Skip to main content
Home / Ingredient Glossary / 4-Butylresorcinol

known as Rucinol, 4-Butylresorcinol, 4-n-butylresorcinol

source resorcinol; synthetic

function brightening, reduce appearance of hyperpigmentation

find it in


4-butylresorcinol is a brightening resorcinol derivative also known as rucinol. It’s a potent tyrosinase inhibitor that exploits synergies with vitamin C to dramatically improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation—especially melasma.

Since it’s a rather new active in the cosmetic space, the amount of research available on 4-butylresorcinol isn’t as robust as the common brighteners we know and love—such as ascorbic acid and alpha arbutin. That said, there are some promising studies showing rapid results in visibly evening skin tone which outperform other brighteners on the market; even its relatives: 4-hexylresorcinol and 4-phenylethylresorcinol.1 2 3


[1] Huh, S., Shin, J., Na, J., Huh, C., Youn, S., & Park, K. (2010). The Efficacy and Safety of 4-n-butylresorcinol 0.1% Cream for the Treatment of Melasma: A Randomized Controlled Split-face Trial. Annals Of Dermatology, 22(1), 21. doi: 10.5021/ad.2010.22.1.21

[2] Shamanna, M., Mohan, M., Gowda, A., Kumar BC, S., Shree, S., Gangaboraiah, B., & Jaiswal, A. (2016). Assessment of efficacy, safety, and tolerability of 4-n-butylresorcinol 0.3% cream: an Indian multicentric study on melasma. Clinical, Cosmetic And Investigational Dermatology, 21. doi: 10.2147/ccid.s89451

[3] Kolbe, L., Mann, T., Gerwat, W., Batzer, J., Ahlheit, S., & Scherner, C. et al. (2012). 4-n-butylresorcinol, a highly effective tyrosinase inhibitor for the topical treatment of hyperpigmentation. Journal Of The European Academy Of Dermatology And Venereology, 27, 19-23. doi: 10.1111/jdv.12051

Explore More

sodium phytate phytic acid chelating agent

Sodium Phytate

Sodium phytate is the sodium salt of phytic acid. It is generally used as a chelating agent to help stabalize products but has…
saccharide isomerate pentavitin

Saccharide Isomerate

Saccharide Isomerate is a 100% plant-derived carbohydrate complex that functions as a water-binding agent (humectant), emollient, and skin replenisher. It provides long-lasting moisturization…

Ceramide EOP

Ceramide EOP, or ceramide 1, is one of the many types of ceramides that can be found naturally in the upper layer of…
propyl gallate

Propyl Gallate

Propyl Gallate, a derivative of antioxidant gallic acid, is used in small amounts to stabilize sensitive active ingredients in formulas from degredation.