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What-it-does: antioxidant, soothing


Quercetin is a polyphenol flavonoid found in lots of plants, such as red onions, broccoli, and blueberries. The reason it is in cosmetics is that - similar to other polyphenols - it is a strong antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties.

Other than that, a study also showed that adding quercetin to sunscreens helped to stabilize the otherwise not very stable chemical UV filters avobenzone and octinoxate against degradation -- and it did better than traditional stabilizers like octocrylene and vitamin E

There are also some studies into the use of quercetin as a skin whitening agent, but after some conflicting results, the conclusion is that "quercetin is not effective in cosmetic applications as a whitening ingredient". It also shows minor cytotoxicity when compared to some of its polyphenol derivatives (such as rutin), so quercetin is a good example where more is not better.

Show me some proof

  • Bonina, Francesco, Maria Lanza, Lucia Montenegro, Claudio Puglisi, Antonio Tomaino, Domenico Trombetta, Francesco Castelli, and Antonella Saija. 1996. “Flavonoids as Potential Protective Agents against Photo-Oxidative Skin Damage.” International Journal of Pharmaceutics 145 (1): 87–94.
  • Boots, Agnes W., Lonneke C. Wilms, Els L. R. Swennen, Jos C. S. Kleinjans, Aalt Bast, and Guido R. M. M. Haenen. 2008. “In Vitro and Ex Vivo Anti-Inflammatory Activity of Quercetin in Healthy Volunteers.” Nutrition 24 (7): 703–10.
  • Choi, Moon-Hee, and Hyun-Jae Shin. 2016. “Anti-Melanogenesis Effect of Quercetin.” Cosmetics 3 (2): 18.
  • Kitagawa, Shuji, Yuko Tanaka, Manami Tanaka, Kanako Endo, and Akiko Yoshii. 2009. “Enhanced Skin Delivery of Quercetin by Microemulsion.” Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology 61 (7): 855–60.
  • Scalia, Santo, and Matteo Mezzena. 2010. “Photostabilization Effect of Quercetin on the UV Filter Combination, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane–Octyl Methoxycinnamate.” Photochemistry and Photobiology 86 (2): 273–78.

Products with Quercetin

Anua Heartleaf Quercetinol Pore Deep Cleansing Foam Sallve Óleo Facial Antioxidante Sesderma Factor G Renew Serum Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Triple Correction Eye Serum Exponent Brightening Boost Vitamin C Pro System Sesderma C Vit Liposomal Serum Skin Actives Regenerating Defensin Serum bareMinerals Original Mineral Veil bareMinerals Original Mineral Veil® Pressed Setting Powder BLEACH London Plex Bleach Kit Facegym Active Collagen Wonder Serum Paula's Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense Spf 30 Sesderma C-Vit Serum Monodosis Sesderma Factor G Renew Rejuvenating Gel Cream Annabelle Minerals Glow Juice Vitamin C Serum Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Serum Triple Correction Eye Serum Paula's Choice Resist Anti-aging Ultra-light Antioxidant Serum Promoitalia Pqage Evolution - Serum SKINMADE Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C SKINMADE Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C Serum Blossom Jeju Pink Camellia Soombi Blooming Essence Face Oil Crabtree & Evelyn Leafy Greens Mask Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum Sesderma C-vit Revitalizing Gel Cream disco Mineral Sun Block Dr Dennis Gross All Physical Lightweight Wrinkle Defense SPF Regimen Lab Vitamin X Regimen Lab Vitamin X Antioxidant Serum Sesderma C Vit Moisturising Facial Cream Sesderma C-Vit Eye Contour Patches Elta MD Uv Lip Balm Broad-Spectrum Spf 31 Sesderma Factor G Renew Serum RCMA Makeup Liquid Foundation Regimen Lab Vitamin X Repechage Red Out Serum Sesderma C-Vit Radiance Glowing Fluid Drunk Elephant F-Balm™ Electrolyte Waterfacial EltaMD Uv Physical Spf 41 Sunscreen Jaclyn Cosmetics Bake & Brighten Under Eye Powder Sesderma C Vit Eye Contour Sesderma C-Vit Radiance Briogeo Aloe + Oat Milk Ultra Soothing 3-in-1 Cleansing Bar For Hair, Face + Body EltaMD Luminous Epionce Purifying Spot Gel Ausceuticals Vitamin B Serum Ausceuticals Vitamin B Serum Ho Karan Energizing Serum Tru Alchemy Eye Elixir Cosmedix Elite Pepoxide Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution