Zerumbone at a glance

  • Extracted from the stems of fully grown wild ginger
  • Shown to visibly reduce multiple types of dark circles
  • Soothing action calms skin and reduces the look of puffy eyes
  • Potent antioxidant qualities help protect skin from UV light

Zerumbone description

Zerumbone is an oil-soluble sustainable plant compound extracted from the stems of the full-grown wild ginger plant, Latin name _Zingiber zerumbet._ This plant, native to Asia but sourced for cosmetics from Madagascar, is a rich source of potent antioxidant compounds. Clinical studies from a cosmetic ingredient supplier have shown zerumbone plays a role in visibly reducing all types of dark circles compared to placebo formula without this ingredient. This was after two months (eight weeks) of daily use, with study participants also reporting their eye area looked less fatigued and was brighter. Studies have also shown this ingredient’s pronounced soothing qualities reduce signs of puffiness under the eyes, both when measured by a special 3D surface scanner and from consumer’s self-assessment of their undereye area after fifteen days of use. Zerumbone’s antioxidants also help protect the most delicate areas of facial skin from visible changes due to environmental exposure. It even helps protect skin’s surface from UVA radiation, interrupting damage before it reaches skin’s lower layers. Amounts from 0.03–0.2% are considered effective. Although a formal safety assessment hasn’t been done, what’s known about this plant extract’s ability to help skin, its soothing qualities, and the amounts used in cosmetics points to its safety under conditions of normal use.

Zerumbone references

  • Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, November 2019, pages 1–14
  • International Journal of Molecular Sciences, October 2018, pages 1–17
  • Biochemical Pharmacology, February 2018, pages 130–146
  • Molecules, December 2017, pages 1–20; and October 2017, pages 1–24
  • Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, March 2011, pages 1–12
  • Phytomedicine, Volume 10, Issue 5, 2003, pages 381–385

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