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Alpha Arbutin (84380-01-8)

Alpha Arbutin Chemical Structure

What is Alpha Arbutin?

Alpha Arbutin or Alfa Arbutin is a natural derivative of hydroquinone, a well-known skin-lightening agent that has been used for decades. It is a glycoside extracted from the bearberry plant, belonging to the family Ericaceae. It is an ingredient with skin-lightening properties and is used in cosmetic and skincare items.

Macsen Laboratories is the leading supplier of Alpha Arbutin with ISO certification.
Name of Product Alpha Arbutin
IUPAC Name (2R,3S,4S,5R,6R)-2-(hydroxymethyl)-6-(4-hydroxyphenoxy)oxane-3,4,5-triol
Synonyms alpha-Arbutin; 4-hydroxyphenyl alpha-D-glucopyranoside; a-Arbutin; Alfa Arbutina; Alpha Arbutine
CAS No 84380-01-8
Molecular Formula C12H16O7
Molecular Weight 272.25 g/mol
Pubchem CID 158637
Pubchem SID 481739572

Chemical Properties

SR. No Criteria Limit/Specification
1 Appearance (Form) Solid Fine Powder or Crystals
2 Appearance (Color) White
3 Solubility Soluble in water and alcohol
4 Melting point 199-204 °C
5 pH (1% water solution) 5.0-7.0
6 Loss on Drying NMT 0.5%
7 Sulphated Ash NMT 0.5%


Alpha arbutin is a skin-lightening agent that is used in a variety of cosmetic and skincare products for the following applications-

  • Skin brightening: Alpha arbutin is used to brighten and even out skin tone, reducing the appearance of dark spots, age spots, and other types of hyperpigmentation.
  • Anti-aging: It is also used in anti-aging products to help reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and other signs of aging.
  • Sun protection: Alpha arbutin is sometimes used in sunscreens and other sun protection products, as it has been shown to help protect the skin from UV damage.
  • Acne treatment: It also be used in acne treatment products, since it has been demonstrated to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that can help reduce inflammation and prevent acne breakouts.

Side effects

Alpha Arbutin is generally considered safe when used as directed and at recommended concentrations. However, some possible side effects associated with the use of Alpha Arbutin may include:

  • It can sometimes cause skin irritation and allergic reactions such as itching, redness, or swelling, especially if used in high concentrations or in people with sensitive skin.
  • Some research suggests that it may make the skin more sensitive to the sun, increasing the risk of sunburn and other types of sun damage.


Q. What does Alpha Arbutin do?

Alpha Arbutin works by inhibiting the activity of an enzyme called tyrosinase, which is responsible for the production of melanin. By inhibiting tyrosinase activity, it reduces the production of melanin, leading to a brighter and more even skin tone.

Q. Can I use Alpha Arbutin with Retinol?

Alpha Arbutin and Retinol are generally considered safe to use together.

Q. Can I use Alpha Arbutin with Niacinamide?

Using the combination of Alpha Arbutin and Niacinamide is highly effective in reducing the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation, resulting in a brighter-looking complexion

Q. Does Alpha Arbutin cause purging?

Alpha Arbutin does not cause purging (a temporary skin reaction to specific ingredients that cause breakouts, dryness, flaking, and peeling).

Q. Is Alpha Arbutin safe during pregnancy?

Alpha Arbutin has lower toxicity and is considered to be safe for use during pregnancy. However, one should consult a medical professional before using it during pregnancy.

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