Plant extracts

Adenosine at a glance

  • Derived from yeast as a skin care ingredient (but also naturally present in the body)
  • Topical application connects to skin’s natural adenosine receptors
  • Known for its anti-wrinkle, skin-smoothing, and soothing benefits
  • Also shows potential for its healing properties
  • White, odorless, crystalline powder in its raw form

Adenosine description

Adenosine is a water-soluble yeast-derived ingredient that functions as a good soothing and skin-restoring agent. It has proven anti-wrinkle benefits and is a safe, beneficial ingredient all skin types can use. Studies also indicate strong potential for soothing properties. One of the particularly exceptional qualities of adenosine is that it’s a natural component of the body and its receptors have specifically been identified in skin cells, allowing for a direct connection and impressive effectiveness when applied topically. In one study (conducted by L’Oreal) adenosine showed efficacy in as low as 0.1% concentration for improving deep wrinkles in the periorbital area (i.e. crow’s feet) as well as glabellar frown lines (known as the 11s between brows). In 2020, the Expert Panel for Cosmetic Ingredient Safety concluded that adenosine was safe in concentrations of up to 1% in leave on skin care products. Adenosine is described as a white, odorless, crystalline powder in its raw form.

Adenosine references

  • PubChem, Accessed May 2021, ePublication
  • Cosmetic Ingredient Review, September 2020, pages 1-38
  • Experimental Dermatology, August 2014, pages 553-554
  • Journal of Investigative Dermatology, August 2011, pages 526-546
  • International Journal of Cosmetic Science, December 2006, pages 447-451
  • British Journal of Pharmacology, October 2008, issue 4, pages 475-486
  • PloS One, May 2008 (ePublication)
  • >International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2006, pages 447-451

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not Rated