Arbutin-Lighten This!

 Kelsie Matthews, L.E.

Bear berry plant

What is Arbutin?

Arbutin is a molecule extracted from the bearberry plant. It is most commonly used in skin care for lightening pigmentation. It is comparable to ingredients like hydroquinone and kojic acid, but it is much more tolerated and gentle than those. It can be found in many medical grade and over-the-counter skin care products marketed for skin lightening and brightening. It is used to treat melasma (along with an entire regimen) and regular hyperpigmentation.

Arbutin comes in 2 formsㅡalpha and beta. Alpha-arbutin is a more potent and strong form of the ingredient. Beta-arbutin is much cheaper, but less stable and less effective. The alpha-arbutin form is most commonly used in medical-grade skincare products and compounded prescription lightening creams.


Who can use it?

Since arbutin is not a derivative of hydroquinone or retinol, it is well tolerated by all skin types. It is a natural and gentle spot lightener, so it is safe for almost everyone. 


What are the benefits?

Lightens brown spots

Prevents more brown spots from forming

Brightens the skin


out the skin tone

Where can you find it?

A couple of my favorite products that we carry here at L Aesthetics contain Alpha-Arbutin including Skinbetter Science Even Tone Correcting Serum and SkinMedica TNS Essential Serum. 

TNS Advanced Serum


When do you use it?

Any product containing arbutin should be applied morning and night before your moisturizer. After you cleanse and tone your skin, growth factor serums such as TNS should go first, and then Even Tone Correcting Serum or other arbutin containing product can be applied immediately after. Use arbutin containing products twice a day unless instructed otherwise by your skin care practitioner. 

It is important when trying to lighten skin or fade spots to always remember your sun screen. Apply to your skin before going out in the sun, sitting near a window, or exposing your skin to a computer screen for prolonged periods of time.

Call 512-505-8645 or visit any of our 4 local locations to order or pick up your TNS serum or Even Tone Correcting Serum. If you are not sure what products or procedures are right for you, schedule an appointment with one of our estheticians or other providers who can assess your skin and prescribe a plan just for you.


Interested in finding out more about TNS? Check out this blog post: /

Interested in more info about Even Tone Correcting Serum? Go here: Even Tone Correcting Serum

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