Have you heard of glutathione? Maybe you’ve used it to detox, or give your energy levels and immune system a lift? But did you know that glutathione is now being hailed as the next big thing in skincare? In the US alone, the glutathione market is expected to soar from around £81 million last year, to £222 million by 2027. And a large proportion of that expansion is expected to come from the beauty industry, where awareness of glutathione benefits is growing.
Once used by doctors to treat acute illness, the skin boosting powers of this wonder anti-oxidant are starting to get noticed by the rest of us. Hollywood stars like Gwyneth Paltrow and Beyonce swear by it to get that glow. And many beauty insiders are raving about it as an anti-aging gamechanger. But what exactly is glutathione? How can it help your skin? How should you take it? And the crucial question – does it actually work!?
What is gluthathione?
Known as the “master anti-oxidant”, glutathione is found in every cell in your body. Made in your liver, it plays a key role in detoxifying the body and keeps your cells healthy by removing free radicals, toxins, and heavy metals. But that’s not all. ‘Super’ glutathione can also bind itself to drugs and toxins and assist the liver in eliminating them. If your liver is Batman, glutathione is Robin, together they’re a toxin busting dream team!
Made up of three different amino acids: glutamine, glycine, and cysteine, glutathione helps to keep your mitochondria strong. This means they can pump out energy and protect your DNA better. When your levels are high, glutathione benefits include: energy for days, dewy skin, healthy detoxification, strong brain function, and possibly even a longer life – wow!
But there’s a catch. You stop making optimal levels of glutathione after the age of 20. So once your teens are over it’s all downhill – sad face. Your body can’t protect itself as well from external pollutants, free radicals, or oxidative damage. Even worse, constant exposure to chemicals, pollution, alcohol, and even drugs like paracetamol will deplete glutathione levels too.
What glutathione benefits are there for your skin?
Every time you eat, breathe, or move, your body uses the food you eat to produce energy. But did you know that whenever this happens, there are harmful by-products known as free radicals? These little blighters can damage healthy cells and DNA. Some estimates show that every cell in your body takes around 10,000 oxidative hits to its DNA daily – noooo!
As free radicals accumulate, they cause cell and tissue damage which can lead to wrinkles, skin inflammation, hyperpigmentation, and melasma. No thanks! But the good news is, glutathione can help decrease these age-related effects, by taking out the pesky free radicals. This helps reduce inflammation and evens out skin tone.
Even better, another one of the key glutathione benefits is that it also inhibits the activity of the enzyme tyrosinase. And tyrosinase produces melanin, the culprit behind pigmentation. So glutathione is also your secret weapon for lightening dark patches and brightening the skin overall – see-ya later age spots.
Does glutathione actually work in improving your skin?
The short answer is, hell yes! Whatever your skin concern, from acne to wrinkles, dryness, or puffy eyes – glutathione could be the answer. Studies have shown that supplementing with glutathione for just 12 weeks, can reduce the appearance of age spots and wrinkles, and even increase skin elasticity.
If you suffer from inflammatory conditions like eczema and psoriasis, there’s good news for you too. Glutathione’s anti-inflammatory powers can help calm your skin and clinical trials have shown it can actually improve the symptoms of psoriasis.
One of the main glutathione benefits is that it helps your cells to heal and regenerate themselves. So, you’re creating fresher, clearer skin from the inside out. A relatively inexpensive, non-invasive, fuss free way to hold back the clock, and boost your complexion from within. What’s not to like?
Why is a patch the best way to get your glutathione?
Oral glutathione supplements aren’t particularly effective. Why? Because the acid in your stomach breaks them down before they can be properly absorbed and do their thang.
Some doctors recommend IV drips as the best way to boost your glutathione levels. BUT, intravenous vitamins are on the pricey side and should be administered by a professional. They’re also a big no no if needles aren’t your thing. Plus, regulators in the US have issued warnings about glutathione overdose, where people have had one too many IV sessions in the pursuit of perfect skin – eek!
Instead, you could try the Glutathione Plus patch. Just like intravenous therapies it bypasses your stomach and liver and delivers the glutathione straight into your bloodstream. Each patch contains the ideal dose for your body to utilise. So you can use a patch every day with maximum glutathione benefits and no danger of an overdose – phew.
The Patchworks formulation also includes extra goodies like n-acetyl-cysteine. This helps maintain glutathione levels in your body and actually enhances your own glutathione production. Result!
Other ways to get glutathione benefits into your life:
It’s not just supplements that can help to boost your glutathione levels either. As always, eating right is key. Garlic and onion, super easy to add to most dishes, can stimulate glutathione production. And try a side of cruciferous veggies like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale with your meals. This kind of veg naturally boosts your glutathione levels. It’s also a great source of anti-oxidants and vitamins, which will improve your skin too.
Exercise helps to naturally up your glutathione levels as well. Don’t push yourself too hard in the gym though, because this will add more stress to your body and deplete your glutathione – Doh! 30 minutes a day of gentle exercise like walking, biking, and swimming should do the trick.
What else should you be taking for flawless skin?
Want to try some other supplements to help you to stay looking young for longer? Collagen should be top of your list. It makes up over 80% of your skin and helps to preserve skin elasticity, hydration, and plumpness. For a deep dive on everything you need to know about collagen, read our blog here.
Biotin is another must-have. Taking it regularly can improve skin smoothness and hydration. It also stimulates keratin production which can strengthen your hair and nails and make them grow faster. Score!
Finally, don’t forget about vitamin C. Getting enough C is crucial for your body to make collagen, combats photodamage from sun exposure, and promotes healing. Plus, it supports your immune system function too. So not only will you look radiant, but you’ll also feel your best.
Give them a try and get ready for all those ‘you look glowing’ compliments – you’re welcome!