The clinical effect of glutathione on skin color and other related skin conditions: A systematic review

  title={The clinical effect of glutathione on skin color and other related skin conditions: A systematic review},
  author={Witoo Dilokthornsakul and Teerapon Dhippayom and Piyameth Dilokthornsakul},
  journal={Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology},
  pages={728 - 737}
Glutathione is one of agents which is commonly used to lighten skin color in Asia as a dietary supplement. Previous studies suggest its potential effect of glutathione on skin color. However, the clinical efficacy of glutathione in oral form is still questionable due to its limited absorption and bioavailability. 

Augmented Glutathione Absorption from Oral Mucosa and its Effect on Skin Pigmentation: A Clinical Review

Clinical and experimental evidence supporting significant glutathione absorption from orobuccal mucosa was examined, and general consensus remains against treatment of hyperpigmentation withglutathione by the oral route.

The effects of the oral supplementation of L‐Cystine associated with reduced L‐Glutathione‐GSH on human skin pigmentation: a randomized, double‐blinded, benchmark‐ and placebo‐controlled clinical trial

Glutathione has become a potential skin‐lightening ingredient after the discovery of its anti‐melanogenic properties, one of them being the skewing of the melanin synthesis pathway toward the production of lighter pheomelanin instead of darker eumelan in, consequently producing a lightening effect.

Systemic Glutathione as a Skin-Whitening Agent in Adult

Objectives To compare the efficacy and safety profiles of systemic glutathione as a skin-whitening agent in adults from several randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Methods This study is an

Metabolic Basis and Clinical Evidence for Skin Lightening Effects of Thiol Compounds

  • Y. Boo
  • Biology, Chemistry
  • 2022
This review will help identify the advantages and disadvantages of various thiol compounds as modulators of skin pigmentation and contribute to the development of safer and more effective strategies for the treatment of pigmentation disorders.

Oral delivery of glutathione: antioxidant function, barriers and strategies

Approaches explored to developing an oral GSH delivery system that could provide protection against proteolytic degradation in the GI tract and enhance molecular absorption across the epithelial membrane are discussed.

Dermatology: how to manage facial hyperpigmentation in skin of colour

This narrative review provides an inclusive summary of these conditions and compares the current treatment options with a specific focus on skin of colour and advises caution should be taken when used in patients with richly pigmented skin due to the increased risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Evaluation of Antioxidant (GSH, Vitamin A, E, C) and MDA in Iraqi Women with Toxoplasmosis

There is an increasing level of Malondialdehyde (MDA) in women with toxoplasmosis and there is a decreasing level of antioxidant vitamins (A, C, and E), and Glutathione (GSH).

Shedding a New Light on Skin Aging, Iron- and Redox-Homeostasis and Emerging Natural Antioxidants

The oxidative mechanisms underlying skin damage and aging are revisited by focussing on the concerted action of ROS and redox-active LI in the initiation and progression of intrinsic and extrinsic skin aging processes and it is proposed to redefine the selection criteria for skin antiaging and photoprotective ingredients to include natural antioxidants exhibiting robust redox–balancing and/or iron-chelating properties.

A Phlorotanin, 6,6′‐bieckol from Ecklonia cava, Against Photoaging by Inhibiting MMP‐1, ‐3 and ‐9 Expression on UVB‐induced HaCaT Keratinocytes

It was proved that 6,6′‐bieckol is a functional food and skin care ingredient with great potential in preventing photoaging and acts on MMPs through the MAPK/AP‐1 and NF‐κB pathways to reduce UVB‐induced oxidative stress damage in HaCaT cells.

Reactivity of γ‐glutamyl‐cysteine with intracellular and extracellular glutathione metabolic enzymes

Results indicate that γ‐EC can supply GSH constituent amino acids, glutamate, cysteine and cystine through degradation by GGT, and may contribute valuable antioxidant defence properties as a food and cosmetic additive.



An open‐label, single‐arm trial of the safety and efficacy of a novel preparation of glutathione as a skin‐lightening agent in Filipino women

Glutathione (GSH) is a naturally occurring thiol that has been reported to cause skin lightening in a manner for which several mechanisms have been proposed. Highest plasma concentrations are

Skin-whitening and skin-condition-improving effects of topical oxidized glutathione: a double-blind and placebo-controlled clinical trial in healthy women

Topical G SSG is safe and effectively whitens the skin and improves skin condition in healthy women and there were no marked adverse effects from GSSG application.

Intravenous glutathione for skin lightening: Inadequate safety data.

There are no studies of IV GSH use for skin lightening or of its safety for chronic use (for any indication), and the switch from brown to red melanin production may increase the risk of sun-induced skin cancers in previously protected individuals.

Glutathione as a depigmenting agent: an overview

In vitro and in vivo studies that show evidence of glutathione involvement in the melanogenic pathway are reviewed and its anti‐melanogenic effect is shed and concepts supported by the various experimental evidence presented form basis for future research in the treatment of pigmentary disorders.

Glutathione and its antiaging and antimelanogenic effects

It is shown that oral glutathione, 250 mg/d, in both reduced and oxidized forms effectively influences skin properties, and overall, glutATHione in both forms are well tolerated.

The impact of skin colour on human photobiological responses

A wide range of photobiological responses across different skin colours including DNA damage and immunosuppression is summarized, recommending that skin type comparisons be done with solar‐simulated radiation and standard ery thema doses or physical doses rather than those based solely on clinical endpoints such as minimal erythema dose (MED).

Effects of oral glutathione supplementation on systemic oxidative stress biomarkers in human volunteers.

No significant changes were observed in biomarkers of oxidative stress, including glutathione status, in this clinical trial of oral GSH supplementation in healthy adults.

Glutathione as an oral whitening agent: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study

Oral glutathione administration results in a lightening of skin color in a small number of subjects, however, long-term safety has not been established and warrants more extensive clinical trials.

The systemic availability of oral glutathione

It is not possible to increase circulating glutathione to a clinically beneficial extent by the oral administration of a single dose of 3 g of glutATHione, suggesting that the systemic availability of glutathion is negligible in man.