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

Official CosIng Information


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 a known amount of Arbutin

Other products with Arbutin

Divine Derriere 5% Alpha Arbutin Whitening Cream - Dark Spot Corrector Hada Labo Shirojyun Arbutin Whitening Lotion (Rich) SANA White Cream Answer19 Cica Arbutin Cream Bougas Beauty Advanced Serum Good Molecules Daily Brightening Serum Obagi Nu Derm Clear FX Tosowoong Vita Clinic Vitamin Eye Cream ELIXIR COSMECEUTICALS Acticlear Eventone Serum Hada Labo Perfect 3D Gel innisfree Soybean Energy Essence Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence Botanic Farm Salmon Egg Hydrogel Eye Patch Divine Derriere Intimate Lightening Gel For Bikini & Sensitive Areas Dr. Jart+ Water Drop Hydrating Moisturiser ElsheSkin Radiant Skin Serum Etude House Oh My God Spot Whitening Cream Gilla8 Dual Super Power Radiance Essence Booster Hada Labo Premium Whitening Essence Hada Labo Shiro-Jyun Serum Hada Labo Shirojyun Clear Lotion It's Skin Power 10 Formula Wh Effector Joanna Vargas Twilight Face Mask LadyKin Vanpir Dark Repair Youth Activator Luxes Swiss Bright Serum Mediheal Line Friends Sheet Mask Mirae Ex8 Minutes Instant Whitening Mask Nanowhite Intensive Brightening Serum Obagi C Fx C-Therapy Night Cream Obagi Nu Derm Bland FX Skin Brightened & Blending Cream Paula's Choice Resist Brightening Essence Treatment Secret Key Multi Cell Night Repair Ampoule Sidmool Bee Therapy Mineral Serum Sidmool Dr. Troub Skin Returning Niaten Serum Skin Watchers Aqua Most Whitening Water Drop TIA'M Vita B3 Source innisfree Firming Energy Essence With Fermented Soybean oneoseven Core Flex Essential Liquid BERRISOM Timetox Revitalizing Essence Dermacol Whitening Face Cream Hada Labo Shiro-Jyun Milk Rebalance PWP BIOSKIN Hylu Collagen Vitamin Rohto Hadalabo Shirojyun Ultimate Whitening Cream Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence Secret Key Syn-Ake Anti Wrinkle & Whitening Cream Sidmool Snail Brightening Liposome Essence SkinCeuticals Phyto Plus A. Stop 3Act Vitamin C And Melatonin Serum Dermacol Whitening Gommage Wash Gel