What Is MSM And How Does It Benefit The Skin?

Written by Arshiya Syeda

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. 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!

What Is MSM?

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 osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (2)
  • It offers relief from allergy symptoms by inhibiting the production of cytokines and prostaglandins (3)
  • It boosts exercise performance and accelerates recovery (4)
  • It improves gastrointestinal health by addressing hemorrhoids (5)

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

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.

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.

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).

4. May Promote Skin Repair

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.


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