When it comes to keeping your body healthy and preventing cell damage, antioxidants are your body’s most important tool. While there are hundreds of types of antioxidants, there is one that stands above the rest because of its wide-reaching impact, and that’s glutathione.
We’ve discussed the numerous benefits of glutathione before, such as its benefits for your brain and immune system, but in this article we will dive into how this master antioxidant can help the largest organ in your body––your skin.
Weighing an average of 9-10 pounds and with a surface area of 20 feet or more, there’s no denying just how large the skin is. Not only does it cover your entire body, but the skin holds some crucial roles for the immune system by keeping out pathogens and other germs that can make you sick.
With the skin being your body’s primary defense against invaders, and the organ that covers the entire outside of your body, it also is exposed to the most toxic substances such as ultraviolet irradiation (UVA and UVB), aerosolized pollutants such as second-hand smoke, heavy metals, and some irritating clothing fabrics. The damaging effects of these substances can build over time due to continued exposure.
On top of all that, your skin is one of the first indicators of age (e.g., wrinkles, blotchiness, and roughness) and can be an outward manifestation of your inner health.
The skin relies on two very important hormones, melatonin and DHEA. Unfortunately, both of these hormones see a significant decline by the time we reach our 40s or 50s, which can also contribute to the decline in skin appearance.
Melatonin production in the pineal gland stops around age 35, and DHEA decreases by at least 10% per decade. Even more, if you experience increased stress, poor nutrition, decreased sleep, or inadequate physical activity levels, the decline of DHEA can accelerate. These habits can also make it difficult for the body to deliver the nutrients and antioxidants needed by the body to prevent skin aging.
Your skin and its health are crucial for helping you look and feel your best, so it’s no surprise that almost everyone is looking to do all they can to keep their skin youthful and radiant. Adopting certain healthy habits such as drinking less alcohol, using sunscreen, and eating healthy can help, and adding glutathione to the roster can further improve your skin quality and fight back against the signs of aging. Let’s take a look at how.
How Glutathione Boosts Your Skin Health
A good skincare routine is vital for your skin’s appearance, but it’s important to remember that the cosmetic industry focuses primarily on smoothing over damage already done. If you want to repair the damage at its source, you need an antioxidant such as glutathione.
Free radicals are a common denominator of age-related diseases because of their ability to damage cells, but glutathione helps to neutralize their reactive natures. This helps with not only environmental factors that the skin is exposed to, such as UV radiation and pollution, but also with internal causes of free radical damage, such as metabolism and inflammation.
By neutralizing free radicals, glutathione promotes healthy cell function and improves skin elasticity.
A key element of your skin is melanin, a dark brown to black pigment found in the hair, irises, and skin. The more melanin in a body area, the darker that feature will be. For example, those with black hair have more melanin in their hair than those with blonde hair.
Melanin is produced by melanocytes, a type of cell in your body primarily responsible for producing melanin. Research has shown that while everyone has a similar number of melanocytes per square inch (with variations based on parts of the body), those with darker skin have larger and more numerous melanosomes, or the organelles found within melanocytes that produce melanin.
Melanin serves an essential purpose by absorbing harmful UV rays and protecting your skin cells from sun damage. When you spend a lot of time in the sun, your body responds by producing more melanin to protect against the sun’s rays, which is why many people develop a tan during the summer months.
However, one sign of aging is age spots, which are small, flat, dark areas on your skin. They are most common on the areas of your skin exposed to the sun, such as the hands, face, and shoulders. Age spots are your body’s attempt to protect itself from more sun damage, and they are most common in those with lighter natural skin. Unlike freckles, age spots do not fade.
While melanin helps protect the skin from sun damage, some people may wish to remove their age spots for cosmetic reasons, and glutathione may help because of its skin-lightening capabilities.
Research has shown that glutathione can restrict the transformation of tyrosine into melanin precursors, which lowers the amount of melanin synthesis. Less melanin synthesis means less darkening of your skin, which means that, over time, glutathione may be able to lighten your skin back to its natural color and produce a more even skin tone.
Glutathione has been shown to help boost the immune system, which can also reflect in your skin. When your immune system is suffering, you may notice that you have eczema or acne, skin conditions characterized by inflammation. However, glutathione supports the immune system, lowering inflammation and helping you achieve healthy, clear skin.
We all know that there is, unfortunately, no magic pill to anti-aging. Maintaining youthful skin requires efforts on our part, such as eating nutritiously, exercising, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, and getting enough sleep. It’s not something that happens overnight, but instead, the combination of years of healthy habits that reflect not only in our skin but also in our overall health.
If you’re looking for another thing to add to your arsenal for healthy aging, give glutathione a try. Original Glutathione Formula (OGF) by RobKellerMD offers all the precursors your body needs to make glutathione, boosting your body’s natural production of this powerful antioxidant. By fighting free radical damage, glutathione can help prevent age-related diseases while also keeping your skin looking youthful and radiant.
Give OGF a try today to give your skin a boost against aging!
Villarama, C. D., & Maibach, H. I. (2005). Glutathione as a depigmenting agent: an overview. International journal of cosmetic science, 27(3), 147–153. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-2494.2005.00235.x