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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone. So, in my first thread on this forum, I asked about aggressive soaps and somewhere along the way, I fell down the rabbit hole on the importance of using supplements to your lightening regime. I looked and combed through so many old threads on this forum and other forums out there, as well as reading medical + scientific journals on certain herbs and vitamins, to gather information about this topic. I won't be writing anything super brand new here, but I am hoping this can be served as a good base for anyone who is lost on what to take. There are so many tablets and powders out there that claim to do this and that, that obviously I can understand both the confusion and frustration. (And a very unhappy wallet to boot!)

I'll work my way down from the most popular to the least or not much talked about supplements to keep your attention nice and strong lol. There may be spelling or grammar errors, so I apologize upfront. This is based on weeks of looking around here and around the internet to see what's out there. Note that a lot of these should not be taken as promises, and that your mileage may vary. As far as I'm concerned, each bullet points should be taken as alleged statements rather than absolutes. Everybody's bodies are going to respond differently to different things, after all. Remember to also talk to your doctor if you are taking any prescribed medications, or if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, about to get surgery, etc.

The first I want to talk about is Methylsulfonylmethane, or MSM.

MSM is hailed as Mother Nature's beauty mineral, due to its high sulfuric content. This list is longer than the other ingredients because I can't help but want to boast it's numerous perks and benefits that has been discussed at length by so many people. It is about as toxic as water, and people have been able to safely ingest a high amount of it every day because it is originally brought for helping with joint and muscle pain. But quickly, people started to realize that it was doing more than that; it was making everybody look, well, beautiful! The many benefits are listed as follows:
  • Softens, evens out, and makes the skin glow
  • To reiterate the previous point, people have said that it 'beautifies' the skin so much, that it looks like their skin is actually painted on, as if wearing a good foundation. Anyone who wears a lot of makeup felt they could decrease it or even eliminate altogether because their natural skin looks so damn good without foundation or powders.
  • Some have reported losing weight and body fat
  • Supports a healthier metabolism overall
  • Also helps with managing pain that comes from working out a lot; now going to the gym won't leave you too terribly sore for days on end!
  • Tightens the skin due to faster cell turnover + new collagen production
  • Smooths away wrinkles, age spots, and other signs of aging (Allegedly, if taken at a young age, can prevent many signs of aging and premature aging down the road also.)
  • Bigger and perkier breasts and buttocks for women
  • Quicker hair growth (On head and everywhere else, so beware.)
  • Thicker and longer eyebrows and eyelashes
  • Faster and harder nail growth, some women have claimed it gave them a natural french mani/pedi look, with flushed pink nail beds and white tips.
  • Whiter, brighter eyeballs
  • Whiter teeth
  • Fuller lips
  • For the ladies, a more regular yet lighter and less painful menstrual cycle
  • Flattens raised scars, reduces stretchmarks, etc.
  • Absorption enhancer, as in, it makes the skin cells more softer and permeable. In other words, whatever else you ingest orally or apply topically, they are going to work much more strongly and faster than if you wasn't taking MSM before. And for a skin care routine that focuses so much on lots of exfoliation, treatments, cleansing with aggressive soaps, and so on, we need all the help we can get to have our results come to us faster!
  • Rapid cell turnover rate regarding pigmentation means that MSM helps with bringing out the old skin (ie. permatan) to the surface and ready to be slouched off quickly, so that the newer, lighter skin can introduce themselves. For those with a permatan that are trying to get rid of, this is very good for us.
  • Now comes the fun part: if taken at a very high dosage, such as over 20k+ mg a day, the skin will start to whiten itself from within. Skin will begin to lighten and whiten in shades. Melanin formation will be interrupted from its usual program, and starts to produce pheomelanin (the lighter red/yellow pigments in skin, hair, and eyes), rather than the usual eumelanin (brown/black pigment). This takes a few months of taking a high dose, so patience is a virtue, and it's best to start low to prevent the icky side effects of the detox episode. Essentially, your skin will start to produce the same type of melanin that are found in people who naturally has a lighter completion and blond/red hair, which will really help with the rest of your lightening regime.
  • Helps to produce lots of glutathione from within, an especially important type of ingredient naturally produced inside our bodies, in certain foods, and also taken as a supplement from a vitamin store.
  • Might be a bit TMI, but allegedly, people have reported that taking a lot of MSM has helped lighten and even redden/pinken their nipples and private areas. Gums, nail beds, and mouth lips may also have this same effect. Again, this may be because of the production of pheomelanin.
  • Hair starts to grow in much smoother, softer, shinier, and weirdly enough, some have claimed the texture has changed to a looser one. For example, someone with usually very curly dry hair may suddenly sprout softer, wavier hair instead.
  • Now this is a strange one, and something that I for one might not know how I would feel if it happened to me personally, but allegedly, people have reported that MSM have given them lighter hair and eye colors over time. Some believe this is due to the fact that MSM is trying to 'reset' the way we look back to our original factory settings lol, like if you had a certain eye color as a baby, MSM will bring you back to that color. Or when someone who was once a bright blonde and got darker over time, may also be able to go back to that shade. Others believe that, because MSM has done a great job with re-routing the melanin to produce the lighter one over the darker one, and the rising levels of glutathione, that even someone who always has the same hair/eye color may suddenly just see a change in them that they've never seen before.
There's probably way more general health benefits of MSM that I have not touched on, but these are what I've got so far. It is an incredibly impressive mineral supplement that I think everyone should have in their arsenal. If nothing else, then at least for the simple fact that it makes our cells permeable and helps our other vitamins and skin care products do their jobs quicker and with more intensity overall.

Vitamin C is a mega star when it comes to skin brightening and lightening. A popular supplement, vitamin C can be found in skin care products and in the form of tablets, powders, or crystals to ingest in water or flavored drink. To take any other supplement without this to accompany with is just asking for disappointment, to be honest. Vitamin C is like a little booster that works very hard with your regime, both inside and outside, to their fullest potential.
  • Brightens and glows the skin like crazy.
  • Hydrates the skin, like giving itself a tall cold glass of water every single day to plump things up nicely.
  • Fades hyperpigmentation like freckles, tans, dark eye circles, melasma, and so on like a dream. (Permatans may call for a more aggressive approach, like a chemical peel, to get rid of older tans.)
  • Promotes collagen production to fight against aging, and a tighter skin overall to combat sagging.
  • Protects against sun damage in general.
  • Reduces skin redness and burns.
  • Again, acts like an amazing booster to other vitamins, such as MSM + Vitamin C, NAC + Vitamin C, Pycnogenol + Vitamin C, etc etc.
  • Inhibits the production of melanin, especially in the skin.
  • Vitamin C aids in the whitening process by priming the skin cells and making them more susceptible to the effects of Glutathione. (A big one!)
  • It's possible that it can whiten the skin in shades, but I feel like it's more likelier that it acts more like a brightener more than anything else. That said, especially when combined with other stuff in your regime, your skin will even out like a boss!
  • Generally safe to take because it's found in nature, especially in food. Give yourself a double whammy by eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to exaggerate the perks of Vitamin C inside your system!
  • Protects against photoaging.
  • Prevents against tanning, if only for just a little bit, which is better than nothing!
  • Vitamin C in serums are extremely popular and easy to find in stores, and the price range varies wildly. Can be used on the face usually, but some have found a way to also put it all over their bodies to reap the benefits all over.

Pycnogenol, or Pine Bark Extract, is an herbal extract that comes from French pine bark. Some might come from other forms of trees, but French Maritime pine seems to be known as the Cadillac of the bunch for some reason. It is a powerful antioxidant with many perks and benefits to be enjoyed to those who take it religiously.
  • Improves the hydration and elasticity of the skin, a very important factor when you are facing a lot of exfoliation in your regime.
  • Brightens and glows up the skin.
  • "Lowers" the overall intensity of the pigmentation in the skin, for a more even toned look overall.
  • Reduces the visible signs of aging (wrinkles and spots) thanks to the collagen production. In fact, it thickens the collagen in the skin while also removes the thicker, damaged skin out of the way.
  • Can recycle oxidized (spent) vitamin C to restore its activity.
  • Provides UV protection and photo-aging from environmental factors. "Data reveals Pycnogenol was found to inhibit UVA induced upregulation of pigmentation markers by a 50-75% decrease which further supports its ability to reduce hyperpigmentation such as melasma." This is very important. Both pycnogenol and pine bark extract specifically provides protection to the skin like some sort of internal sunscreen; but not only does it prevent the skin from getting burned, but it can also prevent tanning from the sun also, which is splendid news, knowing that tanning is our mortal enemy when we are trying to lighten our skin successfully.
  • Is said to be much more potent than Vitamin C, but I think taking a separate form of Vitamin C is a very good addition when we take pycnogenol and/or MSM and other supplements.
  • In the form of a face serum, is said to work just as good, if not better, than Vitamin C serums, and can ironically be more gentle on the skin too.
  • Improves the markers of glutathione found in the skin.
NAC, or N-acetylcysteine, comes from the amino acid L-cysteine. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Traditionally, I believe, they were given in clinical settings to treat drug overdose, cystic fibrosis, and chronic obstructive lung disease, among others. People who have compulsive skin picking or are on the ADHD/ADD/Autism/Asperger's spectrum have found relief in their symptoms whilst taking this supplement. Eventually, though, people realized it was doing something to their skin and have seen lightening effects. NAC has lots of skin and beauty benefits and are as followed below:
  • Decreases melanin synthesis.
  • Increases GSH concentrations, aka glutathione.
  • Makes the skin glow.
  • According to a research study, "Mild-to-strong bleaching of the skin was observed in 90% patients."
  • "This accelerates aging and inflammation and weakens your immune system. NAC can reduce this destruction by free radicals in your cells by increasing glutathione production in all your cells and especially the liver." according to one source.
  • Helps with hair growth and reduces hair loss!
  • Helps with detoxification.
  • Balances hormones.
  • Fades dark spots and fine lines/wrinkles.
  • Helps with acne. (The other supplements listed here also work great for acne, too!)
  • In cream form to be put on the skin topically, helps with protecting it against photoaging.
  • Increases and boosts levels of Vitamin C and E.
  • On a website that sells a NAC-infused serum called NAC Y2, "Increases your skin’s water retention abilities, Reduces damage caused by oxidative stress, Increases skin softness, Decreases inflammation and skin injury, Boosts collagen production for youthful skin, Brightens and restores a balanced skin tone, Fortifies your epidermal barrier, protecting against aggressors."

Personally, NAC does look like a nice product to add is as a booster, but apparently it is something to take only for a handful of months at a time before you need to take a break from it. So I'm not sure if I'm a huge fan of it personally, but again, YMMV. Definitely something for everyone to look into when building their supplemental regime.

Glutathione is a substance made from the amino acids glycine, cysteine, and glutamic acid. Considered to be an ultra antioxidant by many people, the benefits can't be ignored. It is produced by the liver and involved in many body processes. It is also found in certain foods, such as almonds, raw grass-fed milk and other dairy products, avocadoes, berries, broccoli, okra, spinach and other dark greens, cucumbers, turmeric, and so on. But did you know that you can also purchase it as a vitamin, too? Specifically, L-Glutathione, Reduced Glutathione, as well as Reduced L-Glutathione (The best one for lightening I believe), can be a major helpful boost for your lightening program.
  • Lightens the skin tone, obviously.
  • Makes you look absolutely radiant.
  • Like said before, can be a huge booster when taken with other vitamins on this thread. Whatever results MSM has given you, for example, this supplement taken alongside with it gives the results an extra intensity, basically.
  • People have said that taking this in the long-term have helped them get to and retain their lighter skin tone easily without any regress or re-darkening overtime. In a way, they felt like this vitamin helps them to "permanently" stay light.
  • Help with the depigmentation of the skin overall.
  • Aids in the reduction of hyperpigmentation.
  • Helps to reduce age spots.
  • Powerful anti-aging/anti-wrinkle supplement.
  • Removes acne and acne scars.
  • Inhibits the production of melanin.
  • Deactivates tyrosinase, the enzyme that produces melanin.
  • Because it's so good with the age spots and halting the production of melanin, it supposedly helps with prevent tanning, too. (Maybe not completely, but it'll help at least a bit.)
  • To also reiterate the third bullet point, a company that sells glutathione pills had this to say: "Its whitening effects are permanent only if you will maintain it (by avoiding exposure to sunlight). You won’t go back to your original skin colour even if you stop taking these supplements, however, there is a tendency for you to be tan or darken your skin if you expose yourself to sunlight and other harsh elements." (Note: Please always use sunscreen even during your maintenance phase for this reason.)

I will be stopping here for today, because I'm writing so much and it's already hours of me clacking away lol. Plus it's getting quite long already, I think! I will add more posts to this thread for the rest of this week as I gather some rest and such. Other supplements that are also amazing for skin lightening are: Milk thistle, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Niacinamide, Acetyl L-Carnitine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Astaxanthin, Whey, Ellagic Acid, Ferulic acid, Dimethylglycine (DMG)... there may be more out there, but I'm pooped now and must retreat.

An important final note: You can't solely rely on vitamins to do all the work for you. I'm sure many of you already know this, but I think especially for the newbies out there, this is something they really need to hear and come to terms with. Having beautiful skin or hair or body or health means utilizing a system of many kinds of things to get to your goals. It's like weight loss: You can spend money on special shakes that promises to give you a cute little waist and a size 4 dress body, but we know that getting healthy and losing weight requires so much more than that. It means drinking a lot of water (In fact, go ahead and get yourself a GALLON sized bottle if you're ready to lose weight AND lighten your skin, because these vitamins are going to knock your booty out otherwise!), eating fresh whole and preferably organic natural foods (also amazing for lightening your skin), it means stretching and getting your nightly rest, it means eating healthful and plentiful variety of proteins, fats, and carbs to keep you feeling energetic and full for the day, etc.

You get the picture. The same thing can be said for skin lightening, too. Vitamins can't be your only thing to work with. There is no such thing as a magical pill that you can take and it'll give you the skin color of your dreams, otherwise none of us would be here anymore lmao. You need to apply sunscreen every day. You need to practice staying out of the harsh sun, especially in certain climates. You need to purchase good soaps, lotions, and creams to exfoliate and/or lighten. You need to skin build and keep it moisturized.

Anyway, that's it for today, hope this will help out a lot of people, I'm already like 3 or so hours in writing this book so I need to go for tonight. I'll be back to answer questions if anyone needs to ask me, otherwise, stay tuned for another post to talk about the other vitamins and supplements!

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The only ones I'm not currently taking are NAC and MSM. I've been taking:
Glutathione since Aug.2022
Vitamin C since Sept.2022
Pine Bark/Pycnogenol since Nov.2022

I haven't noticed the effects of taking Pine Bark Exacts nor Pycnogenol yet but I guess the benefit could be a boost to the effects of glutathione and vitamin-c. I've been meaning to start taking MSM and this thread just convinced me to order some.

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
The only ones I'm not currently taking are NAC and MSM. I've been taking:
Glutathione since Aug.2022
Vitamin C since Sept.2022
Pine Bark/Pycnogenol since Nov.2022

I haven't noticed the effects of taking Pine Bark Exacts nor Pycnogenol yet but I guess the benefit could be a boost to the effects of glutathione and vitamin-c. I've been meaning to start taking MSM and this thread just convinced me to order some.
Things def take time, and supplements are no different I'm afraid! Are you taking these supplements at a higher dose each time? :)
And hell to the yes in getting MSM, I think it has to be one of the most important supplement to add in anyone's lightening regime.

Okay, just for today I am going to focus on Milk Thistle, I'm feeling quite tired from my monthly visitor if you catch my drift. 😅

Milk Thistle comes from a native fluorescent flower plant hailing from the European continent, before being exported into North America by colonists. It is usually used by people who have concerns of their liver, which is a great supplement for liver detoxing and support. It has also been used for gallbladder issues, hepatitis, cirrhosis, jaundice, diabetes, indigestion, and other conditions. A book I've read about a woman who, just only at the age of 30, nearly experienced a collapse with her health and almost died from complications coming from her binge eating sessions. Doctors wanted to explore surgery and heavy medications with her, but she decided to do research on natural therapy and started taking Milk Thistle. Her liver, that she pretty much nearly lost, went back to normal and she experienced a lot of health benefits as well, including more control over her binge eating.
  • Promotes and produces glutathione levels inside the body by more than 35%. An impressive feat!
  • Boosts skin health and fights against free radicals, and helps with early signs of aging.
  • Improve rosacea redness, itching, and redness.
  • A study showed that active formulation containing extract of milk thistle reduced skin melanin due to the presence of silymarin flavonoids.
  • Contains anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Protects the skin from environmental damage, increases hydration and moisture, and soothes irritations such as sunburns.
  • Gives a clear, healthy glow to the skin over time.
  • According to one source: Silymarin, an extract of Milk Thistle, is also known to strengthen hair follicles and minimize hair loss.
  • "Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, milk thistle may be a useful supplement for people with acne. Interestingly, one study found that people with acne who took 210 milligrams of silymarin per day for 8 weeks experienced a 53% decrease in acne lesions."
  • Please be careful if you have certain medical ailments. "There is also concern that milk thistle might affect estrogen levels. If you have breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis or uterine fibroids, consider avoiding milk thistle." Despite this warning, however, for those who don't have any of these issues, it is a good supplement for overall hormonal balancing.
Since I do in fact have endometriosis and am estrogen dominant, I may have to unfortunately skip this supplemental herb, so I can't tell you how good it is. The good news is that it is widely available both online and in brick and mortar stores, so it might be worth checking out!

Will post more tomorrow, until then!

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Vitamin A is a wonderful nutrient found in certain food groups, namely vegetables and animals, that then converts itself into retinol inside our bodies. You can find this great little guy in cheese, eggs, liver, oily fish, milk, yogurt, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes, red and yellow peppers, mango, papaya, apricots, etc. You can also find it in your multivitamin, if you snag a good one, of course. Check the label for the next shopping trip, as absorbing this vitamin as much as you can from both foods and capsule form can grant you these amazing benefits:
  • It helps to normalize the appearance of pigmentation by normalizing the activity of tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for melanin production.
  • According to one source: Vitamin A helps to speed up healing, prevent breakouts and support the skin's immune system and it promotes natural moisturising - which means it helps to hydrate the skin effectively, giving it a radiant glow. It assists in promoting and maintaining a healthy dermis and epidermis; the top two layers of your skin.
  • Because it is converted as retinol inside your body, this in turn gives you some seriously amazing skin; lesser wrinkles, a boost in overall clarity, tone, and refinedness, reducing acne and spots, lowering hyperpigmentation, and tightening sagging skin.
  • When applied topically with a retinol or Retin-A cream or gel, can help by providing superior exfoliation (with little to no downtime) and increasing the speed of cell turnover. It helps to give the skin it's bounce back that was lost by environmental or hormonal damage. And yes, it can absolutely work with skin whitening over time; many users reported that it helped in getting rid of a permatan and keeping it away. This has made a few women upset, though, because it has increased skin sensitivity to the sun and they find that they can no longer tan as much anymore without experiencing a lot of pain and burning.
  • Pairs very well with hydroquinone in skin care. (Is also best friends with a Vitamin C serum.)
  • Stimulates collagen production.
  • Gives your skin a glow up with brightness over time.
  • Can also be found in organic skin care materials, such as shea butter or mango butter, for that extra hydration to slap on at night before going to bed.
  • Could help prevent skin damage from UV radiation and oxidative stress
  • Is useful for treating keratosis pilaris, eczema, calluses, and many other skin problems.
  • When it comes to Retin-A, it is the superior choice in preventative aging. Created in 1969 by two doctors, it was called Tretinoin, first patented in 1957. It was first created to treat acne in patients, but had found that it was keeping people looking far younger than their actual age after years or even decades of using it.

Vitamin E is an interesting one. It is a fat soluble antioxidant that has a lot to brag about. I always thought of it as something to keep the skin very soft and that's about it. But, taken orally and applied topically, may yield some skin lightening results after all. You may purchase this in a bottle of soft gel pills, or in a good multivitamin, or in certain foods such as sunflower seeds, almonds, peanuts and peanut butter, red bell peppers, beet and collared greens, plant-based oils, etc. While not the most potent vitamin source for whitening, it's good for a small add-on to your regime.
  • Combat free radical damage.
  • Unlike other antioxidants, Vitamin E is a very hydrating molecule that works as a both a humectant (to absorb water into the skin) and an emollient (to trap water in the skin), according to an Allure article.
  • Strengthen the skin barrier.
  • Naturally anti-inflammatory.
  • Acts as a barrier to the sun. (Maybe not as good as a sunscreen, but it definitely helps!)
  • Is a wonderful addition to Vitamin C, especially in skin care products such as a serum. The famously expensive SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic serum acts as a powerful shield against UV damage and turns up the brightness.
  • Fades scars and dark spots.
  • Improves overall skin tone.
  • Fights against signs of aging and prevents premature aging at least moderately.

Niacinamide, also called nicotinamide, is a form of vitamin B3. It is found in food, vitamin capsules, and skin care products. Though many people tout it as a way to moisturize the skin from the inside out, people have also noted for it's lightening properties. The good news is that it is a very popular ingredient, so you can find it in many face and body care products, such as The Ordinary 100% Niacinamide Powder, Shark Sauce, Olay Quench Ultra Moisture Lotion, and All In One Ampoules.
  • "In the clinical studies, niacinamide significantly decreased hyperpigmentation and increased skin lightness compared with vehicle alone after 4 weeks of use. Conclusions: The data suggest niacinamide is an effective skin lightening compound that works by inhibiting melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes."
  • Hydrates the skin.
  • Gentle on the skin compared to, say, Vitamin A.
  • Prevents skin aging.
  • Prevents inflammation.
  • Prevents and treats pigmentation.
  • Inhibits melanosome (melanin) transfer.
  • "The working mechanism of Niacinamide is unique and more effective than the popular lightening agent, hydroquinone." according to one source.
  • Increases collagen production and improving overall elasticity.
  • Acts as an antioxidant to increase cell turnover rate.
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Good for treating redness in the skin.

That's it for today, thanks so much! Will return to write about Acetyl L-Carnitine, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Astaxanthin, Whey, Ellagic Acid, Ferulic acid, Dimethylglycine (DMG), and maybe more in the coming days!
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