Quercetin is an ingredient that became famous when Korres decided to use it in their anti-aging skincare range, aptly called Quercetin and Oak. The range includes night and day moisturizers, eye cream, serum and primers, all promising to dramatically reduce wrinkles and improve skin elasticity and firmness. Since then, Quercetin has become quite popular and I wouldn’t be surprised to see more brands including it in their products in the near future.
So, I decided to do some research to find out what Quercetin is and, most importantly, if it is really as beneficial as it is claimed. Keep in mid though, that in this post, I’m only gonna discuss the effects Quercetin has on the skin, not on our overall health or its possible medical uses. Also, unfortunately the research on Quercetin so far is limited, but it does look very promising.
What is Quercetin?
Quercetin is a member of the flavonoid family. Flavonoids are the pigments that give those beautiful, rich colors to fruits and vegetables. They also have antioxidant properties and are good for your overall health, which is why we are often told that we need to eat a wide variety of different colored vegs and fruits to stay healthy. Quercetin too can be found in many plants and foods, including apples, tea, Ginko Biloba, olive oil, citrus fruits like lemon, leafy vegs like cabbage and spinach, onions, red wine and grapes to name a few.
Quercetin benefits for the skin
As mentioned above, research about Quercetin is still in its early stages, but so far this substance has shown to have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Because it is a powerful antioxidant, Quercetin can fight and neutralize free radicals, which is the main cause of aging, as well as preventing or somewhat limiting the damage the sun rays do to our skin.
This means that Quercetin can keep our skin looking younger for longer (although it can’t do anything to reduce wrinkles that have already formed) and may even play an important part in preventing skin cancer. In addition, Quercetin seems to be effective at treating eczema, rashes and promoting wound healing.
Final considerations about Quercetin
Doesn’t Quercetin sound like an amazing and promising ingredient? And it is. But there’s a catch (isn’t there always one?). Quercetin has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties when taken orally. Whether it has these same benefits when applied to the skin, we still do not know. That doesn’t mean that skincare products with Quercetin don’t work, but only that we don’t know if it is Quercetin that provides the antioxidants benefits they claim they have.
It may be some other ingredient in them that has antioxidant properties, or maybe Quercetin is really beneficial topically and we yet don’t know or maybe Quercetin applied topically has no benefits at all. We simply don’t know at the moment. In the future, as research progresses, we’ll definitely find that out, but in the meantime, I’d rather eat food and take supplements with Quercetin rather than using skincare products with it to take advantage of the benefits this ingredient provides.
Have you ever used products with Quercetin? If so, how was your experience?