Hydroxyacetophenone is a synthetic antioxidant and skin-conditioning ingredient. The specific antioxidant compound is actually known as p-hydroxyacetophenone, a phenolic antioxidant capable of neutralising several different types of free radicals.

Its secondary benefit is boosting the preservation system in cosmetics. This is advantageous because it allows cosmetic chemists to use a lower amount of preservatives (such as phenoxyethanol) without losing efficacy but with the benefit of reducing the risk of an allergic reaction.

Hydroxyacetophenone also has soothing ability because it can inhibit an enzyme (known as COX-2) in skin’s surface that can lead to signs of irritation.

References for this information:

Journal of Oleo Science, February 2019, pages 183-191
Applied Environmental Microbiology, June 2018, ePublication
Journal of Biosciences, May-June 2004, pages 345-353

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