Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist -  Written by Rupali Goswami (Beauty Expert)  on 02nd Jan 2021

Say goodbye to blemishes and pigmentation with Arbutin!

Say goodbye to blemishes

Blemishes and pigmentation is not something exceptional. Many of us suffer from different skin concerns like acne, sun damage, hormonal changes, rashes, and many others resulting in blemishes or pigmentation. While some people believe that wrinkles and fine lines are the biggest concerns when it comes to aging, so many people are more troubled with the thought of uneven skin tone. Factors like ruddy texture and age spots on the skin are more likely to increase your anxiety than crow's feet and fine lines.

You can find many skincare products in the stores that promise to give you an even skin tone & brighten your skin. But they can be too drying for people with sensitive skin. We tell you that a skin brightening ingredient is clinically proven safe and effective for all skin types. Thus you can say goodbye to the stubborn blemishes and pigmentation.

Here we are presenting to you an incredible ingredient called arbutin. It is a secret skin brightening ingredient that is still unheard of by many people out there. You must have heard of Vitamin C, kojic acid, and licorice, which are considered to be great natural skin brighteners, but there are some reasons why arbutin is the best of them all.  

What is Arbutin

What is Arbutin?

Arbutin is a skin brightening ingredient that is considered as much safer than some other ingredients with the same capabilities. It is not an exception as it is included in several skincare products. It is also a naturally occurring agent that can be found in many plant leaves of different berries. Due to ellagic acid's presence in these berries, it helps remove all the spots and blemishes caused by certain factors and leaves your skin with a brighter glow.

May it be the work of genetics or sun exposure, or too much melanin production, we often develop sunspots, freckles, and hyperpigmentation on our skin. Arbutin can help fade away these skin concerns to an extent where you will be satisfied with its results. Along with taking care of these issues, arbutin will leave your skin looking brighter.

It is very important to know that there are two kinds of arbutin. There is a good one that we just explained above, which is called alpha-arbutin. Then there are similar sounding ingredients called beta arbutin that are not as stable and cheaper to produce than alpha-arbutin. Alpha-arbutin has better properties of heat resistance, water solubility, and light stability than beta arbutin.  

Arbutin can treat: 

  • Lentigines 
  • Hyperpigmentation 
  • Freckles
  • Melasma and Chloasma 

Did You Know?

The effectiveness of arbutin decreases when there is too much heat around. That's why it is important to keep arbutin-containing skincare products away from direct sunlight and areas where temperatures are hot. 

Liquid error (sections/pf-2ced2b68 line 75): product form must be given a product

Benefits of Arbutin: 

1. Say bye-bye to pigmentation and dark spots:

The amount of melanin production differs from people to people as everyone's melanin production is different. Melanin makes our skin and hair appear darker and is one of the major reasons why pigmentation and dark spots occur in the first place. Arbutin can help stop the activity of an enzyme called tyrosinase present in the production of melanin. Arbutin can help with all the post-acne scars and pigmentation, redness, and other skin problems. 

2. Promotes an even skin tone: 

Noted from the above point as arbutin helps block the activity of tyrosinase enzyme that will directly affect and reduce melanin's production level, which would help promote an even skin tone. Arbutin would also help provide you with brighter skin by reducing pigmentation, dark spots, and scars. 

3. Helps lighten the skin: 

Many skin lightening agents and ingredients are available in the market to give the desired results. Still, not every skin lightening agent is good for your skin as they can damage your skin in the process, causing irritation and redness. Well! The good news is arbutin is an entirely safe skin whitening ingredient as it is gentle on the skin and is also totally safe.

4. Soothing for skin: 

It is not just skin lightening or brightening products, but this goes for all skincare products you use; not all products work best for you because some of these contain ingredients that might not be suitable for a particular skin type. Like many skin lightening creams have bleaching agents in them that can strip off your skin layers, increasing the risk of maximum damage. Arbutin is considered much safer than other ingredients that perform the same functions as this one and is mostly suitable for most skin types. 

5. Pairs well with other skincare products:

Arbutin is considered safe to use with other skincare products. There are no adverse interactions between arbutin and other skincare ingredients or products. Some other well known safe ingredients used along with arbutin include niacinamide, glycolic acid, kojic acid, vitamin C, and others. Stay away from few ingredients like mercury, bleaching agents, steroids, etc. Consulting a doctor would always be better than using something like this on your own. 

Liquid error (sections/pf-2ced2b68 line 76): product form must be given a product

Did You Know?

Solar lentigines are a type of hyperpigmentation. These are harmless spots that generally affect people over the age of 40. It happens due to too much sun exposure, which can further cause a build-up of melanin and melanocytes' proliferation in the skin cells. 

Side effects of using Arbutin: 

Before you jump out to buy this effective ingredient, keep certain things in mind. There are two kinds of arbutin, alpha-arbutin which contains all the good stuff, and beta-arbutin, a cheaper and less effective alpha-arbutin form.

The other point is that people who have already used hydroquinone tend to be more nervous about arbutin as both the ingredients have similar skin-brightening properties. However, arbutin is considered a safe and effective ingredient for brightening the skin.

Under alkaline conditions where the skin's pH level is more than 10, arbutin Some common side effects of using arbutin may include: 

  • Redness 
  • Allergic reaction 
  • Sun sensitivity
  • Skin irritation 
  • Mild acne

It tends to convert into hydroquinone, which can be harmful to your skin. If that's the case, let your dermatologist guide you with the usage of arbutin.

Never forget to do a patch test of any skincare or other product that contains arbutin.  

Did You Know?

Alpha arbutin is nine times more effective than beta arbutin as it shows stunning inhibition of tyrosinase. 

How to use arbutin for skin?

As arbutin is water-soluble and known to be a gentle ingredient for your skin, it goes well with other products that perform the same functionality as arbutin. The efficacy of arbutin can be seen with constant usage after you remove all the impurities from the skin and close your skin pores with a cream or lotion. Arbutin can be used twice a day after drying your skin properly. Remember not to rub it aggressively, but gently pat it into your skin, and you will be able to see some amazing results shortly.

Arbutin is a pretty common ingredient if that is included in many of the skincare products that you already use to brighten your skin. It can mostly be found in serums, creams, and masks. 

Is Arbutin for a specific skin type or concern?

No matter what skin type you are dry, combination, oily, or textured, arbutin can be safe to use on all skin types for concerns like tan and pigmentation. The topical concentration of up to 2 percent of alpha-arbutin in skincare products is considered safe. Simultaneously, the topical concentration of up to 7 percent of beta arbutin is generally safe.

Arbutin is way gentler than other skin brightening ingredients that are harsh on the skin can dry you out and cause irritation.  

How long does the effect of arbutin stay?

The primary role of arbutin is to reduce melanin production and to lighten the skin. This ingredient can greatly benefit you if you suffer from skin concerns like pigmentation, blemishes, or sunspots.

Although arbutin does not provide a permanent effect of skin lightening or brightening, this happens because arbutin merely inhibits the tyrosinase activity. The lightening effect may carry on for about a few weeks after discontinuing the usage, but it will vanish over time. 


While skin-lightening or brightening is not the main issue here, pigmentation, blemishes, and uneven skin tone can affect a person's self-esteem. Such skin problems can be avoided by using skin-lightening ingredients, especially the ones consisting of arbutin. It is the safest skin brightening ingredient that works well with all skin types.

The added advantage is that arbutin works amazingly well with almost all skincare products and other skin-lightening ingredients. That will help boost the benefits of arbutin.

Patience is the key to see some notable changes, which can only be seen with the consistent usage of any ingredient. As fading of pigmentation and blemishes can not be done overnight, it takes some time to show its skin properties.

If you already have some existing allergies or have aging and sensitive skin, it would be best to consult your dermatologist before introducing any new ingredient in your skincare routine.