Exploring the Advantages and Applications of Alpha Arbutin in Cosmetics

December 5, 2023

In today's era of growing concern for beautiful skin, the market for whitening products is expanding fast, becoming a wild horse in the global cosmetics industry. According to Market.us research, a highly sought-after market research company in the U.S., the global whitening products market has reached $9.72 billion in 20221. This signifies a growing desire among consumers for clear and bright skin. Driven by this demand, the market for whitening products is constantly innovating, striving to introduce more effective products.

It is in this background that we wonder: is there an ingredient that can become the "holy grail" of whitening in the minds of cosmetic manufacturers with its excellent results?

The answer is here - Alpha Arbutin. This popular whitening raw material is leading the whitening products market with its unique charm. Next, join us as we explore this fascinating topic. Let's explore why Alpha Arbutin is an indispensable choice for your whitening products.

1. What is Alpha Arbutin?

Arbutin is a naturally occurring compound that is extracted from a variety of plants, like bearberry, cranberry, blueberry, and pomegranate. Alpha arbutin is the synthetic form of arbutin, while the plant-sourced form is called beta arbutin. They both work on the same principle, but alpha arbutin is more potent. We'll explain this in more depth later. In conclusion, Alpha Arbutin is the purest form of Arbutin on the market.

2. Why choose Alpha Arbutin?

It is not by chance that the beauty product industry chooses Alpha Arbutin as an ingredient for whitening products, but because of its various advantages. We will discuss in depth what are the advantages of Alpha Arbutin as an ingredient in whitening products compared to other ingredients. And, how it stands out in delivering long-lasting whitening results and meeting consumer needs.

2.1 Advantages compared to other whitening ingredients

1. Comparison with Beta Arbutin

Both Alpha Arbutin and Beta Arbutin are two forms of Arbutin. However, you must have also noticed that the ingredient Alpha Arbutin is used in cosmetics in the market. And, consumers would prefer to see alpha arbutin on the ingredient list when buying skin care products. Why?

Cosmetic chemist Kelly Dobos explains:

● Both have a brightening effect, but alpha arbutin is about 15 times more effective than beta arbutin.

● Alpha arbutin is more potent and stable than its beta counterpart. alpha arbutin, because of its water solubility, is not only easier to incorporate into cosmetic formulas, but it is also absorbed more quickly into the skin.

However, the only drawback you may find with alpha arbutin is that it is expensive to manufacture, alpha arbutin is about 8 times more expensive than beta-arbutin. It may hurt your pocket a little bit, but you'll get a high-quality product in exchange. We think it's well worth it.

Finally, if you have chosen Alpha Arbutin as your skincare ingredient, then please list Alpha Arbutin instead of Arbutin in your product ingredient list. This is because some consumers will see your ingredient list as arbutin and they will assume that you are using the cheaper and less effective beta arbutin.

2. Comparison with Vitamin C

Whether you're a manufacturer in the cosmetic industry or a consumer who is buying skincare products, you certainly know that both Alpha Arbutin and Vitamin C are the best raw materials for skincare. But which one is better? While Vitamin C is also a leader in skin whitening, Alpha Arbutin is more effective than Vitamin C in brightening the skin for skin care products. And, Alpha Arbutin has fewer side effects and faster results. Because Alpha Arbutin has a decolorizing factor, you only need to use 2% Alpha Arbutin to get a brightening effect from your skin care products. Vitamin C requires about a 10-20% concentration to work.

3. Comparison with hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is another popular ingredient for evening out skin tone. It differs from arbutin in that hydroquinone interacts with melanin-producing cells in the skin to reduce pigmentation; arbutin prevents dark spots, lightens them, and evens out skin tone by inhibiting an enzyme that contributes to melanin production. 

While they both help to lighten hyperpigmentation, alpha arbutin is safer, and consumers generally consider alpha arbutin to be a safer alternative to hydroquinone. Especially since the FDA has since announced that hydroquinone is carcinogenic2. Meanwhile, in 2015, the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) has determined that alpha-arbutin is safe for use in cosmetics. This makes it a particularly reassuring ingredient for consumers in terms of its safety compared to others.

2.2 Enhancement of product stability and efficacy durability

Based on the results of the study, it was proved that α-arbutin exhibits thermal stability below 100°C. This is a great advantage for cosmetic manufacturers.

Because alpha arbutin is stable below 100°C, then the production process can be more flexible in controlling the temperature without fear of causing alpha arbutin to break down. This helps maintain the integrity of the product's ingredients. This is an advantage you can highlight in the promotion and marketing of your product, as consumers often want their skincare products to remain effective and produce long-lasting results.

2.3 Meeting Consumer Demand and Market Trends

We recommend that you use Alpha Arbutin as an ingredient in your cosmetic products not only because of its effectiveness over other ingredients but also because this ingredient is also gaining popularity among consumers and the market. In this section, we will explain to you why Alpha Arbutin complements consumer expectations and market trends.

1. Natural and safe

Natural and safe features have always been the main focus of public attention. As the standard of living rises, the demand for natural cosmetics is rapidly climbing. The ever-increasing pursuit of green and natural products has also become one of the key factors driving the global arbutin market to flourish. Alpha Arbutin, as a natural extract, fits perfectly with this pursuit of modern consumers.

2. Highly effective whitening effect

Studies have proven that Alpha Arbutin is effective in slowing down the production of melanin-producing organelles, providing long-lasting skin whitening results. This unique property makes Alpha Arbutin a compelling whitening option. According to a study by Adroit Market Research, a U.S.-based business data analytics firm, it is known that the cosmetic industry has been driving the global arbutin market in recent years due to the high demand for whitening products. The global arbutin market size has reached $162.7 million by 2020. This reflects the fact that the whitening effect of alpha arbutin is a perfect match for the consumers' quest for skin care.

3. Wide range of applications

Alpha Arbutin is an ingredient that is suitable for a wide range of beauty products, from creams to serums to masks. It meets the market's urgent need for multifunctional beauty products and caters to consumers' diverse skin care needs. So, no matter what kind of cosmetic manufacturer you are, this wide applicability will give you an ideal choice in product innovation and diversification.

3. Application and methods of alpha arbutin in cosmetics

Whether in creams, serums, or masks, alpha arbutin has demonstrated its excellent performance in whitening and skin brightening. But, the concentration and formulation of alpha arbutin used in different products vary. Therefore, how to skillfully mix and match to achieve the best results is a topic we need to focus on.

3.1 Safe concentration levels

Alpha bearberry on the market often appears in the ingredient lists of three types of products:

● Facial care: serums, creams and masks, cleansing gels, unifying moisturizers

● Body care: body lotions, creams, soaps

● Color cosmetics: BB creams, CC creams

The European Union Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) is responsible for evaluating the scientific aspects of cosmetic and personal care products related to consumer safety3. Above safe levels, can easily be degraded to hydroquinone, with potential risks of sensitization and carcinogenicity. It also sets some safety content regulations for the use of alpha arbutin in alpha-arbutin in these skin-whitening products. Below, I have listed the safe concentration levels of Alpha Arbutin in major products:

Face Cream2%
Body Lotion0.5%
BB Cream, CC Cream0.5-2.0%

3.2 Suggestions for use

As a supplier of alpha arbutin, we offer the following advice on the use of alpha arbutin based on our years of expertise.

1. Alpha Arbutin is soluble in water. At temperatures <70°C or moderate to low temperatures, it readily blends with other ingredients in the formulation. Also, we recommend that it be used at a pH of 4.0-6.5 for best results. This is because it is very stable and does not change color easily.

2. Niacinamide can also be a useful supplement. It can be used synergistically with Alpha Arbutin. When used in conjunction, we recommend that nicotinamide be added at a level of 0.5-1.0%.

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