If you’re considering using glutathione for skin lightening, one of the questions you might have is how long it takes for this supplement to work. The answer is that it depends on several factors, including your skin type, dosage, the delivery method, and how often you use it.

Typically, you can expect to see results from glutathione within a few weeks to a few months of consistent use [1]. 

People with lighter skin tones may see results faster than those with darker skin tones. This is because glutathione works by inhibiting the production of melanin, which is responsible for skin pigmentation. People with darker skin have more melanin, which means it may take longer for glutathione to have an effect.

What Form of Glutathione Works Faster?

Your dosage and delivery method can affect how long glutathione takes to work. Generally, higher doses will produce faster results, but it’s important not to exceed the recommended dosage. Taking too much glutathione can lead to side effects like nausea and diarrhea.

Glutathione IV and Injections

IV Glutathione or injections lead to the most effective results because the glutathione goes directly into the bloodstream. With this method, I’ve seen changes to my skin within a day to three days of an injection. I notice a healthy glow and lightening of the skin. The dark circles under my eyes appear to fade as well.

Topical Glutathione

Glutathione in skincare is becoming more readily available as consumers get education on glutathione’s benefits for skin. The issue is in the formulation of the product and it’s impact on the epidermis. As with all skincare products, it can take several weeks of consistent use to see optimal results. 

One reason is the skin’s natural turnover cycle. Skin takes about 30 days to shed and replace itself. The length and efficiency of that cycle takes longer as we age. When using skin care products, it’s important to give any treatment a 30-45 days to see results because you want to give ingredients time to affect the newer layers of the skin that replace the older cells that shed.

These topical treatments work well when combined with IV or injectible glutathione or a topical spray, which will be addressed in the next section. By treating your skin from the inside out as well as the outside in, you are able to maximize effectiveness and see short-term and long-term results. 

GSH Spray

GSH (glutathione sulfhydryl) Spray is an excellent delivery system for glutathione if it’s water soluble, allowing the GSH to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin [2]. 

Using this GSH Spray twice daily, I’ve noticed results similar to getting glutathione by injection. I began noticing a brightening effect after about a week to two weeks of use. 

The only downside to the spray is the strong smell of sulfur and stickiness. Although the smell goes away after a few minutes, and if the stickiness bothers you, it can be washed off after 30-45 minutes, enough time for the glutathione to penetrate. 

I’ve found that I don’t need to spray it on my face to see results. I spray four sprays on my hand and rub it into my forearm or thigh (rotating sites after each application). 

Glutathione Pills

This is the least effective method of getting glutathione into the body because the glutathione gets broken down by the liver, so very little actually gets to the bloodstream. You would have to ingest quite a bit over time to appreciate any effects. This is the least expensive method, so it may seem appealing. 

Finally, how often you use glutathione can also impact how quickly you see results. Consistent use is key, so be sure to take it as directed and don’t skip any doses.

While glutathione can be an effective way to lighten your skin, it’s important to be patient and consistent in your use. With time and dedication, you can achieve the results you’re looking for.

How Help Glutathione Work Faster

Glutathione helps defend and reverse the effects of free radical damage and exposure to damaging UV rays. So the best way to help accelerate the effects of glutathione on your skin is to prevent the damage from occurring in the first place. By protecting your skin from the aging rays of the sun, glutathione can work on repairing existing damage instead of constant recurring assaults on the skin.

The best way to protect your skin and speed up glutathione’s healing process is by using sun protection diligently. Apply two layers of sunscreen in the morning and reapply at least once throughout the day, and avoid direct exposure to the sun. Sunscreen does not provide 100% of the harmful rays of the sun that cause aging and skin cancer. If you will be in direct sunlight, wear a hat and protective clothing in addition to sunscreen.

The SPF in sunscreen refers to how well it protects against UVB rays. However, UVA rays contribute to aging, dark spots, and skin cancer. UVA rays can penetrate clouds and windows, so it’s important to wear broad-spectrum sunscreen even on a cloudy day or if you plan to be indoors.

Only a small amount of UVA is needed to cause damage or dark spots to persist.

Many factors determine how long it takes for glutathione to work on your skin. The form of glutathione, which determines the amount of glutathione that actually gets into your bloodstream and consistency of use along with mitigating the damaging effects of the environment all have a big impact on glutathione’s efficacy.

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Ann Bertholf

Ann is a skincare geek, product tester and ingredient sleuth. She looks past the marketing hype and searches for effective, evidence based ingredients and formulations. She is a writer and cat mom.

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