Hexyl Resorcinol



Hexyl Resorcinol at a glance

  • A synthetic antioxidants that helps preserve skin’s firmness
  • Proven to fade hyperpigmentation from sun exposure
  • Topical use promotes a more even skin tone
  • Offers mild preservative benefits when used at 0.1% or greater

Hexyl Resorcinol description

Hexylresorcinol is a synthetic ingredient that offers several benefits for skin. It’s antioxidant benefits include helping to prevent collagen breakdown, preserving skin’s firmness. Of note, it’s capable of scavenging free radicals that damage skin’s protein and lipid (fat) components, helping to maintain a healthy appearance.It also plays a role in interrupting specific pathways in skin that lead to hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone, thus improving the uniformity of skin’s surface color.Hexylresorcinol is considered a safe and effective alternative to longstanding dark spot ingredient hydroquinone. Clinical studies have shown excellent synergy of this ingredient paired with the B vitamin niacinamide, various forms of vitamin C and various retinoids. It’s also been shown to be more effective at fading discolorations than kojic acid or licorice extract.Another note on safety: hexylresorcinol has GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status and is also used as a anti-browning agent in foods. Recommended usage levels of hexylresorcinol in skin care range from 0.4–1% when used on its own and 2–4% when this ingredient is part of a blend such as those that contain fatty acids. This ensures the level of hexylresorcinol itself remains in the efficacious range. Note that this ingredient requires an acidic pH (below 6) for best results. The antimicrobial properties of hexylresorcinol give it mild preservative ability when used in levels of 0.1% or greater.

Hexyl Resorcinol references

  • International Journal of Cosmetic Science, February 2022, pages 103–117
  • Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, December 2020, pages 3,280–3,285
  • Journal of Biomolecular Research and Therapeutics, December 2018, pages 1–3
  • Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, July 2016, pages 863–868
  • Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, August 2015, pages 7,032–7,040
  • Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, February 2011, page AB22

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

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.