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All About Bearberry Arbutin

What is arbutin, and how does it help hyperpigmented skin?

Written by: 100% PURE®
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We’re all chasing better skin – fewer fine lines, smaller pores, more glow – but do we actually know what ingredients in our skin care are getting us those results? We’re all familiar with hyaluronic acid for a hydrated glow and AHAs for transformed skin. But there are a whole lot of other products out there to know and love!

Skin care lovers, get ready to meet the unsung hero vibing in your skin care products. Arbutin is a common skin care ingredient added to help with a clearer complexion. Though it gets less attention than retinol or vitamin C, it’s just as powerful, a bit gentler, and is probably included in some of your existing favorites. In fact, we’ve used bearberry arbutin for years, so we’re happy to share more about this powerful ingredient.


Where Does Bearberry Arbutin Come From?

Strong chemicals, bleaching agents, and harsh ingredients aren’t always necessary to get the skin care job done. One of the things we’re most passionate about is sharing the power of plants and natural ingredients through skin care and cosmetics that make us feel good about what we put on our skin.

Some of our favorite natural ingredients can be found in the most unassuming of places. In this case, our featured ingredient is bearberry extract.

Also called arbutin, bearberry extract is derived from the Uva Ursi plant. A short groundcover shrub with waxy, rounded leaves, the Uva Ursi plant is natural to Europe, the U.S., and Asia. Climatized to sandy and rocky woods, the Kinnikinnick plant – another name for Bearberry – grows bright red bulbs, similar in size to blueberries. The vibrant-colored fruit is a favorite of bears, which is where our featured ingredient gets its name.

Arbutin is extracted from the leaves of the shrub, typically forming a liquid extract or astringent. Then, it’s added to moisturizing and toning skin care products. We’re amazed by what this one little extract can do for the skin.


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Benefits of Arbutin for Skin

Arbutin functions in most skin care products as a lightener. But what does that mean? As we mentioned earlier, arbutin or bearberry extract is great for a clearer complexion. The way it works is actually fascinating.

Within our skin are essentially pigmentation cells that are triggered by exposure to UV light. Once triggered, these skin pigmentation cells can form freckles, darker skin, or darkness of acne scars and existing marks. Typically, we look to brightening ingredients like vitamin C, or skin cell turnover ingredients like retinol, to address some of our complexion goals.

What’s interesting about arbutin is that it actually disrupts that darkening process of pigmentation cells that are activated by sun exposure. This means that rather than lightening existing marks, it helps to prevent the skin from getting darker or developing new marks. Using arbutin can help inhibit complexion problems. It works in tandem with other complexion repair ingredients for a noticeable difference in the skin.

Also known as nature’s hydroquinone, bearberry extract is found in more products than you might think. Curious about possibly letting arbutin take the stage in your skin care regimen? Let’s talk about ways to use this gently transformative ingredient.


Is Arbutin Your Perfect Match?

Sensitive skin, reactive skin, or just leery of trying new products? Never fear – arbutin is here. Unlike many of the other aggressively reparative ingredients out there, arbutin is one that everyone can actually feel comfortable and confident using!

When we think about complexion repair products, they usually work on the outer layers of skin. This is sometimes accomplished by increasing skin cell turnover rate, which can leave some skin types feeling tight, sensitive, or inflamed. In contrast, arbutin works deeper within the skin, in a similar function to sunscreen.

We love how natural arbutin is and how harmonious it is with all skin types. As arbutin is often included in serums and moisturizers, it’s designed to be compatible with daytime and evening wear. Lightweight, natural, and great for all skin types, arbutin is really the perfect ingredient to transform the skin.


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How to Use Arbutin In Your Skin Care Regimen

With arbutin, we want it to get some serious face time. The longer it is on the skin, the longer it is working. Rather than looking for face washes, scrubs, or masks with bearberry extract, we want to seek bearberry in products that don’t get washed off of the skin. When looking for bearberry extract products to add to your routine, try toners, serums, and moisturizers that are great for both day and night.

As we mentioned, arbutin is called nature’s hydroquinone for a reason. So, it’s important to avoid excess sun exposure and consistently use a sun protectant, as with any well-developed skin routine.


Arbutin Skin Care Products to Try

Dark Spot Remover
One of the primary ingredients in this cooling, gentle complexion product is bearberry extract. It works overtime to prevent darkness from forming in the skin. Our dark spot remover features a moisturizing aloe base combined with mushroom extract, also for clearing the complexion. It also includes lime for brightening and papaya for enhanced skin cell turnover.

Unlike some prescription products or harsh options with skin bleaching agents, this dark spot remover helps to accomplish our skin care goals gently and naturally. Don’t let the name fool you; this stuff is great as a spot treatment for existing marks or for all-over skin application. It works amazingly well as a preventative treatment too!

Fermented Rice Water Toner
Rather than a harsh or stimulating toner experience, select a reparative option that feels like a refreshing spring day on the skin. We’ve loaded this gentle toner full of complexion repair ingredients. Those include brightening sake, kojic acid from shiitake mushroom, and brightening licorice root extract along with our holy grail, arbutin bearberry.

Alongside the brightening components, we’ve also added toning and firming niacinamide to the party, fresh brightening fruits like lemon and grapefruit, and a soothing mulberry water base.

Perfect for using before bed or in the daytime (followed by sunscreen, of course) this toner may be too brightening for skin on the dry side, but makes a great addition to many regimens looking for that summer glow all year long.

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.


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