ALPHA ARBUTIN

Skin Lighteners

This inhibits both tyrosine and Dopa, which can reduce melanin and, consequently, skin pigmentation. Arbutin is both an ether and a glycoside; a glycosylated hydroquinone extracted from bearberry plant in the genus Arctostaphylos. It inhibits tyrosinase and thus prevents the formation of melanin.

Arbutin is therefore used as a skin-lightening agent. Arbutin is found in wheat, and is concentrated in pear skins. Skin lightening agent Bearberry extract is used in skin lightening treatments designed for long term and regular use. An active agent in brands of skin lightening preparations, it is more expensive than traditional skin lightening ingredients like hydroquinone, which is now banned in many countries.

In vitro studies of human melanocytes exposed to arbutin at concentrations below 300 μg/mL reported decreased tyrosinase activity and melanin content with little evidence of cytotoxicity.