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Arbutin skin care benefits

Arbutin evens and brightens skin tone, lightens dull areas, and helps fade scars.

This effect occurs when arbutin reacts with melanin, a natural pigment in the skin. Hyperpigmentation (i.e., darker patches of skin) may occur when the skin produces too much melanin.

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.

One review noted that small trials showed that arbutin was more effective than a control group in reducing pigmented spots, although some of these studies were less than convincing.
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

When looking for skin care product labels, you may find that some products contain alpha-arbutin or deoxyarbutin, and some contain beta-arbutin. Alpha-arbutin and deoxyarbutin are synthetic forms of arbutin, while beta-arbutin is the plant-derived form of arbutin.
Both forms of arbutin inhibit melanin production, but research shows that alpha-arbutin is more stable and is estimated to be over 10 times more potent than beta-arbutin.
In fact, one review supports the effectiveness of alpha-arbutin over the natural form of arbutin. (The study did not compare these forms of arbutin to deoxyarbutin.)

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?

First and foremost, hydroquinone cream is the gold standard skin lightener.
But it can cause side effects, including irritation, stinging, contact dermatitis and skin discoloration (the European Union, Japan, Australia and some African countries have banned its use in cosmetics).

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.

Kojic acid—a whitening agent extracted from certain fungi—is very similar to arbutin, although arbutin tends to be the more stable of the two, compared to kojic acid. Less effective.

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.

Dermatitis, or contact dermatitis (skin irritation due to contact with allergens), is a possible side effect of using 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.

generalize

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.

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