Glucosamine is one of a long line of skin care discoveries that we owe to another branch of medicine: for years, researchers have investigated the benefits of glucosamine for people with arthritis.
Many studies have shown that it can help increase hyaluronic acid (HA) in joints. HA acts as a lubricant to prevent cartilage damage.
Naturally, this research was of particular interest to dermatologists, as hyaluronic acid is also one of the three major components of the dermis, your deeper layer of skin. Hyaluronic acid helps your skin hold on to water, which gives skin fullness and radiance, and is associated with a youthful appearance.
I am sure you have heard of HA because Restylane and Juvederm are made from it. (They are popular dermal fillers injected into wrinkles to erase them). Unfortunately, we naturally lose HA as we age. The good news is, if glucosamine can stimulate production of hyaluronic acid in your joints, it can likely do the same for your skin! Restoring HA will make your skin plumper, more youthful looking and better hydrated.
I recommend 1500 mg of glucosamine each day. You can usually see results, in the form of decreased wrinkles and increased skin fullness, in as little as four to six weeks! (As always, talk to your doctor before adding new supplements to your regimen, particularly if you are pregnant or have any health conditions.)
Glucosamine supplements are often derived from the shells of shellfish, so those who avoid shellfish for any reason should look for non-animal-based glucosamine, which is also widely available. Most people with shellfish allergies are sensitive to allergens in the flesh of those animals rather than their shells, but using synthetic glucosamine is still the safest bet.
Glucosamine marketed to treat arthritis is often found in supplements that also contain chondroitin. However, chondroitin has no known benefits for the skin so save money and buy a glucosamine supplement without chondroitin. You can also find supplements that contain glucosamine combined with other ingredients such as niacinamide that are good for the skin such as those by Murad.