Tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane at a glance

  • Occurs naturally in the root of the turmeric plant
  • Native to India and has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine
  • A synthetic form is used in skin care due to the natural ingredient’s strong yellow colour
  • Offers potent antioxidant and skin-soothing benefits
  • Research shows it fades the look of discolourations for a more even skin tone

Tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane description

Tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane is a potent antioxidant and skin-soothing agent in the turmeric plant. This plant is native to India and has a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine. The main antioxidants from turmeric are collectively known as curcuminoids, of which there are three which have been thoroughly researched. Although curcuminoids are found naturally in the root of the turmeric plant, synthetic forms tend to be used more often in skin care. The reason? Because its natural form is a deep yellow colour which tends to stain skin. Chemists have developed a nearly colourless form that is bio-identical to the curcuminoids found in turmeric, so you get all of the benefits without the stain effect. Along with potent free radical-scavenging activity, tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane and similarly named curcuminoids can visibly reduce irritation and help fade discolourations so skin takes on a more even appearance over time. The curcuminoids also have considerable research showing that topical use helps visibly repair sun-damaged skin (although as with any such ingredient, skin cannot go back to the point before the damage occurred). In essence, curcuminoids are proven to promote and help maintain healthy skin at any age. The curcuminoids, including tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane, also play a role in skin’s hyaluronic acid content, aiding skin’s natural ability to maintain a smooth, hydrated surface. Usage levels in skin care are typically between 0.02–0.5% for antioxidant benefits, with stronger soothing benefits seen in concentrations between 0.5–1%. It is considered safe as used in cosmetics. Curcuminoid ingredients such as this must be carefully formulated due to instability with ongoing exposure to light and air. They are also not soluble in water, so they must be used with glycols, oils or oil-like ingredients to enhance availability on and within skin. Another option is for these ingredients to be encapsulated for sustained delivery to skin’s uppermost layers, which also improves their stability.

Tetrahydrodemethoxydiferuloylmethane references

  • Nutrients, September 2019, pages 1–25
  • Journal of Biomaterials Applications, September 2019, pages 315-325
  • Journal of Cellular Physiology, February 2019, pages 1,165–1,178; and June 2018, pages 1,165–1,176
  • Journal of Food Science and Technology, April 2017, pages 1,137-1,145
  • Phytotherapy Research, June 2018, pages 985–995; and August 2016, pages 1,243–1,264
  • Toxicology Mechanisms and Methods, September 2009, pages 447–460

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.