Topical Glutathione for Skin Lightening

In the Pharmacy Consulting Department, we receive many calls about skin-lightening compounds. Some of the ingredients we recommend are Hydroquinone, Kojic acid, Tretinoin, Azelaic Acid, and Arbutin to name a few. Glutathione has been mentioned by Dr. Oz and other cosmetic companies as a safer alternative for skin lightening. It has been used as a topical cream in both Japan and India for its bleaching properties for many years.

The women in the study used a Glutathione cream manufactured in Japan. They applied only 0.5 gram twice daily to clean, patted-dry skin. They were told to avoid the sun and use of any makeup during the 10 weeks of trial. The results were very positive with little adverse side effects.

Glutathione is an antioxidant that:
• Strengthens the immune system
• Prevents aging
• Detoxifies the liver
• Inhibits melanin production and lightens skin tone
• Kills free radicals in our bodies
• Helps support brain health

It is considered to be the most powerful, most versatile and most important part of the body’s self-generated antioxidants (endogenous).

Topical glutathione is a safe and clinically proven skin lightener. The most interesting study is the one conducted by Watanabe in October 2014. The study abstract shows the following:

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: 30 healthy adult women aged 30 to 50 years. The study design was a randomized, double-blind, matched-pair, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Subjects applied Glutathione 2% lotion to one side of the face and a placebo lotion to the other side twice daily for 10 weeks. The subjects were objectively measured for changes in melanin index values, moisture content of the stratum corneum, smoothness, wrinkle formation and elasticity of the skin. The principal investigator and each participant also used subjective scores to investigate skin whitening, wrinkle reduction and smoothness. Analysis of variance was used to evaluate differences between groups.

RESULTS: The skin melanin index was significantly lower with Glutathione treatment than with placebo from the early weeks after the start of the trial through the end of the study period (at 10 weeks, P<0.001). In addition, in the latter half of the study period Glutathione treated sites had significant increases in moisture content of the stratum corneum, suppression of wrinkle formation, and improvement in skin smoothness. There were no marked adverse effects from Glutathione application.

CONCLUSION: Topical glutathione is safe. It effectively whitens the skin and improves skin condition in healthy women.

Glutathione, as a supplement, has many therapeutic benefits. It works from inside of the body to:
• Repair and nourish the skin
• Lighten and give the skin a radiant glow
• Minimize skin pores
• Improve skin hyper-pigmentation
• Boost skin clarity and smoothness
• Help prevent and slow down the aging process

Call about NEW formulas containing L-Glutathione for skin lightening.

1. Watanabe F, Hashizume E, Chan GP, Kamimura A. Skin-whitening and skin-conditionimproving effects of topical oxidized glutathione: a double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical trial in healthy women. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2014 Oct 17;7:267-74.
2. Kao YY, Chuang TF, Chao SH, Yang JH, Lin YC, Huang HY. Evaluation of the antioxidant and melanogenesis inhibitory properties of pracparatum mungo (lu-do huang). J Tradit Complement Med. 2013 Jul;3(3):163-70.
3. Panich U, Tangsupa-a-nan V, Onkoksoong T, Kongtaphan K, Kasetsinsombat K, Akarasereenont P, Wongkajornsilp A. Inhibition of UVA-mediated melanogenesis by ascorbic acid through modulation of antioxidant defense and nitric oxide system. Arch Pharm Res. 2011 May;34(5):811-20.
4. Arjinpathana N, Asawanonda P. Glutathione as an oral whitening agent: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Dermatolog Treat. 2012 Apr;23(2):97-102.
5. Alena F, Dixon W, Thomas P, Jimbow K. Glutathione plays a key role in the depigmenting and melanocytotoxic action of N-acetyl-4-S-cysteaminylphenol in black and yellow hair follicles. J Invest Dermatol. 1995 May;104(5):792-7