Updated 3/14/23. What is pseudocatalase? It's a body cream promoted to return color to the skin in those with vitiligo. Some say pseudocatalase can also reverse gray hair too. In this review, let's discuss what PseudoCatalase is, look at the research on it, and investigate the claims that it might restore hair's natural color.
These additional reviews deal with restoring hair color:
- Amla Fruit Review
- Grey Hair Supplements Review
- PHYTO Re30 Review
- SeroVital Hair Regeneres Review
- Darkenyl Review
- GR-7 Professional Review
What Is Catalase?
Catalase is an enzyme that breaks down hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). So what's catalase got to do with gray hair? As we get older, we might make less of this enzyme. As catalase levels fall in hair follicles, hydrogen peroxide levels build up. This can cause hair to turn gray or white. Because of this, catalase enzyme supplements are available, which claim to help reduce/reverse gray hair.
Do Catalase Supplements Work?
I have my doubts about these types of supplements. The main reason is catalase – because it's an enzyme – is likely broken down during digestion. This means little – if any – makes it into the blood or to the hair follicles.
Read the gray hair supplement review for much more on this topic.
What Is PseudoCatalase?
Pseudocatalase (also called PC-KUS) is a cream that is applied to the skin. Research suggests the cream can help restore skin pigment in people who have vitiligo. Vitiligo is a rare disorder that causes patches of skin to lose their pigment and appear lighter. Those with vitiligo have been found to have very high levels of hydrogen peroxide and low levels of the catalase enzyme.
The idea is the PC-KUS cream reduces levels of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the skin.
Pseudocatalase comes in two different types:
- mineral-infused body cream
- mineral-infused body gel
Both products contain the same active ingredients. More about that is below.
As the word pseudo suggests, pseudo-catalase contains no catalase enzyme. Rather it contains a patented set of ingredients said to mimic the effects of catalase in reducing hydrogen peroxide.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of the ingredients in pseudocatalase cream and gel.
|Mineral infused body cream||Mineral infused body gel|
|White petroleum||Sodium bicarbonate|
|Cetearyl alcohol and ceteareth-20||Manganese chloride|
|Sodium bicarbonate||Calcium chloride|
|Sorbitol solution||Edetate disodium|
|Propylene glycol||Propylene glycol|
|Glycerel monosterate||Aloe barbadensis leaf powder|
|Polyethylene glycol monosterate||Methylparaben|
In a study published in 2002, Researchers in the UK, headed by Dr. Karin Schallreuter, tested pseudocatalase vs. placebo in 59 men and women with vitiligo for 21 days. The cream was applied to the face and hands. Some of the participants also bathed twice a day in the Dead Sea, and some also were exposed to sunlight for up to 1 hour per day.
Bathing in the Dead Sea was considered important because the high mineral content of the water was thought to augment the benefits of the cream and because previous research linked it to improvements in other skin disorders. The UVB rays of sunlight activates melanin production in the skin, so this is why sun exposure was used as well.
Results showed those using the cream, bathing in the Dead Sea, and getting sun exposure had significantly more re-pigmentation on their face (fewer white patches) than those who applied the placebo cream. The treatment seemed more beneficial on the face compared to the hands.
While none of the study participants experienced to a total reversal of skin color by the end of the study, the effects were dramatic in some cases. Here is a link to the pdf of the study where you can see the pictures for yourself.
In this investigation, The research team headed by Dr. Schallreuter gave pseudocatalase cream (PC-KUS cream) plus sunlight therapy to 71 young kids with vitiligo. The study lasted 1 year. They reported remarkable results, with no new vitiligo white patches showing up in 70 of the 71 kids. In 66 of the 71 kids in the study, a 75% repigmentation of face and neck skin color was observed. The effects on hands and feet were less remarkable, with only 5 of the 71 kids showing benefits.
In this study the Dr. Schallreuter research group combined pseudocatalase cream with sunlight therapy in 33 people with vitiligo. The return of skin color started to be observed within 2-4 months and 90% of the study participants had “complete re-pigmentation” of the face and back of the hands. None of the people developed new white patches during the study. There was no reappearance of vitiligo even after 2 years later.
Studies Showing Pseudocatalase Doesn't Work
While studies from Dr. Karin Schallreuter show promise for this therapy, research from other investigators offers different findings.
In this study researchers saw no benefits of pseudocatalase cream and light therapy in a 24-week investigation involving 26 people. While researchers did say it was safe and well-tolerated, they also reported some people showed worsening of skin conditions.
In this investigation, researchers tested pseudocatalase + sunlight therapy or placebo in 32 people with vitiligo. The study lasted 12 weeks. While these researchers did not find pseudocatalase + sunlight worked better than a placebo, they did observe significant improvements in all groups. In other words, they said pseudocatalase cream didn't work – but it still showed a significant improvement in vitiligo. That doesn't make sense. The placebo worked just as well.
Researchers in Iran tested a combination of pseudocatalase and superoxide dismutase (SOD) in 23 people with vitiligo. They observed the combination did not work. Vitiligo does have a free radical aspect, so adding a free radical scavenger like SOD does make sense. But, since the research showing benefits did not use SOD, and since this study did not involve sunlight therapy, I'm not sure how relevant this study is.
Can Pseudocatalase Restore Hair Color?
Ok, the research above is complicated. What's the scoop on this stuff reversing gray or white hair? Well, the first thing we need to remember is that none of the studies specifically looked at reversing gray hair. Rather, the researchers were investigating pseudocatalase to restore skin pigmentation in people with vitiligo.
So, if you don't have vitiligo, I don't know if it will work or not.
Even the pseudocatalase website says as much, when you read “There is no scientific evidence at this time that pseudocatalase will prevent hair from going grey in areas unaffected by vitiligo.”
One study from 2013 did report restoration of eyelash color. Research on scalp hair needs more research. That does not mean Pseudocatalase cream (or gel) would not work. It's just that without more research, it's difficult to say.
If pseudocatalase is going to reverse gray hair, I believe it needs to be applied to the hair and scalp, and I think it needs to stay there for a period of time. How long, I can't say. I believe this may be why there is a pseudocatalase gel in addition to the cream. Could this be their “hair gel?”
For those with vitiligo, I'd also add that if PC-KUS therapy is going to work, sunlight may also be needed. Many of the studies used what is called Narrow Band Ultraviolet B phototherapy (NBUVB). The UV-B rays of the sun convert an enzyme in the skin (tyrosinase) into melanin, which is what gives hair its color.
In other words, while you use PC-KUS treatments, don't wear a hat when you go outside. Let the sun hit your hair and interact with the compounds in pseudocatalase. Sunlamps are also an option but some can be expensive.
These are my opinions based on the research I've seen. I'll update this as more research on hair color becomes available.
If anyone has used PseudoCatalase (PC-KUS) leave a comment below so others can benefit from your experiences.
Does Pseudocatalase Expire?
The product does have an expiration date. According to PseudoCatalase.com, the creams and gels are made when ordered and expire 7-8 weeks after it is shipped. In other words, use cream /gel within 2 months of getting it, or its effectiveness may decrease.
But I Can't Bathe In The Dead Sea
If you read the research above, you noticed in one of the studies, people were also bathing in the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea contains minerals such as manganese, sodium bicarbonate, and calcium chloride. This is why these minerals are also present in pseudocatalase ingredients (see above for the ingredients).
So if their thinking is correct, by adding these minerals to the product, the idea is they bring the Dead Sea to you.
Why is Sunlight Important?
Sunlight appears to be important to the benefits of pseudocatalase because the UVB rays from the sun work in tandem with the ingredients in the skin to produce a better overall effect. Sunlight would be expected to be better than a tanning booth because some tanning beds might filter out UVB rays.
For those sensitive to the sun, slowly increasing sun exposure is recommended. In other words, don't start out by lying in the sun for 1 hour. You'll get a bad sunburn that way. Instead, begin with only 5-10 minutes. Also, divide sun exposure into different segments. Don't do it all at once. Experiment with what is right for you.
Psudocatalase And Tanning
Can pseudocatalase help people -who don't have vitiligo – tan better? Oddly enough, One of the patents on this product says yes. In their own words “suntanning can be enhanced by topical application of a pseudocatalase.” That said, I've not seen any tanning research. Remember too much sun can contribute to skin cancer.
Who Makes Pseudocatalase?
The company is called Med Specialties Pharmacy. The website is PseudoCatalase.com. It is located at 4862 Olinda Street Yorba Linda, Ca 92886. A quick online search reveals a compounding pharmacy bearing this name. That's good. This is a real company with a physical location. It's also good it's made by a pharmacy. The company has been in business since 1999.
The official website for the pharmacy is MedSpecialtiesRx.com. The chief pharmacist -and I believe the owner – is Mark Gonzalez. He holds a doctor of pharmacy degree.
A compounding pharmacy is one that makes specialized/personalized medications for the public and medical professionals. Med Specialties is a PCAB-accredited compounding pharmacy. This means they uphold standards and go through regular inspections.
The Better Business Bureau gave Med Specialties Pharmacy a rating of A when this review was updated. See the BBB file for updates and more information.
Contact Med Specialties Pharmacy
The contact number is 877-373-2272.
How Much Is PseudoCatalase?
When this review was created, pseudocatalase had the following prices:
- Pseudocatalase cream (3.88 oz / 100 g): $84
- Pseudocatalase cream (2 oz / 60 g): $64
- Pseudocatalase gel (8 oz /236.5 ml): $89
It may also be available on Amazon too
What Is TestMyHormones.com?
When ordering pseudocatalase from its website, you are redirected to another site called TestMyHormones.com. Basically, you are still dealing with the same company; this is just another website they own. As the name suggests, this site also offers a variety of hormone test kits you can do at home.
Pseudocatalase Side Effects
No significant side effects were reported in the research summarized above. Some people reported increased sweating, which might be expected if getting sun exposure in the summer months. Darkening of skin was also reported, but since that's what PC-KUS is supposed to do, that's more of a benefit rather than a side effect.
To be safe, it might be best not to use pseudocatalase while pregnant or breastfeeding. Nobody in the studies I saw was nursing or pregnant, so this is just a precaution. Stop the product at least 2 weeks before having surgery. When in doubt, speak to your OBGYN or vitiligo specialist.
Does Pseudocatalase Work?
The research is very interesting, so for those with vitiligo reading this, it may be worth a try. It will probably take a few months before you notice a difference. But, for those who don't have vitiligo and are wondering if pseudocatalase (PC-KUS) might reverse their white or gray hair, I don't know. If you've tried it, leave a comment below. I'd love to hear what happened.
Here's PseudoCatalase on Amazon
I have been using a hair product from Canada for several years and am sure it is working. I am now 60 and have mostly dark hair with grey mixed in. The reason I know it is working is my temples used to be 100% grey. Now they are 30% my natural hair color. Top of my head is quite dark (65% dark). Back is very dark (90% dark) but what I like most is that it all looks very natual without any coloring.
My other ‘secret’ is that years ago I started to consistently add blackstrap molasses to my diet. I just found this article on this topic:
(Full disclosure: I am also a vegetarian health nut : )
Joe Cannon says
Steve, thanks for the tips. I’ve heard of blackstrap molasses. When I looked I didnt see any evidence for it but that was sometime ago. Question, do you have any before/after pics you could send? Id be interested in seeing the difference
viktor andre says
Hi,Another interesting patent on greying…
Hi Viktor, that’s quite an interesting patent. From what they are saying these foods:
200 mg to about 250 mg powdered black beans
200 mg to about 250 mg powdered black seeds
200 to 250 mg powdered flaxseeds
200 mg to about 250 mg powdered black walnunts
given to their test subjects reversed grey hair in 1.5-2 years.
Viktor Andre says
Hi Joe,Jes,…It would be interesting to investigate this with higher doses…since in my opinion the doses were quite low….
Viktor, yes, the levels are pretty modest.
Another thing which I forgot to mention Joe is that according to free radical biologists topical pseudocatalase can not get inside cells only effective extracellular spaces.. Melanocytes researchers did not exclude the fact that if one could reduce oxidative stress INSIDE melanocytes stem cells that it may lead to repigmentation …
Viktor, that is a good observation about whether or not pseudocatalase can penetrate cell membranes.
Im not aware of it Joe, all I know that isoflavones supplements are available and each capsules or tablets contain 21mg daidzein and 19 mg gensitein.In pure form daidzein is not available as a supplement commercially. In the study I sent you patainces were given 600mg of daidzein daily. Isoflavones are strong activator of Nrf 2 thus being able to reduce oxidative stress
It can also increase IGF 1,IGF-1 Apoptotic Defenses in Melanocytes and Vitiligo,
Here is another study showing its effectiveness when it comes to hair growth,https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17569567
This could be a couple of mechanisms of isoflavonses…
Thanks for the studies Viktor, I will add them to my files.
Hi, I was using pseudocatalase cream for more then 1 year. It is also available at vitilase.com that is where I ordered it from. They sell stabilised pseudocatalase. I have grey hairs only on my sides of my scalp. I would say 50% grey 50% pigmented..I saw a little bit of hair repigmentation of both sides after using it for 1.5 months but on those hair follicles that had been grey for long time it didn’t do anything.
I talked about it to a few melanocytes researchers .Most of them think the reason for this is because melanocytes stem cells do not produce melanoblast other words melanins anymore so pseudocatalase has nothing to protect anymore since no melanoblast coming from melanocytes stem cells.
However early onset of greying pseudocatalase will be effective to repigment hair by protecting melanoblast that is still migrating from melanocytes stem cells.
They think that activation of melanocytes stem cells could be a way to repigment hair..So again if you just started greying it will be probably effective if you use a stabilized pseudocatalase but if you have grey hair for long time it will do very little if anything at all… This is my experience plus experts opinions.. Best
Hi Viktor, thanks for saying all that. I would agree the ability of pseudo catalase to work might also depend on how long someone had gray/white hair. I’m glad you have had some positive experiences with it.
I looked up vitilase.com as I had not heard of them before. Its based on Jordan. Website was registered in 2016. The company that registered the website Sebaste Marketing Solutions.
Joe, I think I was one of the first buyers…anyway Im sure you will find this interesting..
Methods for the treatment of baldness and gray hair using isoflavonoid derivatives
US 5639785 A
Unfortunately I have not been able to find the researcher…
Viktor, interesting stuff. Ive never heard of 7-glycoside daidzein. Took a quick look and I may have seen a mouse study. I will definitely look into this
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20576422 here is one Joe,
Viktor, very interesting. I wonder if there are any supplements using isoflavones to grow hair?