Monobenzone USP (103-16-2)

Monobenzone Chemical Structure

What is Monobenzone?

Monobenzone, also referred to as 4-(Benzyloxy)phenol, is the monobenzyl ether of hydroquinone. It occurs as white crystalline powder which is soluble in alcohol, benzene, and diethyl ether, and practically insoluble in water. It is used in topical medications for depigmentation to treat vitiligo.

Macsen Laboratories is the leading manufacturer and supplier of Monobenzone USP Powder with GMP and ISO certification.
Name of Product Monobenzone USP
IUPAC Name 4-phenylmethoxyphenol
Synonyms 4-Benzyloxyphenol; Hydroquinone monobenzyl ether; Benoquin; Benzoquin; Monobenzyl hydroquinone
CAS No 103-16-2
Molecular Formula C13H12O2
Molecular Weight 200.23 g/mol
Pubchem CID 7638


SR. No Criteria Limit/Specification
1 Appearance (Form) Solid Crystalline Powder
2 Appearance (Color) White
3 Solubility Soluble in Alcohol, Ether and Benzene
Insoluble in Water
4 Melting point 110 - 113 °C
5 Residue on Ignition NMT 0.5%
7 Loss on Drying (At 105°C for 3hr) NMT 1.0%
8 Assay (On dried basis) NLT 98.0% - NMT 102.0%


The primary use of Monobenzone is for treating Vitiligo. Vitiligo is a disorder where the skin loses its natural pigmentation (melanin), leading to the development of white patches. It occurs when pigment-producing cells die or stop functioning.

Monobenzone is a depigmenting agent and works by increasing elimination of melanin (pigment molecules) from skin cells. Depigmenting darker skin in the immediate area of vitiligo lesions assists in achieving a more uniform complexion and appearance of the skin.

The potential therapeutic application of monobenzone for melanoma is also under consideration.

Side effects

Some of the possible side effects associated with the use of monobenzone are mild skin irritation, dryness or flaking of skin and increased sensitivity of skin. In some cases, monobenzone can make the treated skin more sensitive to sunlight.


Q. Does monobenzone cause cancer?

Presently there are no evidences regarding the potential carcinogenic effects of monobenzone.

Q. How long does monobenzone take to work?

The process of completely depigmenting treated skin may take up to 4 months.

Q. Is monobenzone permanent?

Monobenzone causes permanent discoloration of the skin.

Q. What is the difference between mequinol and monobenzone?

Mequinol and monobenzone are both depigmenting agents used in dermatology. Both produce dramatic skin whitening, but react very differently. Mequinol interferes with the enzymatic steps in melanin synthesis, thereby reducing the production of melanin in the skin. On the other hand, monobenzone irreversibly damages melanocytes (the cells responsible for producing melanin) resulting in permanent lightening of the treated skin.

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