Alpha-arbutin is a plant-derived substance popular in skin care products that target aging skin. Specifically, it offers skin-lightening properties. Understanding more about alpha-arbutin and how it is used in anti-aging skin care products can help you decide if it is right for your needs.


Alpha-arbutin is a glycoside, a sugar derivative that bonds a nonsugar group to an oxygen or nitrogen atom. This glycoside is derived from common plants, including the leaves of the bearberry plant. Once derived, this water-soluble white powder can be incorporated into skin care products aiming to create a younger-looking complexion.


Alpha-arbutin has gained attention as an anti-aging ingredient thanks to its potential to lighten and brighten the skin. Hyperpigmented areas, often caused by overexposure to the sun, can mar your complexion over time. Alpha-arbutin may minimize these dark spots as well as reduce skin tanning after sun exposure. It achieves this by blocking epidermal melanin synthesis, which plays a role in creating those unwanted liver spots. Thus, alpha-arbutin has the potential to create a brighter and more even skin tone even after sun exposure and aging has damaged the skin.