Glutathione as a skin whitening agent: Facts, myths, evidence and controversies

Clinical abstract from Department of Dermatology and STD, UCMS and GTB Hospital: Glutathione as a skin whitening agent: Facts, myths, evidence and controversies

“… A randomized, double-blind, two-arm, placebo-controlled study conducted in the Thai population studied the effect of orally administered glutathione on the skin melanin index in sixty healthy medical students [Table 1]. The subjects were randomized to receive glutathione capsules in a dose of 500 mg/day in two divided doses, or placebo for four weeks. The primary end-point studied was the reduction of melanin indices at six different sites. At four weeks, the melanin indices decreased consistently at all six sites in the glutathione group. There was a statistically significant reduction at two sites in the placebo group, namely the right side of the face and the sun-exposed left forearm. The tolerance to glutathione was excellent. …”

Conclusion: The mechanism of glutathione favours its potential as a skin lightening agent.  The study supports some skin lightening effects of topical, as well as oral glutathione.

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