Every year, people around the world spend billions of dollars on products, many of which are topical solutions like moisturizers, to improve skin health. As a result of her findings, the study’s co-author, Neelam Muizzuddin, Ph.D., now believes that orally ingested supplements are superior to other forms of skincare.

“This research was very fascinating to me because the bulk of my experience has been in topical skincare solutions,” said Muizzuddin. “Examining the ‘beauty-from-within’ approach has me converted to believing it is a better way of improving beauty because it helps improve the whole body. You fall short by focusing on topicals, as they only address the skin.”

During the second phase of the study, 63 participants ingested either 1 or 3 grams of MSM over 16 weeks. Results were judged using subject self-assessment of wrinkles and skin texture, expert clinical grading, and instrumental measurement and analysis. The results indicated that oral ingestion of MSM reduces signs of aging, like facial wrinkles and skin roughness, and also improves skin firmness, elasticity and hydration. With both doses (1 or 3 grams) showing efficacy, researchers point towards MSM’s effectiveness in reducing visual signs of skin aging, even at a low dose of 1 gram per day.

“What surprised me about the results was how effective the product was in reducing wrinkles, which is the most important element because everyone is so concerned about them,” said Muizzuddin. “Even the visual pictures showed promising change. There was also some nice softening of the facial skin, but I think the reduction in wrinkles is the most important part of this study.”