What Is MSM And How Does It Benefit The Skin?

Switch to natural remedies and enhance your skin health with this rich compound!

Medically reviewed by Dr. Sonam Jeswani Ramrakhiani, MBBS, DDV Dr. Sonam Jeswani Ramrakhiani Dr. Sonam Jeswani RamrakhianiMBBS, DDV facebook_iconyoutube_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Swathi E MA (English Literature) Experience: 3 years
 • 

With more information about the negative consequences of hazardous chemicals becoming available, skin care devotees are shifting to an all-natural approach. But, have you ever heard of MSM for skin care? MSM, or methyl sulphonyl methane, is one such compound that offers many skin benefits. It is often overlooked in favor of hyaluronic acid, retinol, vitamin C, and glycolic acid. Natural substances like MSM can improve skin health without causing serious averse effects are replacing sophisticated concoctions.

In this article, we will learn all about MSM and how it can help your skin, along with its negative effects. Keep reading!

protip_icon Know Your Ingredient: MSM

What Is It?
The purest form of sulfur and a potent anti-aging compound

What Are Its Benefits?
MSM helps with skin regeneration and repair, boosts collagen production, and reduces inflammation and signs of aging.

Who Can Use It?
Topical MSM is safe for all skin types, so anyone can use it.

How Often?
Topical MSM can be used once or twice a day. Oral supplements should be used as per the doctor’s advice.

Caution
Pregnant and lactating women, people allergic to MSM, and those on blood thinners should avoid using it.

What Is MSM?

Woman uses MSM cream for healthy skin.
Image: Shutterstock

MSM, also called methyl sulphonyl methane or dimethyl sulfone, is a naturally occurring organic compound belonging to the organosulfur family.

Sulfur is an essential mineral key to cell regeneration. It is also called the “beauty mineral” that can support collagen production, reduce inflammation, and promote circulation. MSM is said to be the purest form of sulfur that enjoys high bio-availability within the human body.

MSM acts as the glue that binds the amino acid chains together. These chains form the building blocks of all tissues.

Before we get to the skin benefits of MSM, let us quickly look at its overall health benefits that are worth mentioning.

  • It neutralizes inflammation through its powerful anti-inflammatory effects (1)
  • It alleviates joint pain or stiffness caused by osteoarthritisi  A form of arthritis affecting the joints in the neck, lower back, hands, knees, and hips, where the joint's tissues deteriorate over time. and rheumatoid arthritis (2)
  • It offers relief from allergy symptoms by inhibiting the production of cytokines and prostaglandinsi  A class of natural chemicals that controls actions like inflammation, blood flow, blood clot formation, and labor induction. (3)
  • It boosts exercise performance and accelerates recovery (4)
  • It improves gastrointestinal health by addressing hemorrhoidsi  A condition where the blood vessels or veins in and around your lower rectum and anus get inflamed and itch. (5)
protip_icon Quick Tip
MSM is a naturally occurring substance commonly found in green plants, algae, fruits, vegetables, adrenal glands, milk, and urine.

Dr. Mehmet Yildiz, a health-focused scientist and blogger, shared research on MSM and its benefits. He writes, “I have been investigating this unique compound for over two decades. Using this molecule after my 50s made a big difference in my wellness in my older years (i).” He observes how sulfur is the main component of the compound that is important for multiple metabolic processes and how he takes MSM supplements to avail all its benefits.

While these are the health benefits of MSM, it has its advantages in skin care too.

What Are The Benefits Of MSM For Skin?

1. May Boost Collagen Production

MSM boosts collagen production
Image: Shutterstock

Collagen is a protein that offers structural support to the skin and makes it pliable. MSM may promote collagen production and leaves your skin looking younger, flexible, and resilient. MSM may also reduce collagen degradation that happens as a natural consequence of aging. However, research is limited in this regard.

Dr. Anju Methil, MD, specializing in Cosmetic Medicine, says, “Studies suggest that MSM may improve skin elasticity and firmness due to its sulfur content, a crucial element in collagen and keratin production. Enhanced collagen and keratin synthesis can lead to improved skin structure and elasticity.”

2. It Reduces Inflammation

MSM inhibits the production of cytokines (a type of proteins) that trigger inflammatory responses. It may help in the treatment of an inflammatory skin condition called rosacea (6). At the same time, MSM also increases the production of glutathione, which is a powerful antioxidant produced by the body (7). This also may help fight body inflammation.

Dr. Anju adds, “While MSM is not a primary acne treatment, it may exhibit auxiliary benefits. Its anti-inflammatory properties could potentially help reduce redness and swelling often associated with acne breakouts.”

3. May Reduce The Signs Of Aging

The collagen-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties of MSM may help reduce the signs of aging. A randomized, placebo-controlled study successfully demonstrated the anti-aging effects of MSM (8).

Dr. Archit Agarwal, dermatologist, says, “Studies indicate that MSM may help diminish the appearance of fine lines by supporting the production of healthy collagen. This, in turn, promotes plump and youthful skin, reducing the occurrence and visibility of those pesky fine lines.”

4. May Promote Skin Repair

MSM helps repair the skin barrier.
Image: Shutterstock

MSM may accelerate cell regeneration and skin cell turnover rate. It also helps neutralize free radicals. The wound healing properties of MSM may aid in skin repair (8). The compound may help the skin heal and recover from injury, damage, or trauma caused by external stimulants like acne, nicks, and cuts. However, more research is warranted in this regard.

5. May Even Out Skin Texture

Using MSM while cleansing, exfoliating, or moisturizing your skin may help even out its texture. It also may enhance skin cell turnover rate and smoothen your skin tone.

A 2020 study in the International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research found that MSM helped improve skin texture and reduce skin roughness. Out of 31 participants on a high dose of 3g/d, 22 showed approval after 4 weeks of use. The lower concentration group also showed a high subject approval with 22 participants out of 32 in agreement that their skin texture improved as early as after 4 weeks of use. Check out the graph to know more.

Effects Of MSM On Signs Of Aging: A Self-Assessment Study

Source: Beauty from within: Oraladministration of a sulfur-containingsupplement methylsulfonylmethaneimproves signs of skin ageing

These are the few important benefits of MSM. But is it safe for skin?

Is MSM Safe For Skin?

While there is no recommended dosage or recommended dietary allowance for the use of MSM for skin, it is deemed fairly safe for skincare within doses of 3 grams. Do not exceed this dosage.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers MSM for skin as generally safe in its standard dosage (9).

However, the use of MSM for skin care must be highly restricted and carried out in consultation with a professional. Individuals who are on blood-thinning medications must also avoid MSM. MSM may cause certain side effects on skin, including worsened allergy symptoms, drying and scaling, and itching. Intake of MSM may cause diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, bloating, insomnia, and headache in some individuals.

What Are The Best Forms Of MSM For Skin?

Woman holding MSM capsules
Image: Shutterstock

While MSM is naturally available in fruits and vegetables (like corn and tomatoes), as well as in beverages like tea, coffee, and milk, its concentration is far too low to have a considerable effect. As a result, individuals rely on MSM supplements for skin that can be consumed orally or applied topically. MSM is available in the following forms:

  • MSM Capsules: Capsules contain compacted MSM powder enclosed in a gel covering. Typically, MSM is accompanied by other supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin. Therefore, ingesting it in capsule form is ideal for those who aim to consume 2 to 8 grams of MSM daily.
  • MSM Crystals: MSM crystals and flakes can be had directly as a solution. Alternatively, if you plan to introduce MSM to your body through somatic infusion across the skin barrier, you can prepare a lukewarm bath and add MSM crystals to it. Soak in this bath for 20-30 minutes.
  • MSM Cream or Gel: MSM skin cream allows the body to topically absorb MSM for skin. These can be readily absorbed by the skin and become instantly available for the body.

Dr. Anju adds, “MSM can be found in various forms, including creams, serums, and supplements. When using MSM topically, look for products with a concentration of 2-3% to achieve optimal results. It is recommended to patch test before incorporating it into your skincare routine fully.”

Traces of MSM are also available in beauty creams, lotions, oils, and serums specifically formulated to treat nails and hair.

How To Use MSM Powder On The Skin?

MSM is available in various forms and can be taken accordingly. Using MSM on your skin is easy. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Add a teaspoon of MSM powder to a tablespoon of warm water.
  2. Add a spoonful of vitamin C powder (optional).
  3. Stir together and slowly add a glass of cool or room temperature water.
  4. Drink the solution.
protip_icon Quick Tip
You may even drink this solution twice daily. It will be best to have it early in the morning on an empty stomach and in the afternoon before lunch. Drinking it late in the evening may increase energy and keep you awake at night.

Infographic: DIY MSM Cream Recipe

MSM is a natural compound that provides multiple benefits to the skin. It boosts collagen production, reduces inflammation, and improves overall skin health. You can apply MSM cream daily to see the results over time. Instead of buying commercial MSM creams, or moisturizers laden with MSM extracts, you can make your own MSM cream at home.

Check out the infographic below to know more!

diy msm cream recipe (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Using MSM for skin care is one of the best ways if you want to switch to natural concoctions. It is the purest form of sulfur and has several benefits for your skin. MSM may help reduce collagen degradation, help fight body inflammation, minimize the signs of aging, heal the skin, and even out your skin texture. You may consume MSM orally or use it topically. Though it is safe to consume MSM, you must not exceed the recommended dosage. Also, consult a doctor before incorporating it into your skin care routine.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does MSM tighten skin?

Yes, MSM helps increase collagen production and tighten the skin.

How long does it take for MSM to work on skin?

It may take up to three weeks for MSM to work on the skin.

Does MSM get rid of wrinkles?

Yes, MSM helps in reducing the signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles (10).

Does MSM grow hair?

Yes, MSM may help grow hair and treat hair loss issues (11).

Key Takeaways

  • Methyl sulphonyl methane (MSM) offers many benefits like boosting collagen production and managing signs of aging.
  • MSM usage in a skin care routine should only be carried out with professional advice.
  • It is available in low amounts in corn, tomatoes, tea, and coffee, so you may have to depend on supplements.

Discover the secret to beautiful skin with MSM! Checkout the video to learn how to nourish and hydrate your skin for a glowing, healthy complexion.

Personal Experience: Source

References

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. The Influence of Methylsulfonylmethane on Inflammation-Associated Cytokine Release before and following Strenuous Exercise
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5097813/
  2. Comparison of Glucosamine-Chondroitin Sulfate with and without Methylsulfonylmethane in Grade I-II Knee Osteoarthritis: A Double Blind Randomized Controlled Trial
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28790224/
  3. The anti-inflammatory effects of methylsulfonylmethane on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory responses in murine macrophages
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19336900/
  4. Effect of methylsulfonylmethane supplementation on exercise – Induced muscle damage and total antioxidant capacity
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22525653/
  5. Efficacy and tolerability of hyaluronic acid, tea tree oil and methyl-sulfonyl-methane in a new gel medical device for treatment of haemorrhoids in a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial
    http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s13304-012-0153-4
  6. Combined effects of silymarin and methylsulfonylmethane in the management of rosacea: clinical and instrumental evaluation
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1473-2165.2008.00355.x
  7. Methylsulfonylmethane: Applications and Safety of a Novel Dietary Supplement
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC5372953/
  8. Effects of Oral Supplementation With Methylsulfonylmethane on Skin Health and Wrinkle Reduction
    https://www.naturalmedicinejournal.com/journal/effects-oral-supplementation-methylsulfonylmethane-skin-health-and-wrinkle-reduction
  9. Methylsulfonylmethane: Applications and Safety of a Novel Dietary Supplement
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5372953/
  10. Beauty from within: Oral administration of a sulfur-containing supplement methylsulfonylmethane improves signs of skin ageing
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32083522/
  11. The Effect of Methylsulfonylmethane on Hair Growth Promotion of Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate for the Treatment of Alopecia
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/247915887_The_Effect_of_Methylsulfonylmethane_on_Hair_Growth_Promotion_of_Magnesium_Ascorbyl_Phosphate_for_the_Treatment_of_Alopecia
Was this article helpful?
thumbsupthumbsdown
Dr. Sonam Jeswani Ramrakhiani is a renowned dermatologist with over 11 years of experience. She has a sharp eye for facial aesthetics and advocates learning newer technologies and treatment protocols for the benefit of her clients. After completing her academics, she worked with Dr. Jamuna Pai, India's leading celebrity skin expert, where she learnt about lasers and injectable treatment options,...read full bio

Latest Articles