There are several skin lightening products that are very effective in lightening skin, removing dark spots and liver spots and increasing the luster of skin. But therein ends their usefulness. Because despite the products effectiveness and efficiency, most of them are not stable and safe for skin/general body health and continuous long term use .

It is against this backdrop of health concerns and product stability that a less risky skin lightening and dark spot removing alternative - Alpha-arbutin - is introduced.

Benefits of using arbutin:

Arbutin is an active substance existing in natural plants like mulberry and bearberry. It has been proven to be one of the most natural ways to even skin tone, reduce dark spots and lighten skin. It is a nontoxic plant-derived skin lightening ingredient that inhibits melanin formation and skin pigmentation.

Arbutin is found in two forms: Alpha- and Beta-arbutin respectively. Of the two, alpha-arbutin is a more stable than beta-arbutin and uses a superior skin lightening process that is efficient and effective in suppressing melanin formation. It is also commonly used as an antioxidant hence it’s used in most anti-aging products.

It was seen to be safer, and comes with fewer side effects compared to hydroquinone which is banned in some countries. Furthermore Alpha arbutin is considered a safer alternative to the more commonly applied pigment reducing lighteners.

Anecdotally it is far less irritating to the skin and comes with none of the carcinogenic effects of hydroquinone on the skin.

Consequently this leads to a skin lightening product that acts at a faster rate and is a more stable and efficient ingredient in all natural, over the counter dark spot removers. Alpha Arbutin comes highly recommended by medical researchers however it is recommended that you use products that do not contain more than 2 - 4% of alpha arbutin.

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Is Alpha-arbutin Good for Removing Dark Spots and Lightening Skin?

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Comparatively, alpha-arbutin works faster and is more effective and efficient than kojic acid (another regularly used skin lightener) and hydroquinone, but with a lesser amount of toxicity and irritation than the latter. It is very stable and does not oxidize unlike kojic acid.

Alpha arbutin suppresses unwanted melanin pigmentation instead of killing pigment producing cells. It is a safer alternative to the commonly applied pigment reducing skin lighteners. 

In addition to that, it’s one of the few advanced skin lightening ingredients found on the market and has been indicated to work on almost all skin types using its superior skin lightening process. This makes it a safer, faster and more effective skin lightening option.


As with many dark spot removers, there are risks attached to their use. So despite alpha-arbutin’s ‘glowing benefits’, consumers are advised to apply caution in it’s application. Arbutin is glucosylated hydroquinone, and may carry similar cancer risks. 

Hence the German Institute of Food Research confirmed that intestinal bacteria can convert arbutin into hydroquinone, inadvertently creating an environment favorable for the development of intestinal cancer. Hovever there have also been studies that that have proven that arbutin can reduce the risk of certain cancers. 

Nevertheless alpha-arbutin when used in large amounts can also associate other side effects such as skin irritation that can transform to skin acne therefore lower concentrations such as 2-4 % which have been tested to be safe for humans is recommend and should be the max amount present as an active ingredient in any dark spot removal products.
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