Scientists may have discovered a new treatment for aging and thinning skin. An antioxidant known as methylene blue has now been identified by researchers as a link in the reduction of wrinkles due to its ability to thicken the skin.
A study of methylene blue’s effects was published by the University of Maryland in Scientific Reports. The research was conducted by Zheng Mei-Zhong, Mike O’Donovan, Linlin Sun, Ji Young Choi, and others who used a 3-D model of human skin formed by the cells of middle-aged subjects. After four weeks, the scientists were able to conclude that the treatment and application of methylene blue to the surface of the skin resulted in an improvement in “skin viability, promoted wound healing, and increased skin hydration and dermis thickness.”
The top layer of the skin, called the epidermis, has the thickness of a tenth of a millimeter. The major cause of aging is oxidative stress, which promotes cellular senescence, or deterioration, resulting in an “aging” appearance of the epidermis. By thickening the skin, methylene blue reduces wrinkling, weakened wound healing, and pigmentation such as dark spots.
According to Scientific Reports, methylene blue is “a traditional mitochondrial-targeting antioxidant” that is “effective in stimulating skin fibroblast proliferation and delaying cellular senescence.” That is to say, methylene blue is a more effective antioxidant than other widely used antioxidants that work to target the mitochondria within skin cells to fight off aging.
With its lack of skin irritability, methylene blue may be the future of skin care. Its anti-aging qualities may soon be added to natural anti-aging skin care products such as creams and lotions. Wrinkles, thanks to methylene blue and the researchers who’ve discovered its fountain of youth qualities, may soon be obsolete.