Ingredients > Alpha-arbutin (Bearberry extract)

Alpha-arbutin (Bearberry extract)

An extract from the Bearberry plant which has been clinically proven to gradually fade skin pigmentation when applied twice daily. Alpha-arbutin is derived from the leaves of this small evergreen bush which grows widely in the Northern hemisphere. It has melanin-inhibiting properties due to its ability to suppress tyrosinase.  It is considered the safest and most effective means of reducing pigment and a superior alternative to other agents such as hydroquinone, a chemical now considered to be toxic and also kojic acid, a popular natural alternative. Alpha-arbutin inhibits melanin biosynthesis in the skin by blocking the enzymatic oxidation of Tyrosine and L-Dopa. A one-month study on 80 Chinese women using a 1% Alpha-arbutin concentration, resulted in a faster and more pronounced skin lightening effect after 1 month when compared with other commonly used skin lighteners.  


Alpha-arbutin is different to Beta Arbutin (commonly known as Arbutin) which is cheaper and less stable.  Most cosmetic manufacturers use Arbutin, because it is far less expensive and easier to source than Alpha-Arbutin. Alpha-arbutin is also sourced in two ways.  It can be made in nature-identical synthetic form or it can be extracted from the Bearberry plant.  Flora Organics only uses Alpha-Arbutin extracted from the Bearberry plant which is the more expensive kind - it is featured at the recommended 1% concentration in our Eventone Manuka Honey & Rosehip Day + Night Cream.