In a recent study, researchers found that the number one skin concern that made women appear older is uneven skin tone- age spots and ruddy skin texture actually age you more than fine lines. Many products that promise to brighten, tone, and add luminosity can be too harsh or drying for those with sensitive skin. For a while, hydroquinone was the “miracle” skin-lightening ingredient—until it was declared a carcinogenic by the FDA. So the new lightener took its place, Arbutin, the secret skin brightener you’ve never heard of. Vitamin C, kojic acid, licorice are all great natural brighteners, but there are a few reasons why arbutin is so much better. While hydroquinone works by killing the cells that produce pigmentation and melanin, arbutin inhibits the enzymes that stimulate pigment-producing cells.
What Is Arbutin?
Arbutin is a molecule extracted from the bearberry plant that prevents the formation of melanin. Arbutin is similar to other gentle brighteners like kojic acid (derived from mushrooms) and licorice root (derived from the licorice plant). All three derived from different natural ingredients, but they all function as tyrosinase inhibitors to provide skin lightening and brightening effects.
Brown spots come from pigments that are produced in cells called melanocytes, which contain enzymes called tyrosinase. They can activate anytime they come in contact with Sun. That’s when arbutin comes in, it blocks tyrosinase and keeps dark spots at bay.
Why is it Special?
It is gentler than other skin-brightening ingredients. Since arbutin’s active component is released slowly, it can be less irritating than other skin-lightening agents and better for those with sensitive skin. Plus, the bearberry plant actually has sun protection properties and can reduce the degree of skin darkening after sun exposure.
One more thing!
There have been some people who get nervous about arbutin, because of the similar brightening benefits it has with hydroquinone. However, studies on arbutin have all firmly stated that it is a “safe and effective ingredient for skin lightening.” Arbutin is available in some skincare products designed to improve pigmentation and to lighten acne scars. Bellow are a few products containing Arbutin. Use as directed for best results.
Tarte Clean Slate Foundation
Kate Somerville CC Cream
Chantecaille Vital Essence with Arbutin
My Beauty Diary Arbutin Whitening Mask
DHC Arbutin White Lotion/Toner