Jenianis just wants to know…Is there any proof that MSM powder, naturally occurring sulfur, can help with anti-aging for the skin, and collagen boosting of the skin?
The Left Brain responds:
The full name of MSM is methyl sulfonyl methane (it’s also known as dimethyl sulfone.) It’s a naturally occurring organic compound that is also sold as a dietary supplement. As you know from previous posts, I’m very skeptical of dietary supplements in general. However, there is significant research showing that MSM does provide actual benefits.
Does MSM really work?
For example, here’s one study showing that a 10-day supplementation with MSM decreases muscle damage by affecting antioxidant capacity. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22525653). But does it do anything for hair and skin? A search of the cosmetic science literature showed no references to MSM. PubMed was a bit more helpful.
One study showed that topically applied MSM combined with EDTA does help reduce oxidative stress and swelling caused by certain types of edema. The EDTA is supposedly acting as an antioxidant because it chelates calcium and iron. The MSM helps the EDTA penetrate skin. Another study showed that a mixture silymarin and MSM improved symptoms of rosacea including skin redness, papules, and itching.
The Beauty Brains bottom line
While MSM does appear to have application as a penetration aid for skin actives I couldn’t find any evidence that MSM itself is good for skin or that it can increase collagen synthesis.
Effect of topical application of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), EDTA on pitting edema and oxidative stress in a double blind, placebo-controlled study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21366964
Combined effects of silymarin and methylsulfonylmethane in the management of rosacea: clinical and instrumental evaluation. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18254805