There’s a new retinol alternative in town, and we’re not talking about bakuchiol. Methylene blue is the new wrinkle-smoothing active ingredient to try, especially if you have sensitive skin. Here’s everything you need to know.
What is methylene blue?
Methylene blue is a dye and antioxidant that has long been used to treat viruses and malaria, but researcher and skin care formulator Dr. Kan Cao discovered its potential as an anti-aging skin care ingredient too.
Unlike retinol, which can be irritating and photo-sensitizing and cannot be used by pregnant or nursing women, methylene blue is healing for the skin and works by increasing the lifespan of skin cells. As Cao explains, this promotes the production of collagen and elastin in the skin, resulting in smoother, younger-looking skin and improved texture.
Plus, it’s approved by the FDA for use in pregnant and nursing mommas. And did we mention that, unlike retinol, you won’t have to worry about the dreaded skin purge? Users can bypass the process in which skin symptoms first get worse before getting better. It sounds like a win-win to us!
What to expect
Cao believes that when products containing methylene blue are used preventatively beginning in the 20s, it will outperform retinol in the maintenance of healthy, glowing, and nourished skin. Independent clinical trials found that 94% of users found overall skin improvement including improved appearance, smoothing of fine lines, prolonged hydration, and a reduction in wrinkles. Most tellingly, 0% of users experienced skin irritation from the ingredient.
You can try out the effects of methylene blue for yourself in Cao’s skin care line, Bluelene. She assures that Bluelene uses naturally-sourced ingredients for 99% of its formula. While a synthetic preservative helps to keep the cream stable and free of bacteria, overall, the skin care line’s philosophy is that “[A] lot of nature and a little science is the best combination to deliver true results.”
xx, The FabFitFun Team