A 2017 randomised double-blind clinical trial has demonstrated glutathione’s potential skin anti-ageing effects when supplemented orally .
Two forms of glutathione were used in the trial – the reduced form of glutathione (GSH) and the oxidised form (GSSG). The study was conducted in 57 females aged 20-50 years over a 12-week period (18 GSSG, 19 GSH, 20 placebo)  .
At a dose of 250mg/d, GSH (Setria®) and GSSG (AquaGluta™) were shown to display skin lightening efficacy, as measured by the melanin index. Ultraviolet spots of the face and arms were also lowered and skin elasticity was improved, when compared to placebo. Glutathiones ability to increase skin elasticity in both sun-protected and sun-exposed skin was a new finding, with further studies in larger populations warranted .
GSH only was also shown to significantly reduce wrinkles in certain body locations. The study’s authors state that the ability of GSH to reduce wrinkles was a novel and extremely interesting finding, particularly based on the ageing population. They cite the benefits of simply taking a pill compared to the process and cost of applying topical anti-wrinkle cream to the body .
In vitro studies have shown that glutathione displays anti-melanogenic properties possibly initiated via its antioxidant effects and interference of intracellular transport of melanogenic enzymes [2, 3]. A study conducted on ageing mice fed dietary GSH additionally demonstrated T-cell mediated immune response enhancements . These proposed mechanisms may help to explain glutathione’s beneficial effects on skin appearance within the aforementioned studies.
 Weschawalit S., Thonghip T., Phutrakool P., Asawanonda P. (2017) Glutathione and its antiaging and antimelanogenic effects, Clinical Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology (10), 147 – 153.
 Villarama C., Maibach H. (2005) Glutathione. As a depigmenting agent: an overview, International Journal of Cosmetic Science 27 (3), 147 – 153.
 Nakajima H., Nagata T., Imokawa G. (2014) Reduced glutathione disrupts the intracellular trafficking of tyroinase and tyrosine-related protein-1 but not dopachrome tautomerase and Pmel17 to melanosomes, which results in the attenuation of melanization, Archives of Dermatological Research, 306 (1), 37 – 49.
 Furukawa T., Meydani S., Blumberg J. (1987) Reversal of age-associated decline in immune responsiveness by dietary glutathione supplementation in mice, Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, 38 (2), 107 – 117.