Becoming a Fair Lady with Glutathione
Writer | Nina Lapiz
Does the queen of all whitening products deserve the hype it gets? If so, what’s the most effective way to use it?
In a country where people are obsessed with fair and radiant skin, it is not surprising that a parade of products is promising to make us as white as the next popular Disney princess. Soaps, lotions, creams and serums claim to contain that “perfect ingredient” to provide us with skin that “glows from within,” much like our favorite actor or actress.
Of all the whitening products available, there is nothing as popular as the queen of all whitening products – glutathione. But what exactly is glutathione and how does it deliver its promise of a picture perfect skin sans camera filters?
A natural substance
Glutathione is actually a substance naturally produced by the liver and also found in various fruits, vegetables and meat. Some studies even suggest that glutathione is highly produced in breast milk. At a very young age, humans naturally produce loads of this substance. However, production declines as one grows old, making it necessary to eat food and take supplements to sustain one’s daily dose.
What makes glutathione so wonderful?
Glutathione is said to be a great antioxidant. It aids the body’s process of building and repairing tissues and producing chemicals and proteins needed by the body. According to webMD.com, it is used to treat or support the recovery from different illnesses such as asthma, cancer, heart disease, hepatitis, liver disease, osteoarthritis, and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It’s even used to strengthen the body’s immune system for those who have HIV!
Since glutathione naturally occurs in the body, we can say that its “side effects” are also its benefits, which are immune system building, detoxification, energy, anti-aging, and of course, the actual reason for its wild popularity: skin lightening!
Glutathione, being the master antioxidant that it is, clears the body of toxins and free radicals that lead to skin problems such as hyper-pigmentation and melanoma, resulting to whiter, younger, and healthy-looking skin.
What are the differences of each type of glutathione, and which is most effective?
Glutathione is available in many different products and in many different forms. For the purpose of skin whitening, manufacturers have created soaps, lotions and serums that contain this ingredient for topical application. They also come in pills and “sprays” (to be used sublingually or under the tongue) for those who would like to take it orally. Glutathione may also be administered via injection.
With the dizzying range and number of glutathione products out in the market, it’s really hard to say which is best. It really depends on how one’s body reacts to a particular product. Testimonial evidence (read: advertising) abound about its effectiveness in soaps, lotions, creams and serums.
Some studies suggest that taking glutathione orally may be effective but insufficient. They claim that glutathione, when taken orally, breaks down in the digestive system, allowing only some of the substance to be absorbed by the skin cells. In short, most of the stuff gets wasted. In similar studies, taking glutathione intravenously proved to be more effective since the substance gets absorbed directly into the bloodstream, where nothing gets wasted.
But beware. Such studies and testimonies are limited and needs further analysis and verification. It is also worthy to remember that before using, administering, or taking any of these products, one must consult a professional. Better safe than sorry!
So which type of glutathione is for me?
It depends on your lifestyle, budget, and preference. The cheapest way to get some glutathione into your beauty regimen is through topical products. Like soaps, lotions, creams and serums that can be bought in your favourite drugstores and supermarkets.
While lower in cost, such products take the longest time to have an effect, if any. Remember to read the labels and list of ingredients to be safe and to make sure that we are getting the right thing.
If you have an extra budget, you may opt for the oral glutathione which are available in drug stores and dermatology clinics. These may be a bit more expensive but some vouch for its effectiveness (just check testimonials on the internet). To be safe, buy glutathione products that are certified by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). As for those of you who have a “sky is the limit” budget for health and beauty, why not go for the injectables? It may cost you a bit more but this will give you the most bang for your buck in terms of effectiveness and speed of whitening.
Visit your trusted dermatologist and inquire about injectable glutathione, and ask for a discount while you’re at it!