Resorcinol is produced in several steps from benzene, starting with dialkylation with propylene to give 1,3-diisopropylbenzene. Oxidation and Hock rearrangement of this disubstituted arene gives acetone and resorcinol.
Resorcinol crystallizes from benzene as colorless needles that are readily soluble in water, alcohol, and ether, but insoluble in chloroform and carbon disulfide.
Resorcinol is mainly used in the production of resins. As a mixture with phenol, it condenses with formaldehyde to afford adhesives.
It is present in over-the-counter topical acne treatments at 2% or less concentration, and in prescription treatments at higher concentrations. Monoacetylresorcinol, C6H4(OH)(O-COCH3), is used under the name of euresol. It is used in hidradenitis suppurativa with limited evidence showing it can help with resolution of the lesions. Resorcinol is one of the active ingredients in products such as Resinol, Vagisil, and Clearasil.