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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

Sallve Óleo Facial Antioxidante Sesderma Factor G Renew Serum Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Triple Correction Eye Serum Sesderma C Vit Liposomal Serum bareMinerals Original Mineral Veil bareMinerals Original Mineral Veil® Pressed Setting Powder Paula's Choice Resist Super-Light Wrinkle Defense Spf 30 Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Serum Triple Correction Eye Serum Paula's Choice Resist Ultra-Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum 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 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 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 Ausceuticals Vitamin B Serum (Reformulated) EltaMD Luminous Epionce Purifying Spot Gel Ausceuticals Vitamin B Serum Ho Karan Energizing Serum Tru Alchemy Eye Elixir Cosmedix Elite Pepoxide Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Vitamin C Lactic Firm & Bright Eye Treatment Paula's Choice Resist Anti-Aging Replenishing Toner Onsen Secret Ageless Body White Pagoda Hand Cream Dr Dennis Gross Clinical Grade Ipl Dark Spot Correcting Serum EltaMD Uv Physical Tinted Face Sunscreen Spf 41 Ho Karan The Morning Miracle Lord Jones Acid Mantle Repair Moisturizer With 250Mg Cbd And Ceramides Tru Alchemy Quench Creme bareMinerals BAREPRO 16-hr Skin-perfecting Powder Foundation pureclinica Triple Strength Vitamin C, E & Ferulic Acid Serum (W/Retinol & Hyaluronic Acid) Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta® Pore Perfecting & Refining Serum Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta® Pore Perfecting & Refining Serum (Old) Skin Actives Uv Repair Cream