Glutathione is a key antioxidant that participates in the body’s ongoing defense against reactive oxygen species (ROS).* ROS, or free radicals, are molecules that can exist independently and are natural by-products of normal cellular activities. However, imbalanced production of ROS due to external factors like pollution, radiation, toxins, and others can result in oxidative stress — the imbalance that diminishes a cell’s ability to fight off free radicals with an antioxidant response. These free radicals can cause damage to the basic building blocks of the cell, including DNA, proteins, and lipids, resulting in a wide range of undesirable conditions and accelerated signs of aging.
Glutathione plays a critical role in shielding cellular components from reactive oxygen species and supports healthy cell functions.* While the therapeutic effects of glutathione have been known for quite some time, research into its benefits for skin health is still relatively new.*
In this article, we discuss glutathione's benefits for the skin and the different ways to incorporate this ‘master antioxidant’ into your daily skincare regimen.
Skin damage can be caused by several factors, including direct exposure to air and environmental pollutants, solar radiation, poor diet, and an unhealthy lifestyle, or other factors triggering the generation of free radicals. It is estimated that among the various environmental factors, ultraviolet (UV) radiation accounts for about 80% of extrinsic skin damage. Skin damage triggered by oxidative stress presents as a dull, uneven skin tone, fine lines, wrinkles, an increase in dark spots, and loss of skin elasticity..
Melanin and enzymatic antioxidants like glutathione are the body’s primary endogenous protection against free radicals.* Glutathione extends its therapeutic benefits to the skin in multiple ways – the two most important are:
The tremendous potential of glutathione’s benefits for the skin has led to the development of various intake strategies for glutathione supplementation.*
Oral intake, topical application, and intravenous therapy are the three most common modes of glutathione supplementation. The following table summarizes different routes of glutathione intake to support the health of your skin.
|Routes for Glutathione Supplementation|
|Oral Supplements||Topical Application||Intravenous Therapy|
|Usage||Available in capsule and tablet forms.||Topically applied in the form of creams and ointments.||Directly injected into the upper arms or buttocks.|
|Absorption||Primarily in the upper intestine.||Bypasses degradation in the GI tract.||Bypasses degradation in the GI tract.|
|Convenience||The most convenient and popular method||Convenient and widely used||Needs to be performed under medical supervision, making it an expensive process|
Glutathione is well-known as a difficult molecule for the body to absorb and findings to suggest its enhanced absorption through topical application or IV injection remain inconclusive. Because oral glutathione supplements are widely preferred over the other two alternatives, there is ongoing research to enhance its absorption through oral formulations.
SafeCell® — an acetylated form of oral glutathione has been developed by Tesseract Medical Research for optimized absorption and efficacy.* The proprietary CyLoc® - DexKey® technology enhances the bioavailability of glutathione, making SafeCell® a superior supplement formulation. The revolutionary nanomolecular nutrient delivery technology delivers acetylated glutathione molecules directly into the intestinal tract — one at a time. The CyLoc® technology encases each glutathione molecule to protect it from early degradation during its transit through the GI tract. The DexKey® technology ensures targeted delivery of each molecule at the desired point in the intestinal tract for maximum absorption. With SafeCell®, you have a glutathione nutritional supplement to support healthy skin.*
1 Nagapan, Tava Shelan, et al. Experimental animals vol. 68,4 (2019): 541-548. doi:10.1538/expanim.19-0017