By their mid-twenties, many women may begin to notice the appearance of dark spots on their skin. This is usually the result of increased sun exposure, but it could also be due to hereditary and genetic factors. So what can you do to lighten these marks and keep your skin looking young, radiant and smooth?
One answer is Alpha Arbutin, a relatively new skin-lightening ingredient that’s derived from the leaves of the bearberry plant, the source of many herbal remedies for centuries. Alpha Arbutin can also be found in lower concentrations in wheat, pear skins and the leaves of blueberries and cranberries.
To understand why Alpha Arbutin has exploded on the skincare scene in recent years, it’s first important to understand why it’s so much more powerful than other natural ingredients used for skin lightening and pigmentation reduction (such as Vitamin C or kojic acid). Unlike these ingredients, Alpha Arbutin addresses the root cause of pigmentation formation by penetrating the different dermal layers of your skin to neutralize a special set of enzymes that are activated by UV light. (Yes, the same UV light that you’d get by spending a day at the beach.)
You see, every time these enzymes are exposed to UV light, they go to work by forming a substance known as melanin, which results in pigmentation. Arbutin acts to stop these enzymes in their tracks, preventing them from forming melanin. No melanin, no pigmentation. As a result, by applying Alpha Arbutin to your skin, you’ll soon notice the disappearance of dark spots and other skin imperfections caused by aging or the sun.
Without going into too much of the chemistry of Alpha Arbutin, there is a difference between Alpha Arbutin and regular Arbutin, also known as Beta Arbutin. Alpha Arbutin has been shown to be as much as 10 times more effective than regular Arbutin, and it all has to do with the types of bonds that it can form with other molecules. The Alpha in the name refers to a special type of “alpha bond” that is more stable and efficient than a more common “beta bond.” If you are looking for the best skin lightening possible, then, always look for the “Alpha” in the name of the Arbutin product.
Alpha Arbutin is a white crystalline powder that is water-soluble. In some ancient cultures, Arbutin extracted from the leaves of the bearberry plant could be turned into a crushed powder for direct application to the skin. But the state-of-art Alpha Arbutin found on the market today is generally applied as a light cream or serum that is completely fragrance-free. In some cases, this serum or cream can be augmented with extracts from orange, lemon or cucumber for even more of a lightening effect.
While Alpha Arbutin is powerful and has been clinically proven to have a skin lightening effect, it does require regular application in order to be most effective. The truly premium and most effective skincare treatments will contain formulas with a high concentration of Alpha Arbutin.
Given the way Alpha Arbutin works, it is most effective in lightening acne scars and sun damage. But even in cases of extreme hyper-pigmentation, Alpha Arbutin can show surprisingly effective results and improve overall complexion. Once you start using this magic skincare ingredient, you’ll start to see fading dark spots and marks. And, best of all, you’ll also be protecting your skin against further damage as well. Your skin will be smooth, young and radiant, erasing years off your appearance.