Glutathione, the antioxidant master in your skincare regime: Know its 5 benefits | Health - Hindustan Times
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Glutathione, the antioxidant master in your skincare regime: Know its 5 benefits

ByZarafshan Shiraz, New Delhi
Jul 12, 2023 06:27 PM IST

Insulin resistance to beauty, here's the role and benefits of glutathione - the antioxidant master in your skincare regime and tips to add GSH to your routine

Glutathione or GSH is one of the most powerful antioxidant molecule and is currently a part of various skincare products, nutraceutical supplements and IV drips. Glutathione is a tripeptide made of glycine, cysteine and glutamic acid which are amino-acids where the primary function of glutathione is to combat free radicals and help in protecting the body from cellular damage, ageing and carcinogenesis.

Glutathione, the antioxidant master in your skincare regime: Know its 5 benefits (Photo by Twitter/SetriaGSH)
Glutathione, the antioxidant master in your skincare regime: Know its 5 benefits (Photo by Twitter/SetriaGSH)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Akanksha Sanghvi, Aesthetic Dermatologist and Founder of Oprava Aesthetics, revealed, “Glutathione is naturally produced by the body’s nerve cells and the liver, and low levels of GSH in the body has been associated with premature aging and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Depleted levels of GSH in the body also occurs with increasing age and poor dietary habits.”

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Talking about the role of Glutathione in the skin, Dr Akanksha Sanghvi shared:

  • Reducing Melanin Production in the Skin - GSH works on cellular level and helps in reducing the production of melanin in the skin, a substance that helps in determining skin color. It inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase which is the key enzyme in formation of melanin. In Humans, there are 3 types of melanin molecules: eumelanin, pheomelanin and neuromelanin. It has been studied over the years that GSH helps in shifting the melanin cycle to form more pheomelanin (light forms) than eumelanin (dark forms).
  • Acts as an Antioxidant - Glutathione helps in reducing oxidative damage to the skin and body that can happen due to environmental pollutants, UV radiation, infections, smoking, alcohol consumption and unhealthy diet. It helps in scavenging free radicals and reduces signs of inflammation, dull skin, hyperpigmentation, including skin cancer.
  • Promotes Anti-ageing - Due to its magical anti-oxidant property, GSH helps in protecting the skin from the harmful effects of oxidative damage. It helps in preventing the collagen and elastin breakdown and stimulates collagen formation in the skin. It in turn helps in minimizing fine lines and early pigmentary alterations as a part of ageing skin.

Suggesting tips to incorporate GSH in skincare, Dr Akanksha Sanghvi recommended -

  1. In a facewash: Glutathione can be used as an ultra-gentle facewash. Though the maximum effects of Glutathione may not be seen by using a facewash, it is still a good ingredient to have in your face wash which also must contain glycolic acid and other AHAs BHAs for that luminous glow every time you rinse your skin.
  2. In a serum: GSH based serums are getting all over the market due to its incredible properties. Glutathione serums help in treating skin pigmentation and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. GSH serums are usually available in combination with tranexamic acid, vitamin C and licorice extract for added benefits.
  3. In a moisturiser: GSH based moisturizers though not very popular but are great in repairing sun damaged skin and reducing age spots. It helps in brightening up the skin along with providing intense hydration. Medicated creams prescribed for treating hyperpigmentation and melasma also contain GSH in combination with kojic acid, mulberry extract, vitamin C, alpha arbutin and niacinamide to give you a complete package for glowing skin.
  4. In a supplement: GSH supplements are a fantastic way of making the most of glutathione as a part of your skin care regime. GSH supplements are available as tablets, capsules, intra-oral sublingual spray and effervescent tablets. It helps in detoxing the body, promoting collagen stimulation, improve psoriasis, reduce inflammation, minimize fine lines and promote brighter skin tone.
  5. In a IV drip: IV therapy is a way of delivering antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients directly into the blood stream from a vein for maximum benefits. Glutathione IV drips helps to improve skin elasticity and reduce overall tanning and hyperpigmentation. Glutathione is added with other nutrient boosters such as Vitamin C and collagen that help control signs of aging and reduce uneven skin tone and blemishes.

Bringing her expertise to the same, Maitri, Trivedi, Nutritionist at Pure Nutrition Naturals, said, “Glutathione has been widely used by people to improve skin elasticity and tone owing to its anti–melanogenic effects but you might have underestimated its area of use; Glutathione can do so much more.”

Elaborating upon its extraordinary benefits, she highlighted:

  • GUT HEALTH - Glutathione has been used as a supportive treatment for gut-related issues resulting from increased inflammation, including leaky gut, IBD, etc. Poor gut health can be a considerable challenge; hence, Glutathione helps manage this inflammation, thus improving the quality of life.
  • ANTIOXIDANT ROLE - It is one of the most potent antioxidants that help remove the free radicals that increase oxidative stress. High oxidative stress can pave the way for lifestyle diseases to set in, including Diabetes, hypertension, obesity and more.
  • DETOXIFICATION - Glutathione also has a vital role in the detoxification process. It binds to harmful substances, toxins like mercury, and more, and facilitates their removal from the body.
  • LIVER HEALTH - Glutathione was developed to support liver health and function due to its potent antioxidant properties and has rightly been used for the same for many years
  • INSULIN RESISTANCE - Studies have shown that Glutathione helps improve insulin sensitivity and thus manage symptoms related to Diabetes.

Even though Glutathione is naturally produced in the body, the amount of oxidative stress we encounter daily might make it an important addition to our supplement and dietary list!

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