1. Arbutin Function
Arbutin is mainly used in high-end whitening and anti-freckle cosmetics. It can quickly penetrate into skin, and then effectively inhibit activity of tyrosinase in skin. It prevents melanin formation. By directly binding itself to tyrosinase, Arbutin accelerates decomposition and excretion of melanin. Thereby it reduces skin pigmentation and eliminates color spots and freckles. Since α-Arbutin’s whitening effect is 10 times that of β-Arbutin; and it has good stability. So α-Arbutin is recognized by the public, and is called “Whitening Star”.
2. Arbutin Advantage
The price of α-Arbutin is about 3 times that of β-Arbutin, but the whitening effect is 10 times that of β-Arbutin. Whitening effect is achieved by adding more than 3% β-Arbutin, but the effect is significant when α-Arbutin is added at 1% concentration. α-Arbutin can repair skin damage caused by ultraviolet rays. Also it restores skin transparency. Alpha-Arbutin can permanently inhibit tyrosinase activity. It is commonly used as whitening additive in high-end skin care products, such as arbutin cream, arbutin serum, arbutin lotion, arbutin soap and others.
3. Difference Between α-Arbutin and β-Arbutin
|Optical Rotation||+175°~ +185.0°||-66±2°|
|Whitening effect||It can effectively inhibit melanin at a lower concentration; and its whitening effect is 10 times that of β-arbutin.||Whitening effect is not obvious when adding less than 3%.|
|Safety||No inhibition of cell growth.||When its dosage is more than 3%, it can significantly inhibit or damage cell growth, then resulting in cytotoxicity.|
|Preparation Method||Enzymatic method||Chemical Synthesis|
|Stability||Higher stability; not easy to change color and degradation||Easily to being decomposed|
4. Alpha-Arbutin Effects: Safety, Stability and Efficiency
- Alpha-Arbutin Safety
Experiments have shown that α-arbutin has no cytotoxicity: α-arbutin can significantly reduce activity of tyrosinase in melanocytes; and it does not affect survival activity of cells. (Biological Effects of Arbutin on Skin Melanocyte Song Qiru, Li Wuping, Journal of Ningxia Medical College, 2004, period 05)
In July 2015, α-arbutin was identified as a safe and effective cosmetic whitening raw material by European Committee for Consumer Safety Science (SCCS). According to the latest opinion of SCCS, it is safe when α-arbutin is added in facial care product less than 2% and in body care product less than 0.5%.
- Alpha-Arbutin Stability
Alpha-arbutin transformed by biological enzyme has high purity and stable structure (heat resistance and light resistance). It is not decomposed by β-glucosidase in human skin when using it. Alpha-arbutin has excellent stability in production and application.
- Alpha-Arbutin Efficiency
Studies have shown that α-arbutin inhibits activity of tyrosinase by specific reversible competition. It blocks melanin formation, and accelerates decomposition and excretion of melanin. Accordingly, α-arbutin reduces deposition of skin pigments, and achieves whitening and anti-freckle effect. Therefore, α-arbutin has higher whitening efficacy and durability.
- Other Alpha-Arbutin Effects
Alpha-Arbutin also has functions of moisturizing, healing wounds, sterilizing and anti-inflammatory. It is currently considered as a safe and effective whitening ingredient.
Plamed devotes to developing 100% natural cosmetics ingredients. More information about Arbutin, please click into Arbutin.
5. Arbutin Benefit of Anti-Freckle
The active molecules in arbutin can penetrate basal layer of skin to make spots fade away. It can greatly treat various pigmentations, such as dark spots, chloasma and sunburn. If the concentration is too low, the persistence of anti-freckle effect will be weakened. So 5% concentration β-arbutin is the safest and most effective concentration; and its effect is faster than VC. It does not cause irritation to skin.
6. Arbutin Side-effect
Although arbutin is good, it cannot be added excessively. Otherwise, it will cause side effect.
Some scientific reports indicate that when the dosage of arbutin exceeds a certain dose, melanin in melanocytes will increase. Therefore, Taiwan Department of Health stipulates that β-arbutin’s dosage in skin care products should not exceed 7%, and the amount of α-arbutin should not exceed 2%. As long as the dosage is within the safe range, arbutin photosensitivity will not be activated.
7. Arbutin Products
For Beloved One α-Arbutin Technowhite TM
CHNSKIN Sparkling Essence
Tunemakers α-Arbutin Fluid
The Ordinaryα-Arbutin 2% + HA
DHC α-Arbutin White Mask
8. Arbutin Uses
Plamed is an early arbutin manufacturer in China. According to experience of Engineer Wang, the following arbutin uses tips are summarized:
- α-Arbutin is easily soluble in water, and its solubility is 151 g/L (20°C).
- It is compatible with other active ingredients at temperatures less than 60°C or low-medium temperature.
- Arbutin cannot be used with methylparaben in cosmetics formula, because it is easy to produce a harmful substance hydroquinone that irritates skin.
- When prepare skin care products, add appropriate concentration antioxidants to prevent discoloration, such as adding Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate.
- Arbutin is not easily decomposed in reaction temperature range of 30~50 °C.
- The pH of arbutin should be controlled at 5-7. Its stability should be controlled within adaptive range of human skin. Arbutin will change color in alkaline condition, and will decompose a little in acidity condition.
- In order to accelerate absorption of arbutin, azone (a penetrant ) can be added 0.8% to 1%. Natural Penetrant Can Consider Piperine Or Phloretin.
- Recommended dosage: 0.5-2.0%
Recommended dosage in different cosmetics:
|Gel, Emulsion, Serum||0.3%-2.0%|
|BB Cream, CC Cream, Liquid Foundation||0.5%-2.0%|
In the preparation of whitening cream, α-arbutin can be combined with other whitening ingredients such as Ascorbic Acid 2 Glucoside (AA2G), niacinamide, etc. The recommended dosage of each ingredient is: α-arbutin: 1.0-2.0%; nicotinamide: 0.5-1.0%; AA2G: 1.0-2.0%.
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