general sensitive skin

Beta-Thujaplicin (Pacific Red Cedar)


Beta-thujaplicin is an organic compound found in the oil of the Pacific red cedar tree that has been shown to have natural antibiotic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

This ingredient has been intensely studied for decades. More than 120 peer-reviewed scientific articles exist on the biological effects of thujaplicin and numerous properties of benefit for its use in cosmetics and personal care products including:

  • Potent antioxidant 
  • Anti-pigmentation and anti-melanogenic effects (inhibition of tyrosinase activity) 
  • Natural antibiotic
  • Anti-inflammatory

These properties also confer multiple advantages for use of Beta-Thujaplicin in anti-aging skin care. First and foremost, thujaplicin has been found to be a potent antioxidant, quenching free radicals from environmental and inflammatory processes and limiting the skin damage that they can cause. Thujaplicin also appears to provide natural prevention and repair of pigment defects—one of the chief age-related complaints. 

Naturally Reduces Sun Spots and Age Spots 


Beta-Thujaplicin inhibits the formation of pigment through the blockage of the enzyme tyrosinase, thus acting as a biological whitening agent. While the most common chemical whitening agent, hydroquinone, also uses this mechanism of action, thujaplicin as a biological agent (naturally occurring) can do this without causing major health concerns. As hydroquinone has been derived from a phenol compound, there is a concern for potential carcinogenic effects along with the paradoxical effect of skin darkening when this product is used at high concentrations. For these reasons, hydroquinone has been banned for use as a lightening agent in several countries around the world.


  1. Cherng JY, Chen LY, Shih MF (2012). Preventive effects of Beta-thujaplicin against UVB-induced MMP-1 and MMP-3 mRNA expressions in skin fibroblasts. Am J Chin Med. 40(2):387-98. View Abstract
  2.  Cho YM, Hasumura M, Takami S, Imai T, Hirose M, Ogawa K, Nishikawa A.A (2011)13-week subchronic toxicity study of hinokitiol administered in the diet to F344 rats. Food Chem Toxicol. Aug;49(8):1782-6. View Abstract
  3.  Choi YG, Bae EJ, Kim DS, Park SH, Kwon SB, Na JI, Park KC (2006). Differential regulation of melanosomal proteins after hinokitiol treatment. J Dermatol Sci. Sep;43(3):181-8. Epub 2006 Jun 15. View Abstract
  4.  Higashi Y, Fujii Y (2013). Determination of hinokitiol in skin lotion by high-performance liquid chromatography-ultraviolet detection after precolumn derivatization with 4-fluoro-7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazole. J Cosmet Sci. Sep-Oct;64(5):381-9. View Abstract
  5.  Imai N, Doi Y, Nabae K, Tamano S, Hagiwara A, Kawabe M, Ichihara T, Ogawa K, Shirai T (2006). Lack of hinokitiol (beta-thujaplicin) carcinogenicity in F344/DuCrj rats. J Toxicol Sci. Oct;31(4):357-70. View Abstract
  6.  Lee YS, Choi KM, Kim W, Jeon YS, Lee YM, Hong JT, Yun YP, Yoo HS (2013). Hinokitiol inhibits cell growth through induction of S-phase arrest and apoptosis in human colon cancer cells and suppresses tumor growth in a mouse xenograft experiment. J Nat Prod. Dec 27;76(12):2195- 202. View Abstract
  7.  Li LH, Wu P, Lee JY, Li PR, Hsieh WY, Ho CC, Ho CL, Chen WJ, Wang CC, Yen MY, Yang SM,Chen HW (2014). Hinokitiol Induces DNA Damage and Autophagy followed by Cell Cycle Arrest and Senescence in Gefitinib-Resistant Lung Adenocarcinoma Cells. PLoS One. Aug 8;9(8):e104203. View Abstract
  8.  Morita Y, Matsumura E, Okabe T, Fukui T, Shibata M, Sugiura M, Ohe T, Tsujibo H, Ishida N, Inamori Y (2004). Biological activity of alpha-thujaplicin, the isomer of hinokitiol. Biol Pharm Bull. Jun;27(6):899-902. View Abstract
  9.  Shih YH, Lin DJ, Chang KW, Hsia SM, Ko SY, Lee SY, Hsue SS, Wang TH, Chen YL, Shieh TM (2014). Evaluation physical characteristics and comparison antimicrobial and antiinflammation potentials of dental root canal sealers containing hinokitiol in vitro. PLoS One. Jun 10;9(6). View Abstract
  10.  Shih YH, Chang KW, Hsia SM, Yu CC, Fuh LJ, Chi TY, Shieh TM (2013). In vitro antimicrobial and anticancer potential of hinokitiol against oral pathogens and oral cancer cell lines. Microbiol Res. Jun 12;168(5):254-62. View Abstract
  11.  Wang WK, Lin ST, Chang WW, Liu LW, Li TY, Kuo CY, Hsieh JL, Lee CH (2014). Hinokitiol induces autophagy in murine breast and colorectal cancer cells. Environ Toxicol. Jul 12. View Abstract
  12.  Yamano H, Yamazaki T, Sato K, Shiga S, Hagiwara T, Ouchi K, Kishimoto T (2005). In vitro inhibitory effects of hinokitiol on proliferation of Chlamydia trachomatis. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. Jun;49(6):2519-21. View Abstract
  13.  Zhu YJ, Qiu L, Zhou JJ, Guo HY, Hu YH, Li ZC, Wang Q, Chen QX, Liu B (2010). Inhibitory effects of hinokitiol on tyrosinase activity and melanin biosynthesis and its antimicrobial activities. J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem. Dec;25(6):798-803. doi: 10.3109/14756360903476398. Epub 2010 Jun 28.View Abstract