routine?

Glutathione can be included in your skin care routine in various ways such as diet, topical, oral and intravenous formulations:

1. Foods enriched with glutathione


You can get glutathione by incorporating some of the antioxidant-enriched foods in the regular diet. These foods include omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenol-rich fruits and vegetables, lean protein sources, herbs, and green tea.

Omega-3 are polyunsaturated fatty acids, which offer numerous health benefits. Learn more about Omega- 3 and its benefits for skin.

The recommended dosage of these foods that a person can consume on daily basis is:

Nutrient and Foods 

Recommended Dosage 


1–2 g/day 

Brassica vegetables 

250 g/day 

Fruit and vegetable juices 

300–400 mL/day 

Omega-3 fatty acids 

4000 mg/day 


150 g twice a week 


100–200 ug/day 

Vitamin C 

500–2000 mg/day 

Vitamin E 

100–400 IU/day 


100 mg/kg/day 

Whey Protein 

40 g/day 


600–1200 mg/day 

Alpha lipoic-acid 

200–600 mg/day 

2. Topical Formulations

You can also incorporate glutathione in topical formulations such as face washes and creams to your skin care routine. These skin care products are the best way to treat the concerned problems more effectively.

A research study (2014) indicated significant improvement in the melanin index, moisture content of the stratum corneum, skin smoothness, skin elasticity and wrinkle formation in 30 healthy women applying 2% glutathione lotion. However, the use and benefits of topical formulation is only restricted to a specific area.

3. Oral supplements


The best way to boost up glutathione levels in your body is through oral supplements including glutathione tablets and capsules. Adequate quantity of glutathione supplemented through tablets or capsules helps to maintain the optimal balance between antioxidants and free radicals in your body.

However the major issue with oral glutathione is its low bio-availability and higher degradation rate, resulting in lower plasma levels of glutathione. To improve its bio-availability it is combined with other ingredients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and alpha-lipoic acid. Vitamin C tablets also offer numerous health benefits. You should know 11 health benefits of Vitamin C tablets.

Today, there liposomal forms are also available that encase the glutathione in protective molecules like lipids to help it survive the stomach and eventually enter the bloodstream as well as supplements containing acetyl glutathione which is the most potent form available in a pill.

Evidence-based efficacy of oral glutathione supplements:

Various research evidence has supported the use of oral glutathione or glutathione supplements for reducing melanin index, skin lightening as well as age defying effects. These research evidences are discussed as below:

  • A double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled study (2012) demonstrated that glutathione, when taken orally at 500 mg per day for 4 weeks, significantly reduces melanin indices and dark spots in several body regions, both sun exposed (i.e. the face and the extensor surfaces of the forearms) and sun-protected skin of the upper arms.


          Adapted from: J Dermatolog Treat. 2012 Apr;23(2):97-102

(Fig.1 Comparison of melanin indices in both glutathione and placebo group after 4 weeks)

  • An open-label, single-arm trial (2016) demonstrated that use of intraoral lozenge containing 500 mg of glutathione can significantly induce skin lightening after 8 weeks of administration
  • A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel, three-arm study (2017) demonstrated that oral glutathione (250 mg/d) in both reduced and oxidized forms have various beneficial effects on skin properties. It significantly reduces melanin index, ultraviolet spots of all sites including face and arm and wrinkles in middle-aged female subjects. It also increases skin elasticity without causing any side effects.
  • A systematic review of four studies (2019) demonstrated a significant improvement in skin wrinkle, skin elasticity, and UV spots with use of oral glutathione. It was found that oral glutathione may brighten skin color at skin-exposed areas.
  • An evidence-based case report (2020) also demonstrated that systemic application of glutathione significantly reduces wrinkles and improves skin elasticity.

One of such formulations, which you can rely on is Health Essentia Glutathione Effervescent Tablets. Being enriched with L-glutathione along with vitamin C, these effervescent tablets are best to tackle the concerns of the skin, like, hyper pigmentation, age spots, dark spots, melasma and skin aging.

These tablets are effervescent, which means, the tablets can readily dissolve, show higher bioavailability and raise the intracellular glutathione to optimum levels. Moreover, the presence of Vitamin C in this formulation works to stabilize the glutathione molecule in an acidic environment and thus increases its intracellular concentrations. While rejuvenating skin, Vitamin C also benefits your overall health. Here’s how

You can add these tablets in your day to day routine to get best out of these. Always remember to maintain the doses for long term skin brightening benefits.

Intravenous glutathione


Concerning the lower bio-availability of oral glutathione, intravenous injections are being used to provide desired therapeutic levels in the blood and skin and to produce “instant” skin-brightening effects.

But the research studies indicating the use of intravenous glutathione for skin brightening are scarce. Also intravenous injections are associated with severe adverse events and FDA has issued a warning against the use of glutathione injections in skin care. Therefore, dermatologists refrain from using such injections for skin lightening and brightening.

These are the most efficient ways through which you can improve the glutathione levels of your body and skin. You must explore these and include these in your skin care routine to keep your skin rejuvenated and revitalized.

Is Glutathione safe?


The question of glutathione safety might be haunting you before using the concerned products in day-to-day life. So, it is important to study the adverse events associated with the use of glutathione and various precautions you should consider while using glutathione.

Scientific evidence suggested that the oral and topical supplementation are the most reasonable and safe and are expected to cause mild side effects, if any. However, huge amounts of glutathione directly delivered in blood through injection form can cause various adverse events such as hypo pigmented patches, melanoma, depletion of liver glutathione levels, and lightening of hair color.

So, it is safe to take this antioxidant orally or topically in day to day life to make your overall health and skin salubrious. The only thing to consider is to make sure you are not sensitive to this component. Also, take medical advice before using this if you are pregnant or a lactating mother. You can consult a dermatologist or physician before including these supplements in your daily routine.

Bottom line

People might know glutathione only as a depigmenting agent which aids in brightening the skin. However, it is associated with overall skin rejuvenation and restoration. For skin care, it plays a very crucial role and its incorporation in the skin care routine can seriously lead to the marked positive changes in the overall person's looks and charm.

It will give your skin a radiant glow, controls acne and prevents acne marks, defies the aging process, protects skin from sun and environmental damages, lightens skin color, pigmentation, tan & freckles, anti-aging & anti wrinkles.

It also helps to even out skin tone and make skin smooth, fresh & bright while nourishing its overall structure. It is also effective by itself or when used as an ingredient in tandem with various vitamins and solutions.

So why wait? Use glutathione tablets and skincare products and give your skin the glow you desire


Let's take a look on most frequently asked question associated with glutathione:

1. How long does it take for glutathione pills to brighten skin?

It takes about 2-3 months to achieve desired results but these results may vary depending on the prescribed dose and avoidance of sun exposure.

2. Is it ok to continue using some brightening cream or gel along with glutathione tablets?

There is no problem to continue using your daily skin care creams or gel but once you have started taking glutathione tablets, there is no need to use skin brightening gels or cream. Glutathione tablets alone are sufficient to get desired results.

3. Once I have achieved the skin tone I want, is it ok to stop taking GLUTATHIONE TABLETS or should I continue it?

It is advisable to still continue with maintenance doses even though you have achieved the skin tone for long term results.

4. Can it give an equal skin tone all over?

Yes, glutathione tablets work from head to toe and therefore give and even skin tone all over.

5. Is Glutathione good for health?

yes, it is good for health. In fact, glutathione has many health benefits . It helps in fighting against free radicals which usually attack the cells. Although it is found in many foods, it is more beneficial when taken as a supplement.

Back to blog