The key difference between arbutin and alpha arbutin is that arbutin is a glycosylated hydroquinone that inhibits tyrosinase, preventing the formation of melanin, while alpha arbutin is one of the two forms of arbutin derived from dried leaves of plants like blueberry and cranberry and is more resistant to heat, show more light stability and high water solubility properties.
The skin color depends on the amount of melanin present. This is stored in melanocytes of the skin, which are stimulated for secretion by an enzyme called tyrosinase. When exposed to sunlight, the UV present in sunlight activates tyrosinase, thereby resulting in the secretion of melanin from melanocytes. Arbutin, which consists of glycosylated hydroquinone, inhibits tyrosinase and prevents the formation of melanin. Therefore, it functions as a skin-lightening agent. The two forms of arbutin are alpha arbutin and beta arbutin.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Arbutin
3. What is Alpha Arbutin
4. Similarities – Arbutin and Alpha Arbutin
5. Arbutin vs Alpha Arbutin in Tabular Form
6. Summary – Arbutin vs Alpha Arbutin
What is Arbutin?
Arbutin is a type glycosylated hydroquinone that inhibits tyrosinase and prevents the formation of melanin. Arbutin is a pharmaceutical used in the cosmetic industry as a skin-lightening agent. There are two types of arbutin: alpha arbutin and beta arbutin. Beta arbutin has low water solubility, heat resistance, and light stability properties when compared to alpha arbutin.
Natural arbutin is present in bearberries. Once extracted from bearberries, natural arbutin is more expensive than traditional skin-lightening ingredients like hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is banned in many countries due to its cytotoxicity and decreased tyrosinase activity. Many research studies indicate that arbutin is both favorable and unfavorable for the occurrence of cancer. In one study, it was found that arbutin reduces the risk of cancer, whilst another study claims that intestinal bacteria can transform arbutin into hydroquinone, providing a favorable environment for intestinal cancer.
What is Alpha Arbutin?
Alpha arbutin is a subcategory of arbutin derived from dried leaves of plants like blueberry, cranberry, and bearberry, which inhibits tyrosinase and thereby prevents the formation of melanin. When compared to beta arbutin, alpha arbutin is more resistant to heat, has more light stability, and has high water solubility properties.
There are many benefits of using alpha arbutin. Alpha arbutin reduces dark spots and pigmentation and helps in skin lightening. Also, it is safer than hydroquinone, gentle on the skin, and promotes even skin tone. A person with any skin type could use alpha arbutin to treat pigmentation and tan-related concerns. Only a very few side effects are present with the usage of alpha arbutin. They are sun irritation and the development of mild acne, sunburns, and allergic reactions. The safe concentration of alpha arbutin to be used in skin care products is up to 2 %.
What are the Similarities Between Arbutin and Alpha Arbutin?
- Arbutin and alpha arbutin are glycosylated hydroquinones.
- Alpha Arbutin is one of the two forms of arbutin.
- Both are derived from natural sources.
- They inhibit tyrosinase activity.
- Thus, they inhibit the formation of melanin.
- Both types reduce skin pigmentation by UV radiation from the sun.
- Moreover, arbutin and alpha arbutin act as skin-lightening agents.
What is the Difference Between Arbutin and Alpha Arbutin?
Arbutin is glycosylated hydroquinone that inhibits tyrosinase, preventing the formation of melanin, while alpha-arbutin is one of the two forms of arbutin that is more resistant to heat, shows more light stability and high water solubility properties than the other form. Thus, this is the key difference between arbutin and alpha arbutin. The safe concentration for the use of arbutin in terms of alpha form is 2 %, and beta form is 7 %.
The below infographic presents the differences between arbutin and alpha arbutin in tabular form for side-by-side comparison.
Summary – Arbutin vs Alpha Arbutin
Arbutin is a type of glycosylated hydroquinone that inhibits tyrosinase and thereby prevents the formation of melanin. Alpha arbutin is one category of arbutin. The other form of arbutin is beta arbutin. Both types reduce skin pigmentation by UV radiation of the sun and act as skin lightening agents. Beta arbutin has low water solubility, low heat resistance, and low light stability properties. Alpha arbutin has high water solubility, high heat resistance, and high light stability properties. So, this summarizes the difference between arbutin and alpha arbutin.
1. “Alpha Arbutin in Indian Creams – Benefits, How to Use and Side-Effects.” SkinKraft.
2. “Safety of Alpha-Arbutin and Beta-Arbutin in Cosmetic Products.” Public Health.
1. “Arbutin 3D” (CC0-1.0) via Commons Wikimedia
Leave a Reply