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Acide arbutine hyperpigmentation.

Arbutin Acid, a Good Active Ingredient To Fight Against Hyperpigmentation

Pigmentation spots can have several causes, the most common being UV rays, skin aging and hormonal changes. Arbutin acid is a natural active ingredient derived from bearberry leaves with recognized brightening properties. Discover its effect on hyperpigmentation.

Everything You Need To Know About Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is the dermatological term used to designate persistent spots that appear on the skin's surface. This phenomenon occurs as a result of a disturbance in the pigmentation process: melanin, the pigment responsible for the natural coloring of the skin, is overproduced in certain areas. The spots that appear then are of variable size and impact the uniformity of the complexion. They can cause some discomfort in the daily life of those affected.

Hyperpigmentation affects all skin tones, but is most common and visible in darker skin tones. Hyperpigmentation-related spots can be classified into three categories:

  • Melasma: This can be caused by hormonal imbalances and usually appears during pregnancy (known as a pregnancy mask).

  • Lentigo: Also called liver spots or sun spots, its appearance is related to excessive and repeated sun exposure. These spots are usually found on exposed areas, such as the hands and face.

  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: It results from an overproduction of melanin after an inflammation (wounds, burns, blemishes, flare-ups

Note: The use of certain perfumes and the use of certain medications, such as oral contraceptives, anti-malarial drugs and imipramines can also be causes of hyperpigmentation.

Arbutin Acid in a Few Lines

Arbutin acid is a cosmetic active ingredient, also known as alpha-arbutin or the scientific name 4-hydroxyphenyl-alpha-D-glucopyranoside. Naturally present in certain plants such as ash heather, cranberry or bilberry, it is the bearberry leaves that make it possible to extract the maximum amount. This active ingredient can also be manufactured synthetically, notably from hydroquinone, a chemical substance known for treating skin discoloration or hyperpigmentation.

Arbutin Acid Against Hyperpigmentation and How It Works

Arbutin acid is often referred to as natural hydroquinone because of its pigment regulating properties. It has the advantage of being gentler and better tolerated by the skin than hydroquinone, which has been prohibited in all cosmetic products by European regulations since 2001.

In cutaneous application, the remarkable effectiveness of alpha-arbutin is due to its perfect affinity with the active site of tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in the formation of melanin. Thus, this competitive inhibition of the active site of the enzyme blocks its activity and consequently the synthesis of melanin. The equation is simple: less tyrosine and less melanin means less pigment, fewer brown spots and a more even skin tone.

You can use the pigmentation spot serum, concentrated in lightening active ingredients (alpha-arbutin at 2% and lemon extract), morning and night. We recommend that you incorporate it into your skin care routine for at least six weeks to observe its effects.


  • J. KAULPIBOON & al. Optimization of amylomaltase for the synthesis of α-arbutin derivatives as tyrosinase inhibitors. Carbohydrate Research (2020).

  • H. MOHAMMADAMINI & al. A comprehensive review of the therapeutic potential of alpha-arbutin. Phytotherapy Research (2021).


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