Skin lightening agents have brought a scare, since news of cancer-risks have been associated with the use of such products. But despite the fear, women are still up for it. This is probably because with clear, even-toned, and smooth skin, they will look younger and feel more confident. So, look no further because a new generation skin lightening agent is out-Arbutin. Below are some facts you need to know about this great new discovery.
What is Arbutin?
Arbutin is a glycosylated hydroquinone extracted from the bearberry plant. It stops tyrosinase, which is a limiting enzyme that controls the production of melanin. Because of that, arbutin becomes an effective skin lightening agent. Arbutin is sometimes mixed with vitamins, moisturizers and other skin care products to reduce or diminish different skin care problems.
Where can arbutin be found?
The bearberry shrub is abundant in arbutin extracts. It can also be found in some varieties of wheat and pears. Arbutin can also be extracted from the leaves of cranberries and blueberries. Pure arbutin can be synthetically prepared from the reaction of acetobromoglucose and hydroquinone, in the presence of alkali.
How it works as a skin lightening product?
Arbutin has been considered one of the safest and most effective skin lightening agent. It works by inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase (which is the enzyme that controls melanin production), thereby decreasing the production of melanin. Melanin is the pigment that determines a person’s hair and skin color. So, with the decrease in the number of melanin in the body, the skin becomes lighter too.
Side effects if arbutin:
Arbutin may be connected to a medical condition known as ochronosis, characterized by skin discoloration and disfigurement, when arbutin is applied topically. But, this condition has never been fully linked to the use of arbutin.
People with very sensitive skin may react to the use of arbutin on their skin and may cause mild to severe allergic reactions. Discontinue use if itchiness and a rash are observed.
Is arbutin effective on acne?
Arbutin may not do much for acne, but it can help lighten acne scars that are usually a result after a breakout. Because of arbutin’s skin lightening properties, it will gradually lighten up those scars that appear hyperpigmented. Arbutin does not only concentrate on acne scars alone, it can also lighten freckles, sun spots, melasma, chloasma and other skin hyperpigmentation. It can also help even out the skin tone, that will result to younger-looking skin. And it is lightening effects do not end there. It can also be used on dark underarms, elbows, knees and other dark areas of your body that need lightening up.
Arbutin’s effects may also be maximized when combined with other substances like Vitamin C, licorice, glycolic acid and kojic acid, for even better whitening results. It can also be added to other ingredients that help diminish wrinkles and fine lines for a double effect. Arbutin just might be the safest whitening product that will not scare you of the possibility of cancer.