Glutathione is best known for its skin-whitening effects. But for morenas who want luminous skin sans a change in skin tone, is glutathione still a viable option? Preview talked to Dr. Anna Palabyab-Rufino and Dr. Gaile Robredo and here's what we found out.
What defines skin radiance?
When "skin radiance" is mentioned, what comes to mind is usually fair skin, and with good reason—luminosity is typically synonymous to light colors. However, Dr. Rufino points out that one’s perception of skin radiance based on skin color is not an accurate parameter of radiance. There are physiological factors such as luminosity, brightness, transparency, and skin texture.
Dr. Robredo echoes this, noting how skin radiance is more accurately defined as “the ability of skin to reflect light, which is influenced more by factors such as clear skin (even pigmentation—no spots, no broken capillaries,) and barely visible pores and less by the skin color itself…”
And so, skin radiance and skin color are two different things but not entirely mutually exclusive.
What exactly makes the skin more radiant?
According to a study conducted by Marion Dumoulin, David Gaudout, and Benoit Lemaire, there are two types of skin aging: intrinsic and extrinsic. Although intrinsic skin aging is inevitable, extrinsic skin aging can be counteracted because it is a result of a plethora of factors such as smoking, nutritional deficiencies, alcohol, stress, and ultraviolet (UV) exposure.
All these factors lead to oxidative stress and overproduction of free radicals which causes damaged skin cells and degradation of collagen and elastin. Furthermore, skin cell damage and UV exposure result in an uneven complexion. In a nutshell, protected skin cells mean radiant skin.
There are two lines of defense against this oxidative stress. The first would be the skin’s primary antioxidants—the body’s antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, and glutathione peroxidase. These contain trace elements such as copper, zinc, and selenium that are supplied by the food we eat.
The next line of defense would be secondary antioxidants, which we ingest to boost protection against oxidative stress. Examples of this are hydrosoluble oxidants (vitamin C, glutathione, and polyphenols) and liposoluble oxidants (vitamin E, carotenoids, and bilirubin).
Thus, there are two things that help maintain radiant skin: good nutrition and dietary antioxidants.
Is glutathione recommended for morenas who want glowing skin?
Simply put, the answer is yes.
As mentioned earlier, glutathione falls under the second category of defense against skin cell degradation. Dr. Robredo explains that glutathione is much more than just a catalyst for skin-whitening because it is an antioxidant. “It combats free radicals and protects our skin from factors that contribute to cell damage, which can lead to having skin that is dull, dry, lackluster with large pores and uneven pigmentation.”
IMAGE Belo Essentials
TRY: BELO NUTRCEUTICALS Glutathione with Collagen, P2700 for 60 capsules, available in Watsons and Mercury Drugstores
What is the recommended dosage of glutathione for healthy, glowing skin?
Dr. Robredo recommends a 500mg capsule or tablet once a day coupled with diligent applications of sunscreen to protect the skin from UV exposure (and consequent damaged skin cells).