Soy Isoflavones



Soy Isoflavones at a glance

  • Specific compounds derived from the soybean plant that offer numerous benefits for skin
  • Help safely counteract the visible changes skin goes through when estrogen decreases
  • Positively impact the look of skin’s elasticity, texture, tone, density, and resilience
  • Aids hydration plus neutralises negative effects of environmental stressors
  • May also be referred to as phytoestrogens

Soy Isoflavones description

Soy isoflavones are specific antioxidant compounds derived from the soybean plant that offer numerous benefits for skin. They are sometimes referred to as phytoestrogens*. Of note, studies have shown that soy isoflavones help safely counteract certain signs of changes skin goes through during menopause, which are attributed to declining levels of estrogen. They do so by safely binding with receptors in skin’s surface layers to support the areas that estrogen loss has affected in a way that other cosmetic ingredients cannot. This includes having a positive visible impact on skin’s elasticity, texture, density, resilience and hydration. Because soy isoflavones are potent antioxidants, they help neutralise negative effects of environmental stressors, while simultaneously supporting key processes in skin that lead to increased smoothness and improved suppleness. Equally impressive, research shows soy isoflavones have the potential to help fade stubborn discolourations, whether from sun exposure or other sources. They help to reduce transfer of excess melanin to skin’s surface, thereby visibly reducing hyperpigmentation. Genistein is the predominant isoflavone in soy, and topically it’s been shown to intercept certain harmful effects of skin exposed to UV light. It also helps skin maintain better tensile strength (think elasticity). Daidzein and equol are other research-backed soy isoflavones for skin, each with unique and overlapping benefits. *Phytoestrogens are naturally occurring substances that are extracted from plants. At Paula’s Choice we continually analyse vast amounts of research to determine the most suitable ingredients to be used at safe levels in our products to deliver meaningful cosmetic benefits to the skin. 

Soy Isoflavones references

  • Genes and Nutrition, February 2022, pages 1–11
  • National Cancer Institute, February 2020, ePublication
  • Advances in Dermatology and Allergology, December 2019, pages 760-766
  • International Journal of Women’s Dermatology, June 2019, pages 85–90
  • Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, February 2019, page 495-499
  • Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, November 2018, pages 1186–1189
  • Gynecological Endocrinology, November 2017, pages 845-848
  • International Journal of Cosmetic Science, October 2017, pages 535-542
  • Nutrient, June 2017, page 622
  • Frontiers in Pharmacology, May 2016, ePublication
  • Dermato Endocrinology, April 2013, pages 264-270

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