Arbutin is commercially used as a skin-whitening agent in cosmetic industry. It works by competitive inhibition of the enzyme, tyrosinase, a key enzyme in the synthesis of melanin.
Depending on the spatial structure of the glycosidic linkage between glucose and hydroquinone, arbutin forms two epimers: α-arbutin and β-arbutin.
2. Natural source and Industrial Process Method
Beta-Arbutin is often referred to as just Arbutin. It is can be naturally extracted from plants such as bearberry and synthesized by chemical method. Synthesized Beta-Arbutin is currently one of the most widely used hypopigmenting agents in cosmetics, while plant-derived drugs containing Beta-Arbutin were initially used for the treatment of urinary tract infections, cystitis, kidney stones, and as diuretics in the medical field.
3. Arbutin Working Mechanism
Arbutin exhibits potent melanin-inhibiting properties and confers whitening effects on the skin. Sun damage and injury or inflammation to the skin from acne, eczema or psoriasis are the two main factors that cause melanin production on the skin. Arbutin can reduce the accumulation of pigment by inhibiting the production of melanin, which accumulates on the skin when tyrosine is oxidized. An enzyme called tyrosinase is the catalytic for this reaction. Scientists found arbutin has shown inhibitory actions against tyrosinase. When topically apply skincare products containing Arbutin, the inhabitation of tyrosinase results in the decrease of melanin, thus, a whiter complexion.
Hyperpigmentation in the epidermis is caused by excessive melanin synthesis due to UV irradiation, wound or stress. Tyrosinase is one of the key enzymes involved in melanin synthesis. The enzyme catalyses the first two steps in melanin synthesis: the hydroxylation of tyrosine to DOPA and the oxidation of DOPA to dopaquinone. Arbutin has an direct inhibitory function against tyrosinase, which leads to the prevention of melanin formation and a whitening effect on the skin.
4. Alpha-Arbutin V.S. Beta-Arbutin
Recent research showed that Alpha-Arbutin has a 10-fold stronger inhibitory effect on the activity of tyrosinase from human malignant melanoma cells than that of Beta-Arbutin. The α-glucosidic bond found in Alpha-Arbutin offers higher stability than the β form found in the related Beta-Arbutin. Moreover, Alpha-Arbutin hardly inhibited cell growth at 1 mmol/L, while Beta-Arbutin inhibit it significantly at the same concentration. It is, therefore, considered that Alpha-Arbutin is an effective and safe ingredient for cosmetics. Alpha arbutin is very expensive. That is the one downside.
5. Feature of our Arbutin
1. Beta-Arbutin is produced by environment friendly new tech, annual productivity 100mts, table supply.
2. Loss on drying strictly controlled, less than 0.5%
3. Hydroquinone residue less than 10ppm, Hydroquinone is poisonous and is forbidden in cosmetics. The residue control is very important.
6. Arbutin Application and Reference amount
Arbutin is used as a skin whitening agent, a sunscreen agent and an antioxidant in cosmetic formulations. Arbutin soap, cream, serum and lotion are among the major lightening products you will found in the market.
1) Arbutin breaks down easily in acidic conditions, so the pH value of cosmetics containing Arbutin should be greater than 6.0.
2) Please dissolve arbutin in 50℃ hot water before adding it to skin whitening products. (Arbutin is soluble in hot water, methanol or alcohol. Arbutin is partially soluble in cold water. Arbutin is insoluble in aether, chloroform or benzene.)
3) Antioxidants should be added to cosmetics containing Arbutin.
Please tightly sealed Arbutin in containers. Store it in a cool dry place and away from sunlight and oxidizing agents.