Arbutin skin care benefits
Arbutin evens and brightens skin tone, lightens dull areas, and helps fade scars.
Hyperpigmentation may be caused by sun exposure, pregnancy, or the use of certain medications. Arbutin acts on the melanin pathway to inhibit melanin activity. The melanin pathway is essentially the complex process that produces pigmentation in the skin. Various skin-lightening ingredients work on different steps of this pathway. Arbutin itself inhibits the activity of tyrosinase, an enzyme that plays an important role in melanin production.
What's more, the researchers note that arbutin has antioxidant properties, which may also exert its brightening effects by reducing oxidative stress in the skin.
α-Arbutin vs. β-Arbutin
Arbutin and other whitening ingredients
When you want to brighten your skin, you have many options besides arbutin: Hydroquinone, kojic acid, and vitamin C are all known for their skin-brightening potential. But how do they stack up?
While not as effective as hydroquinone itself, arbutin naturally breaks down into hydroquinone on the skin.
But it doesn't come with the same risk of side effects, and the hydroquinone is released slowly so your skin isn't exposed to too much at any one time. This means that arbutin may not have the same level of toxicity as hydroquinone.
These two ingredients can be used together.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that also helps brighten skin. Pairing arbutin and vitamin C can enhance the effects of each, she said.
Potential side effects of arbutin
Arbutin tends to be milder and less irritating than other whitening agents, such as hydroquinone. This is particularly beneficial for patients with sensitive skin, however, if you suffer from a skin condition such as acne or rosacea, consult your doctor before using new products, including those containing arbutin.
Symptoms to watch out for include redness, itching, dryness, blisters, or rash.
How to Add Arbutin to Your Skin Care Routine
You can safely use it in concentrations up to 2% in face creams and 0.5% in body lotions, adding that the ingredient is "safer and less aggressive than hydroquinone." (Although the European Union, Japan, Australia, and several countries in Africa ban the use of hydroquinone in cosmetics at concentrations above 1%, arbutin is safe at the above concentrations because hydroquinone is released slowly and the skin does not Will be exposed to too much at any time.
When using arbutin, she recommends applying it to your entire face once or twice a day or using it as a topical treatment for specific areas.
You also need to be wary of sun exposure as this can cause hyperpigmentation in the first place. Every day, use a high-quality SPF 50 mineral sunscreen to protect your skin from overactive melanin pathways. If you don’t know how to use sunscreen, it’s not worth spending money on whitening products.
Use arbutin for two to three months before evaluating results. Talk to a board-certified dermatologist to help create the best routine that incorporates complementary ingredients specific to your skin concerns.
Arbutin is a skin lightening ingredient that targets dark spots, hyperpigmentation, and scars. Although it is less potent than hydroquinone, it has a greater safety profile and less risk of side effects.