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Hydrogen Water Benefits for Skin

Contributor Bio

Alex Tarnava is the CEO of Drink HRW, and the primary inventor of the open-cup hydrogen tablets. Alex runs the clinical outreach program for our company, working with over a dozen universities coordinating research. Alex has also published research of his own. You can find it on his ResearchGate. Additionally, he has been interviewed for many prominent publications, such as Entrepreneur and Forbes, and on many popular Podcasts. You can find all of his interviews and articles on his media page.

Hydrogen Water Benefits for Skin

One of the questions we still need to answer regarding molecular hydrogen therapy is what administration method is best for each potential benefit. Recently, we have quietly added "H2 Beauty" to our line without much advertising or information, except what is available on the product page. Many have asked us, "What are the hydrogen water benefits for skin when applied topically, when I already drink it?" The short answer is a concentrated dose on a target area.

What Are the Benefits of Hydrogen Water for Skin?

Hydrogen has shown dose-dependent responses in vitro all the way up to a fully saturated level, a dosage impossible to administer to a living person . with current technologies (or perhaps ever). I talk about this with Tyler LeBaron during our second recorded conversation at the 1:26:50 mark.

When you drink hydrogen water or inhale hydrogen gas, the hydrogen you are consuming will dilute throughout your entire body and your cells, and only a very small amount will reach your skin. However, when topically applied to your skin, a much higher concentration will reach the desired area. Perhaps this is why studies using topical hydrogen mediums have required much lower concentrations than the minimum therapeutic limit set by the International Hydrogen Standards Association (IHSA).

Anecdotally for muscle pain and even acute injuries, topical hydrogen water bathing is much more potent than consumption. I use this method often, and many athletes using our tablets find better benefits with hydrogen baths than drinking hydrogen water. We actually have a case study on soft tissue injury under review and a full clinical trial underway for this purpose. Use in this regard will be the topic for another article, and preliminary evidence suggests a much higher concentration is needed than for skin health.

There is human evidence that topical hydrogen water benefits skin health, although it is just preliminary. A single study suggests that hydrogen water can repress wrinkle formation in elderly subjects after 90 days of daily bathing.¹ There is a reasonable explanation for this, as wrinkles are largely caused by a reduction in collagen,² UV damage³ and an increase in advanced glycation end product crosslinks (AGEs).⁴⁵ One cell culture study indicated that hydrogen protects against skin aging . by not only reducing oxidative stress, but also by maintaining calcium (Ca²⁺) signaling.⁶

In the previously mentioned wrinkle reduction study, cell cultures showed a two-fold increase in collagen synthesis while also protecting against UVA damage. Further, there is evidence (in humans) that topical hydrogen water protects against UV damage by modulating gene expression, although there is supportive rodent evidence.⁸ As for AGEs, a previous article of mine discussed this regarding hydrogen, specifically hydrogen water's role in inhibiting the formation of advanced glycation end product crosslinking.

Topical hydrogen water has shown potential in other areas in early human work, such as potential cleaning effects in keratin-plugged hair pores. Keratin-plugged pores lead to black heads and white heads.⁹ Anecdotally, many have reported that when topical hydrogen is applied to acne, there is no noticeable result. However, when acne or pimples are "popped" and hydrogen water is subsequently applied, healing is significantly faster. There is some evidence for hydrogen water increasing wound healing,¹⁰,¹¹ although it is preliminary and more relevant as well as replicated research is needed to confirm this observation.

Finally, bathing in hydrogen water has show to positively impact psoriasis in a recent clinical study with 41 participants.¹² While promising with a decent size for a pilot human case series with just three participants utilizing ingested hydrogen water, inhalation, and saline on a similar condition, atopic dermatitis.¹³ Furthermore, evidence in rodents shows that drinking hydrogen water improves atopic dermatitis.¹⁴,¹⁵,¹⁶ These articles give promise for people with these conditions; however, it is in no way a proven treatment.

Hydrogen water has great potential in improving skin health and bathing in hydrogen water is the most efficient administration method to get the highest concentration of molecular hydrogen to the relevant cells in your skin. As for hydrogen water cosmetic products we have developed, not only is the concentration higher than available elsewhere, but the tablets also deliver magnesium ions. These are transdermal and lower the pH of the water to that more beneficial to the skin flora. On top if H2 Beauty, a smaller tablet created to wash your face or skin, we have now made available Vivid H2, a passionfruit scented tablet three times the size of our Rejuvenationso that those interested can now adequately saturate a foot bath or even a full bath tub of warm water with hydrogen gas.