What Is Alpha Arbutin & How Does It Impact Skin? Experts Explain

According to cosmetic chemist Kelly Dobos, arbutin is a naturally occurring chemical found in some botanical extracts like bearberry, cranberry and Japanese pear. And in case you’re wondering, many use the terms alpha arbutin and arbutin interchangeably and that’s because alpha arbutin is simply a variant of the original chemical.

“There are two isomers of arbutin, the alpha and beta forms,” Dobos says. “They differ in structure and properties.” She also states that alpha arbutin is about 10 times more effective than beta arbutin when it comes to skin brightening effects, which is why so many are reaching for this powerhouse ingredient when it comes to bettering the skin. 

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