Hexylresorcinol in Skin Care

Hexylresorcinol in Skincare

Hexylresorcinol is considered one of the most effective skin lightening compounds in use in skin care today, and is commonly found in products used to lighten dark spots on the skin.

Hexylresorcinol is better for sensitive skin than the similar compound resorcinol.

It also has antibacterial activity.

Hexylresorcinol is completely safe to use unless you are pregnant or allergic to it.

To find out if this ingredient is the best for your skin type, shop using your Baumann Skin Type.


Is hexylresorcinol safe for skin?

Hexylresorcinol is safe for use in skin care products.

It is considered a clean ingredient and has a score of 1 from the EWG (environmental working group).

It so safe that it is used in the production of some foods like certain fruits and grains to lighten colors or correct blemishes on food.

Does hexylresorcinol have any side effects?

This skin care ingredient and food additive is not dangerous unless you have an allergy to it.

An allergy to this ingredient can cause a slight rash, redness, or irritation on the applied area.

If you are worried that you might be allergic to hexylresorcinol, apply a small amount of product to a small patch of skin; look for redness or irritation within about 12-24 hours.

If redness or a rash occurs, do not use the product.

Another possible side effect of this skin lightening ingredient is a halo around treated dark spots.

To avoid this, do not apply the product outside of target dark spots.

Hexylresorcinol products may cause irritation on applied areas if used in too great a quantity or frequency.

Overuse and irritation may cause “Post Inflammatory Pigmentary Alteration” (PIPA), a darkening of the skin.

To avoid irritation, always combine with the correct products in a skin care routine customized for your Baumann Skin Type.

is hexylresorcinol safe while pregnant

Can I use hexylresorcinol when I am pregnant?

Pregnant women are advised not to use products with hexylresorcinol because resorcinol based compounds can enter the bloodstream and have been found in urine.

There are other ways to treat conditions like melasma during pregnancy without resorcinol or hexylresorcinol-based products.

To find the right products for you, shop by your Baumann Skin Type.


Skin benefits of hexylresorcinol include:

results from hexylresorcinol

How long does it take to see results

If you are using this ingredient in the proper skin care routine for your skin type, you can expect results in 8-16 weeks.

If you have used hexylresorcinol for over 3 months and have not seen results, click here.

What is hexylresorcinol good for?

Some of the notable benefits of this ingredient include: 

Skin lightening

Hexylresorcinol is a Tyrosinase Inhibitor

It prevents the production of the skin pigment melanin.

Apply it directly to dark spots 1-2 times a day as part of a complete skin lightening regimen.

choose a skin lightening serum based on your skin type

What are the best products with hexylresorcinol?

6 best dermatologist-recommended hexylresorcinol products are:

  1. Medature Hydro Bright Treatment- one of the most affordable options
  2. Murad Multivitamin Infusion Oil - best for very dry skin
  3. Derma Made Mela Fade- Also has tranexamic acid and kojic acid.
  4. Replenix Pigment Correcting Brightening Cream- Is a cream so it is more moisturizing. It also has arbutin. Not as strong as other options, but the cheapest option.
  5. PCA Pigment Gel Pro- Often too irritating for sensitive skin types.
  6. MDSolarSciences MD Revitalize Retinol Serum- Combines calming agents like caffeine with retinol.

Can you use Hexylresorcinol with retinol?

Retinol and hexylresorcinol may be used together in skin care routines to treat hyperpigmentation.

Usually hexylresorcinol is used in step 3 in the am and pm routine, while retinol is used in step 5 of the pm routine, but this varies by Baumann Skin Type.

Retinol is a type of retinoid. Retinol helps with desquamation and tyrosinase inhibition, speeding the results of hexylresorcinol.

MDSolarSciences MD Revitalize Retinol Serum combines retinol and hexylresorcinol together in one serum.


Is it like Hydroquinone?

Both compounds are used to treat hyperpigmentation, however they are very different.

Hexylresorcinol products are free of the safety concerns commonly associated with hydroquinone products.

Hexylresorcinol permeates the skin’s cellular membranes more efficiently than hydroquinone, kojic Acid, or licorice extract.

Hexylresorcinol products are considered cosmetics and are available over the counter or online.

Hydroquinone products are considered drugs only available by prescription in the United States.

resorcinol vs hexylresorcinol

What are the differences between Hexylresorcinol and Resorcinol?

Hexylresorcinol (HR) shares many qualities with resorcinol, but has some notable differences.

HR passes through the skin’s cell membranes more efficiently than resorcinol.

HR diffuses better in liquids like the liquid inside our skin cells.

HR is less irritating to sensitive skin types than resorcinol.

Resorcinol has a EWG rating of 7 due to risk of skin allergy.


What are the differences between Hexylresorcinol and Niacinamide?

The main difference between the two compounds is that Niacinamide is a PAR-2 Blocker,

PAR-2 blockers do not prevent the production of melanin, they block the transfer of melanin filler melanocytes into keratinocyte skin cells.

Hexylresorcinol is a tyrosinase Inhibitor which prevent the formation of pigment.

Niacinamide is anti-inflammatory and helps increase cellular energy.

Both offer anti-aging and skin lightening benefits but via different pathways.


Can you use Hexylresorcinol and Niacinamide together?

Niacinamide and hexylresorcinol can be mixed and used together.

The two ingredients compliment each other because they block different pathways in the skin pigmentation process.

Niacinamide is more gentle than hexylresorcinol for most skin types unless you have an allergy to it.

How many times a day should I use Hexylresorcinol?

Most skin care regimen use this ingredient two times per day, in the morning and night, however it depends upon your Baumann Skin Type.

Refer to Your Baumann Skin Type Regimen for instructions on frequency of use.


There are a variety of products on the Skin Care market which include other similar Tyrosinase Inhibitors.

Here are some products from our website related to or containing Hexylresorcinol.

To get an exact skin care routine, shop by your skin type.

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Is hexylresorcinol harmful?

Studies and independent organizations have found hexylresorcinol safe for use in skin care products. It is possible to have a sensitivity for this ingredient but that can be identified through a patch test.

Is hexylresorcinol better than hydroquinone

For one thing, it is a safer ingredient than hydroquinone. For another, some studies find that its effectiveness is comparable as a skin lightener. For all intents and purposes, hexylresorcinol is the superior ingredient.

Best references on hexylresorcinol

1. L. Baumann. Ch 44 Niacinamide in Cosmeceutical and Cosmetic Ingredients (McGraw Hill 2015)

2. Fidalgo J, Deglesne PA, Arroya R, Ranneva E, Deprez P. 4-Hexylresorcinol a New Molecule for Cosmetic Application. J Biomol Res Ther. 2018;8(170):2.

3. Ando H, Watabe H, Valencia JC, Yasumoto K, Furumura M, Funasaka Y, et al. Fatty acids regulate pigmentation via proteasomal degradation of tyrosinase: a new aspect of ubiquitin-proteasome function. J Biol Chem. 2004;279(15):15427-33.

4. Chen J, Li Q, Ye Y, Huang Z, Ruan Z, Jin N. Phloretin as both a substrate and inhibitor of tyrosinase: Inhibitory activity and mechanism. Spectrochim Acta A Mol Biomol Spectrosc. 2020;226:117642.

5. Dutkiewicz R, Albert DM, Levin LA. Effects of latanoprost on tyrosinase activity and mitotic index of cultured melanoma lines. Exp Eye Res. 2000;70(5):563-9.

6.Choo, K. W., Dhital, R., Mao, L., Lin, M., & Mustapha, A. (2021). Development of polyvinyl alcohol/chitosan/modified bacterial nanocellulose films incorporated with 4-hexylresorcinol for food packaging applications. Food Packaging and Shelf Life, 30, 100769.

7.Wu, H., Gabriel, T. A., Burney, W. A., Chambers, C. J., Pan, A., & Sivamani, R. K. (2022). Prospective, randomized, double-blind clinical study of split-body comparison of topical hydroquinone and hexylresorcinol for skin pigment appearance. Archives of Dermatological Research, 1-8. 

8.Leyden JJ, Shergill B, Micali G, Downie J, Wallo W. Natural options for the management of hyperpigmentation. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2011 Oct;25(10):1140-5.

9.Zhu W, Gao J. The use of botanical extracts as topical skin-lightening agents for the improvement of skin pigmentation disorders. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2008 Apr;13(1):20-4.

10.Greatens A, Hakozaki T, Koshoffer A, Epstein H, Schwemberger S, Babcock G, Bissett D, Takiwaki H, Arase S, Wickett RR, Boissy RE. Effective inhibition of melanosome transfer to keratinocytes by lectins and niacinamide is reversible. Exp Dermatol. 2005 Jul;14(7):498-508.

11.Mohammed D, Crowther JM, Matts PJ, Hadgraft J, Lane ME. Influence of niacinamide containing formulations on the molecular and biophysical properties of the stratum corneum. Int J Pharm. 2013 Jan 30:441(1-2):192-201.

12.Comaish JS, Felix RH, McGrath H. Topically applied niacinamide in isoniazid-induced pellagra. Arch Dermatol. 1976 Jan;112(1):70-2.

13.Benavente CA, Schnell SA, Jacobson EL. Effects of niacin restriction on sirtuin and PARP responses to photodamage in human skin. PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e42276.

14.Surjana D, Damian DL. Nicotinamide in dermatology and photoprotection. Skinmed. 2011 Nov-Dec;9(6):360-5.

15.Namazi MR. Nicotinamide in dermatology: a capsule summary. Int J Dermatol. 2007 Dec;46(12):1229-31.

16.Hakozaki T, Minwalla L, Zhuang J, Chhoa M, Matsubara A, Miyamoto K, Greatens A, Hillebrand GG, Bissett DL, Boissy RE. The effect of niacinamide on reducing cutaneous pigmentation and suppression of melanosome transfer. Br J Dermatol. 2002 Jul;147(1):20-31.

17.Konda S, Geria AN, Halder RM. New horizons in treating disorders of hyperpigmentation in skin color. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2012 Jun;31(2):133-9.

18.Zhu W, Gao J. The use of botanical extracts as topical skin-lightening agents for the improvement of skin pigmentation disorders. J Investig Dermatol Symp Proc. 2008 Apr;13(1):20-4.

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