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Dermatologists use arbutin as a topical skin lightening agent to treat hyperpigmentation. In a clinical setting, it is used as a chemical agent to lighten the darker spots on the skin. Some people use it in their topical skin care products as an ingredient that works to lighten the skin and reduce hyperpigmentation.

It is typically found in products that contain hydroquinone, kojic acid, vitamin C, licorice extract, and niacinamide.

In this guide, we'll teach you everything you need to know about arbutin.

What Is Arbutin?

Arbutin is a substance that is derived from the bearberry plant. It is produced chemically from hydroquinone, and it is commonly used in skin lightening products.

The main reason why arbutin is necessary in skin lightening products is because it has a good safety profile. It is a natural and effective alternative to hydroquinone.

The Benefits of Arbutin

1) Brightens Complexion

Arbutin is one of the most popular skin brightening ingredients that is present in many skin lightening products. It acts as a skin lightening agent that works by inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase, an enzyme responsible for the production of melanin. 

When the tyrosinase produced by the melanocytes are suppressed, they are unable to produce melanin, and this helps in reducing the production of dark spots on the skin.

2) Safer Than Hydroquinone

Arbutin is a safer alternative to hydroquinone, a common skin lightening agent. As opposed to hydroquinone, arbutin is not a cytotoxic agent.

Hydroquinone is known to be a cytotoxic agent that can damage the skin, and it is also known to cause a lot of side effects.

These side effects include headache, nausea, diarrhea, stomach ache, joint and muscle pain, kidney problems, and skin irritation.

3) Natural Skin Lightener

Arbutin is a natural skin lightening agent, and it is not going to cause any side effects. Because of this, it is a popular ingredient that is used in a lot of different skin lightening products.

It is also usually mixed with other skin lightening agents such as kojic acid and vitamin C.

4) Gentle on the Skin

Unlike some other skin lightening agents such as hydroquinone, arbutin is gentle on the skin. It does not cause skin irritation or rashes, and it does not have any side effects.

It is not too harsh on the skin, and it does not cause any unwanted side effects.

5) Excellent for Spot Treatment

Arbutin products can be used as an effective treatment for hyperpigmentation and dark spots on the skin. They are made up of different percentages of arbutin, and it usually works well for hyperpigmentation.

The product is usually directly applied on the dark spots and then left on for a few minutes before it is washed off.

How to Use Arbutin

Arbutin can be consumed as a supplement as well, and it is usually taken orally as a pill. It is usually found in health and nutrition stores, and it is usually taken as a supplement.

However, the other way to consume arbutin is to apply it directly on the skin. So, if you are looking for a skin lightening product, we highly recommend keeping a look out for their ingredients.


All in all, arbutin is a great skin lightening agent that works well for most people. It is also going to be gentle on the skin, and it is not going to cause any risks.

If you want to give arbutin a try, Healing Bark can help. We have the best brightening skincare that is completely safe and healthy. Visit our online store to see for yourself.