In your journey to find the right ingredient to brighten skin, fade away dark spots and ease the appearance of hyperpigmentation, you may be baffled by numerous products that promises to revamp skin glow. Well, we bring you one such wonder ingredient that should be on your radar- Arbutin, a topical ingredient famed for its immense ability to enhance your skin complexion and glow. It is one of the most popular skin-brightening substances in the beauty industry and a remedy for several skin worse.
Alpha Arbutin

What Is Arbutin?

Arbutin is a derivative of hydroquinone that can be made either synthetically or obtained from various plants in the Ericaceae family such as marjoram, cranberry, blueberry, and pear. It is a naturally occurring skin-brightening agent that inhibits the secretion of melanin (skin pigment), thus making it a great skin brightener. The chemically processed version of Alpha arbutin is actively used in numerous skin care products. There are two types of arbutin- alpha arbutin (biosynthesized by microorganisms) and beta arbutin (extracted from the leaves of various plants and fruit peels). Several studies have revealed that alpha-arbutin is 10X times more efficient in inhibiting tyrosinase activity than natural arbutin.

Also Read: What Are Polyhydroxy acids (PHAs): Uses, Types, Benefits And Side Effects Of This Skin Healing Ingredient

How Does Arbutin Work?

Arbutin is mostly rivalled to other gentler brighteners like kojic acids and licorice, but it is much more efficient than these elements. It is a derivative of hydroquinone, which is valued as one of the most potential skin lightening and dark spot fading ingredients. Here is how this star ingredient works:

Dark spots emerge from pigments that are produced in skin cells called melanocytes and these cells contain an enzyme called tyrosinase. The cells get triggered as soon as the skin encounters UV light for a longer period resulting in freckles and sunspots. Alpha arbutin releases hydroquinone over time, thus impeding tyrosinase- the enzyme that is responsible for the secretion of melanin.

This skincare substance effectively stops the overproduction of melanin as well as blocks the production of tyrosinase. Thus, eventually improves skin pigmentation and keeps the dark spots at bay without any harmful side effects.

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Skin Healing Benefits

Reduces Dark Spots: Alpha arbutin eases the skin tone and makes it look nourished and glowing by fading discolouration caused due to inflammation and environmental triggers. Regular use of this product alleviates suntan, age spots, acne scars and melasma. Also, it acts as a natural blending foundation agent for the skin.

Treats Acne Scars: It is known to work well in fading red-purple acne scars caused by acne.

Improves Skin Tone: This skincare ingredient supports improving an uneven complexion by impeding the production of tyrosinase. Thereby fading dark spots and enhancing skin tone and elasticity.

Remedies Hyperpigmentation: Alpha arbutin can remarkably impede melanin production, making it an effective and safe treatment option for hyperpigmentation. It shields the skin from sun-induced pigmentation and free radical damage.

Also Read: Hyperpigmentation: 5 Superb DIY Recipes To Diminish Dark Spots- Infographic

Who Can Use Alpha Arbutin?

Arbutin is considered safe for all types of skin. Specifically beneficial for darker tone skin, which is more likely to become hyperpigmented, as it has higher amounts of melanin. While it is also safe for sensitive skin as the active element in arbutin is released slowly. Moreover, it causes less irritation than other ingredients and is considered a safer alternative.

How To Use?

Alpha arbutin is used as a key substance in a spectrum of skin-lightening products like creams, serums, face washes, gels, and lotions. Additionally, it is one of the most sought-after ingredients in overnight masks and water creams. It can be used twice a day- once in the morning and at night. However, ensure to do a patch test prior to trying to avert the risk of any allergic reactions.

Apply it on clean and dry skin after cleansing and toning but before applying any heavy sunscreens and moisturizer. Else product will not effectively diffuse into your skin.

You can apply it directly on the hyperpigmented regions of the face as spot treatment or on entire face (avoiding eyes, lips, and mouth).

Alpha arbutin can be blended with other skin-lightening ingredients like chemical peels and retinol, as well as with vitamin C and AHAs containing creams and serums to enhance their efficacy.

Alpha arbutin is safe for topical use in concentrations up to 2%, while beta arbutin up to 7% concentration is considered safe for use in skin care products. It is always best to consult dermatologist for knowing the right dosage and frequency based on your skin type, underlying skin problems and skin sensitivity.

Side Effects

This star skincare ingredient has no known side effects and negative interactions with other skin care substances. Heat can reduce the effectiveness of arbutin. Hence, keep it away from sunlight and hot regions, ensure to store it in a cool and dry place. People who are allergic to alpha arbutin may experience the following side effects:

Skin irritation

Mild acne