Skin Whitening Patches- Glutathione Patches

As you know, we are all about skin discolouration here at Be:Skinformed and are always on the lookout for new updates in the world of flawless skin. In this regard, when we saw Nano Blanc glutathione patches advertised online, it raised our eyebrows. Do glutathione skin whitening patches really work? We decided to look more into it and landed into plenty of information.

We also took a closer look at Nano Blanc patches reviews to get a feel of how the patch fares among users. Could this transdermal whitening patch be the answer to uneven skin tone and dark spots? Here is our take:

What are skin Lightening Patches?

These are patches put on the skin to elevate glutathione levels. For absorption to take place, you apply the patches for a given time. Once in the skin, glutathione gives you a lighter skin tone and fades hyperpigmentation. The treatment supposedly works from the inside out after the ingredient makes its way into your bloodstream. 

Glutathione skin lightening patches utilize transdermal drug delivery. Transdermal refers to a non-invasive mechanism that delivers active ingredients to the body through skin contact. The treatment is slow; it takes about 8 to 24 hours. After the patch dries, you discard it and apply another one.

It is All About Glutathione

Glutathione is found naturally in the body. It is an oxidant, comprising of amino acids. In your body, its functions range from neutralizing free radicals to getting rid of toxins. It also gives your immune system a boost and participates in crucial processes of cellular metabolism. 

Additionally, glutathione comes with skin lightening properties. It gives you a lighter glow by inhibiting enzyme tyrosinase- the enzyme responsible for melanin production. Glutathione also lightens skin by switching production of brownish/black melanin to pheomelanin (reddish/yellow melanin). Since this discovery, the use of glutathione for skin lightening has gained popularity by the day. [1]

Unfortunately, as we discovered, clinical researches on its use as a skin lightening agent are few.Furthermore, there are no statutory laws to regulate the use of the ingredient. 

Glutathione skin whitening patches

Dr. Fran E. Cook-Bolden

Dermatologist, 

Skin Specialty Dermatology,

Midtown Manhattan.


There's a lot we don't know about it (Glutathione). That's the biggest problem. That doesn't mean it's necessarily bad. But, It's probably not a good idea to use something when you don't know all the potential side effects.[2]


None of these has, however, stopped cosmeceutical companies from zeroing in on the rising demand. Formulations with glutathione as a main ingredient in skin lightening cosmetics are on the rise.

For skin lightening purposes, glutathione is used topically in creams and washes. The oral application comes in the form of -capsules and sublingual tablets. It is available intravenously via injections as well. A more recent development has seen the introduction of dermal administration- via patches.

How do Glutathione Skin Lightening Patches Work?

The active ingredients in the patches make their way into the bloodstream through your skin. Once in the blood, the treatment works just like shots or IV therapy by circulating throughout the body. For transdermal skin lightening patches, such as Nano Blanc, the treatment is an antioxidant supplement. 

By elevating glutathione levels, melanin production in the skin gets interrupted. Why use glutathione patches instead of injections? The answer has much to do with the absorption of glutathione following a given mode of administration. Notably, a look at the different modes seems to favour patches.

Glutathione from the patch permeates the skin steadily over a given time. As the medication moves through the skin layers, it is picked up by blood vessels and circulated throughout skin as well as other areas. As a result, glutathione levels in the system stay elevated for an extended period during the treatment. 

Patches offer a direct-to-bloodstream transfer of medication. Your body heat activates the release of glutathione, making the method non-invasive and painless.[3]

Glutathione Patches vs Pills

Oral glutathione supplements fail due to breakdown by stomach acids. According to studies, the main culprit in reducing the efficacy of glutathione pills is Gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT). This enzyme is found in the gastrointestinal tract and works by speeding up the transfer of glutathione into an amino acid, water or peptides.[4]

As such, less of the intact compound is absorbed into the bloodstream. The effect is that your skin does not benefit from the healing and lightening properties of glutathione. Proponents of glutathione skin whitening patches argue that even eating foods high in glutathione content does not elevate the levels in your system.

Glutathione Patches vs IV Injections 

Intravenous injection leads to increased bioavailability of glutathione compared to oral administration. IV injections are, however, invasive and honestly, not everyone's cup of tea- especially for beauty purposes. 

Aesthetics aside, intravenous glutathione is expensive with single injections going for over $100. Additionally, injections only elevate glutathione levels for a few days before the treatment is processed and flushed out of the body. To meet the amounts needed for skin lightening, then you would definitely have to settle for multiple injections per week.                    

Does Science back Glutathione Patches? 

Manufacturers of transdermal glutathione patches market the product as a sure way of giving you fair and radiant skin. The pitch is backed by the fast and longtime mechanism of delivery. Besides the efficacy of glutathione as a skin lightener, we have also sought to confirm the effectiveness of transdermal delivery of glutathione. 

For starters, there is no adequate research on the feasibility of glutathione patches. The same goes for other methods of administering the treatment. However, we did come across one clinical trial on skin lightening following orally administered glutathione.[5]

  • The study published by Thailand's Chulalongkorn University involved 60 participants. In this double-blinded trial, 30 participants took 250g of glutathione capsules twice daily for four weeks. The rest (control group) received a placebo. Of the 30 participants under glutathione, only 7 showed any signs of skin lightening. 

In conclusion, the study noted that 'Oral glutathione administration results in a lightening of skin colour in a small number of subjects. However, long-term safety has not been established and warrants more extensive clinical trials'.

  • Another research that caught our eyes is a paper published by several authors in 2018. It touches on the limitations of clinical trials in favour of glutathione as a viable skin lightener. At the time of this research, only four studies on the topic were in publication. 

Among the limitations pointed out include; 

  • Small sample sizes
  • Lack of post-study follow-ups, and 
  • The short duration of the study. 

In particular, the authors noted that the studies did not include measuring glutathione blood levels as part of the methodology. The measurement is a crucial indicator of elevation, or lack, of glutathione in the system. Lack of a standard net duration on the therapeutic use also made the list of shortcomings.[6]

How to Apply a Glutathione Skin Whitening Patch

Transdermal drug use is not a new concept. Ancient Chinese societies had mastered the art of skincare masks. In modern times though, the fad rose with 1990s approval of nicotine patches. Just like other transdermal medications, glutathione skin whitening patches are easy to use:

Step 1
Read the accompanying 'how to use' label to know where to apply the patch and for how long.

Step 2
Wash your hands and the application area with soap and water. The idea is to cleanse your skin from lotion, oils and dirt.

Step 3
Tear the packaging to remove the patches- take care not to tear the protective cover encasing each piece. If by bad luck the patch is torn, consider it defective and throw it away.

Step 4
Peel off the protective liner to expose the adhesive side of the patch. Press the piece- sticky side down- onto your skin, making sure it sticks firmly. 

Tips for Best Results

  1. Glutathione patches can be used together with IV therapy- on direct advice from a doctor.
  2. The patches should not be applied on broken skin
  3. Patches can be used together with safe topical creams 
  4. Use only one patch a day, unless otherwise prescribed 
  5. Do not apply the patch on freshly shaven skin- wait at least three days 
  6. Do not apply the patch on an area with high friction, e.g. along the waist and clothing seams

Side Effects of Glutathione Skin Whitening Patches

Glutathione patches sell with a promise of 'no side effects'. However, in our quest for more details, three facts are apparent:

  • For skin lightening to take place, your system needs very elevated levels of glutathione. 
  • There are no legal regulations on the dosage and duration of glutathione use for skin lightening
  • To create and maintain the skin lightening effect there is a need for long-term use of the patches

Based on these facts, the potential side effects of long-term use of high doses of glutathione include:

  • Loss of hair colour
  • Overload of the renal system which can lead to renal failure
  • Hypopigmentation on sunlight-exposed skin 
  • Skin eruptions
  • Abdominal problems
  • Reducing or halting the liver's production of glutathione
  • Increased vulnerability of contracting skin cancer
Glutathione skin lightening patches

Consultant Dermatologist

Hillingdon Hospitals,

NHS Foundation Trust, UK


Potential adverse side effects include toxicity of the nervous system, kidney and liver, headaches, and rare, but serious skin conditions such as Stevens Johnson syndrome [7]


Glutathione Patches Reviews- Nano Blanc Patches Reviews

What is a better way to find information about a product than from someone who has tried and tested it? We set out to find out what customers are saying after using the transdermal patches. In particular, we looked at Nano Blanc reviews since it is one of the popular skin lightening patches in the market.

Generally, glutathione skin lightening patches have elicited mixed reactions on major shopping outlets like Amazon. Majority of users report improved skin tone and gradual disappearance of hyperpigmentation. 

Coming a close second are people who have nothing good to write about the patches. The rest report things such as the patch not staying in place. Also, this group complains about high prices and product ineffectiveness.

For the Nano Blanc Patches reviews, our research was limited to the official site. The product is also available on a few other affiliated sites but with no customer reviews. 

Our Verdict

Transdermal delivery of cosmetics, and specifically glutathione skin whitening patches is gaining popularity. Quite a significant number of people who have used them can swear by them. Unfortunately, no manufacturer is telling about the potential adverse effects associated with the presence of elevated amounts of glutathione in your system.

Additionally, the lack of enough clinical researches to warrant regulations on dosage and duration of use is hard to ignore. So are glutathione skin lightening patches your solution for hyperpigmentation? Maybe, but if you are going to spend upwards of $2,500 for a year-long supply of top-shelf glutathione patches, you might want to not pay with your health as well.

To check out other safer skin lightening alternatives, check out our guide to natural skin lightening creams. 

Resources 

1Glutathione as a skin whitening agent: Facts, myths, evidence and controversies, Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprology 

3 How to Apply a Transdermal Patch, Human Health Project 

>