What is Arbutin? Arbutin is a naturally derived substance extracted from the bearberry plant. It is also found in cranberries, blueberries, wheat, and pears. When applied topically, it prevents melanin formation. It is used as a skin-lightening agent.

How does Arbutin work? It inhibits the pathway that produces pigmentation and darkening of the skin. Arbutin slowly releases hydroquinone, which inhibits tyrosinase, which is used to create skin pigment. Therefore, reducing skin’s melanin production and lightening the skin. It’s skin brightening benefits are similar to the synthetic chemical hydroquinone, but is a botanical alternative without the risks or side effects.


  • reduce skin darkening after sun exposure
  • reduce levels of dark pigmentation
  • reduce melasma (pregnancy masks)
  • evens out skin tone
  • fades dark spots
  • fades scars (including acne scars)
  • improve complexion
  • brightens skin
  • gentle on skin
  • safe and effective for skin lightening

Other Skin Brightening Alternatives

  • Vitamin C
  • Kojic Acid
  • Ellagic Acid