Extracted from the bearberry plant, this complexion-brightening antioxidant is known as a natural (and milder) alternative to skin-bleaching hydroquinone. Arbutin works by directly inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase enzymes central to the production of melanin. Arbutin is a glycoside; a glycosylated hydroquinone extracted from the bearberry plant in the genus Arctostaphylos among many other medicinal plants, primarily in the family Ericaceae. Applied topically, it inhibits tyrosinase and thus prevents the formation of melanin. Arbutin is therefore used as a skin-lightening agent. Very tiny amounts of arbutin are found in wheat, pear skins, and some other foods. It is also found in Viburnum opulus and Bergenia crassifolia. Arbutin was also produced by an in vitro culture of Schisandra chinensis.
It can be prepared synthetically from the reaction of acetobromoglucose and hydroquinone in the presence of alkali. Arbutin is a plant-derived antioxidant which can help to promote an even skin tone. Mulberry and Bearberry are natural forms of arbutin used in skincare.
Subscribe to our e-mails
Receive the latest news in skin care routines and innovations delivered to your Inbox.