Alpha-Arbutin (Bearberry Extract)
Alpha arbutin extract is a water soluble active ingredient used in skincare formulations to block epidermal melanin synthesis by inhibiting enzymatic oxidation of tyrosine and dopa. It is an excellent alternative to more controversial hydroquinones used to lighten hyperpigmentation. In a formula used topically every day it has been shown by numerous studies to safely balance out skin tone to create a more flawless complexion by virtue of its melanin regulating properties (i.e. by lightening skin pigment to eliminate freckles, “age spots,” etc. over time).
One of the prime sources for alpha arbutin is a small evergreen bush called the bearberry (Latin name: Arctostaphylos uva-ursi). Bearberry grows over most or the northern hemisphere and is well adapted to extremely cold Arctic climates. The leaves are used extensively in traditional herbal medicines to create infusions and liquid extracts (as well as teas) that are purported to help ease arthritis pain, back pain, bladder infections, bronchitus, diabetes, diarrhea, fevers, gallstones, gonorrhea, haemorrhoids, indigestion, kidney stones, kidney infections, liver problems, lung congestion, obesity, and several other ailments.