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Arbutin

goodie
Also-called-like-this: Beta-Arbutin
What-it-does: antioxidant, skin brightening

Details

A pretty well-known and often used ingredient with the magic ability to fade brown spots. It's used traditionally in Japan and can be found naturally in a couple of plants, including the leaves of pear trees, wheat and bearberry

Arbutin seems to work its magic and hinder the pigmentation process at the second step of it. An enzyme called tyrosinase is needed to create melanin (the pigment that causes the brown spots) and while several other skin lightening agents work to inhibit the synthesis of tyrosinase itself (like vitamin C or licorice), arbutin lets tyrosinase be and rather hinders the melanin-forming activity of the enzyme. (So it might be a good idea to combine arbutin with some direct tyrosinase inhibitors for more skin lightening effect.)

All in all, arbutin is one of the better-known skin brightening agents, that's probably worth a try if pigmentation is an issue for you.

Show me some proof

  • Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics February 1996, 276 (2) 765-769; Arbutin: mechanism of its depigmenting action in human melanocyte culture
  • Leslie Baumann, MD, Cosmetic Dermatology, 2nd edition, Arbutin - page 280

Products with Arbutin

Tosowoong Vita Clinic Vitamin Eye Cream Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask innisfree Soybean Energy Essence Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence Botanic Farm Salmon Egg Hydrogel Eye Patch Dr. Jart+ Water Drop Hydrating Moisturiser Hada Labo Shirojyun Clear Lotion It's Skin Power 10 Formula Wh Effector LadyKin Vanpir Dark Repair Youth Activator Obagi C Fx C-Therapy Night Cream Paula's Choice Resist Brightening Essence Treatment Sidmool Bee Therapy Mineral Serum Sidmool Dr. Troub Skin Returning Niaten Serum oneoseven Core Flex Essential Liquid BERRISOM Timetox Revitalizing Essence Hada Labo Shiro-Jyun Milk Rebalance Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence Sidmool Snail Brightening Liposome Essence Missha Misa Geum Sul Overnight Cream Nature Republic Collagen Dream 70 Essence Zymogen Fermented Soybean Firming Serum innisfree Truecare Cica Intensive Balm oskia Renaissance Brightlight Serum Goodal Green Tangerine Vita C Dark Spot Serum Sidmool Honey Berry Sparkle Serum TIA'M My Signature A+ Cream Dr. Jart+ Multi Action Eye Balm Dark Spot Corrector Liz K First C Serum innisfree Orchid Enriched Cream Elishacoy Ice Herb Whitening Water Drop Essence Missha M Perfect Cover Bb Cream Missha Misa Cho Bo Yang Eye Cream Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail B.B. Cream Spf 30 Pa++ Missha Time Revolution Immortal Youth Cream Paula's Choice Radiance Renewal Mask iS Clinical Super Serum Advance+ BeeBio Lava Rotorua White Mud Masque Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic + Retinol Triple Correction Eye Serum Dr Dennis Gross Ferulic Acid + Retinol Brightening Solution Ishizawa - SHIGAISEN YOHOU Make Keep Powder Missha M Perfect Covering Bb Cream Spf42 Pa+++ Atopalm Bb Cream Dr. Lin Daily Hydrating Gel Plus Hanskin Super Light Touch Bb Image Iluma Intense Lightening Serum Kikumasamune Sake Brewing Skin Care Lotion High Moist Skin79 Super Plus Beblesh Triple Functions Balm Spf50+ Pa+++ Sulwhasoo Perfecting Cushion Brightening iS Clinical Pro Heal Serum Advance innisfree Perfect 9 Repair Cream