Quercetin in Skincare Products: How Effective Is It?


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?

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  1. says

    I used the Korres quercetin primer before and it was very nice. Once in a while, people would promote a new ingredient that would do more or less of the same with the ones we already knew just to sell products. I hope quercetin works on skin, although taking orally is not a bad option, either.
    Dao´s last blog post ..Thank you- Revlon!My Profile

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Dao, I’m glad to hear the Korres primer is good. That’s so true and it really bugs me. I got nothing against Quercetin but it really annoys that it’s touted as the next best antioxidant ingredient when we don’t even know how it works topically just to sell more. There’s nothing wrong with using skincare products with Quercetin but for now, I prefer taking it orally. :)

      • says

        I’ve used the Quercetin primer and liked it too! I did notice that the active ingredient was toward the end of the list, which leads to believe there isn’t much in there and could possibly just be marketing mumbo jumbo. Taking supplements orally does seem to be more effective than applying things topically – I think that goes for any type of ingredients.
        Tammy´s last blog post ..Midweek Manicure- Sally Hansen Mystic LilacMy Profile

        • beautifulwithbrains says

          Tammy, I’m glad you like it but what a shame Quercetin is so low in the list. Doesn’t really matter whether it works topically or not then as the amount will be too small to be effective anyway. And I agree with you that taking any ingredient orally is definitely more beneficial than applying them on the skin. But with antioxidants like Vitamins A and C (provided there is enough of them in the product and in stable form too) you know they are effective topically so I like to apply them on the skin as well as eating foods rich in them to get the most possible benefits. But with Quercetin, I’d rather just eat it for now. :)

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Vonvon, you’re welcome. I have to say I am very tempted to try the primer too afte reading all your comments. I’m sure it works well but I highly doubt that’s because of Quercetin.

  2. Anita says

    I actually use the Korres night cream. I’d read reviews on it and it was equal in cost to my previous cream so I though I would give it a go

    It does soften the skin nicely – it does not reduce wrinkles, but my skin does look great. The only thing I dislike about it is that it smells like playdoh. As to whether I’ll keep using it…well, it’s effects aren’t so fantastic that I’m bowled over. I may try something new to see if there’s a better product. I read great things about l’occitane.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Anita, thanks for your comment and sharing your experience with the Korres cream. Sounds just like a basic moisturizer then.

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