Arbutin Vs. Hydroquinone: What’s the Difference?

Jun. 2
Dark spots, hyperpigmentation and acne scars are some of the top skin concerns we see. What if there was a safe product that could help with these issues? Keep reading to know about the benefits of arbutin, the natural skin lightening alternative to hydroquinone.
What Is Arbutin?
Arbutin is a safe and effective skin lightening solution that you’ve probably never heard of! Derived from hydroquinone, this powerful molecule is extracted from a variety of berry plant species including the bearberry, blueberry, mulberry and cranberry. Often marketed as alpha arbutin, you receive the skin-lightening benefits of hydroquinone without any of the associated risks. Arbutin can achieve this brightening skin results because it is a tyrosinase inhibitor. This means that it blocks or reduces the production of pigment by suppressing the enzymes that stimulate melanin production when exposed to UV rays. 
Many skincare products that you've probably tried already include this beneficial brightener. Great for post-blemish redness, dark spots, and acne scars, arbutin is a great alternative to hydroquinone for any kind of pigmentation or unevenness. People with sensitive skin can also benefit from its use because it’s gentle enough for all skin types.  
Risks Associated with Hydroquinone 
While arbutin is relatively risk free and safe to use, you may have heard some questionable and even negative things about the compound it’s derived from—hydroquinone. Hydroquinone has been banned in many countries including Japan, the UK and Australia. Why? While hydroquinone has been shown to effectively reduce and lighten dark spots, it does so with risks. Hydroquinone uses a “bleaching” process that is quite potent when applied to the skin. 
One of these risks is “halo spots” appearing around the treatment areas. While the hydroquinone treats the darkened skin, any skin surrounding that area that comes in contact with the product will be lightened, creating a halo effect. Another possible side effect that can occur with long-term use is a condition called ochronosis, which ironically discolors the skin. Many pregnant women also choose to skip the use of hydroquinone as many doctors say it’s unsafe. But the biggest issue we’ve seen with hydroquinone is that it has been ruled a carcinogenic by the FDA. A carcinogenic is anything that promotes carcinogenesis, or the formation of cancer. 
Benefits of Arbutin
Hyperpigmentation, age spots and acne scars are some of the most common—yet troublesome—skin conditions we can experience. While there are numerous products available that promise to lighten, brighten and even out skin tones and textures, if you have sensitive skin, these products may not work for you. Arbutin is a safe and natural way to treat pigmentation and a host of other maladies including:
  • Treatment for acne scars - post-blemish redness and scars will be effectively lightened and smoothed.
  • Gentle on sensitive skin - because arbutin’s active component is released slowly, rather than all at once, it isn’t as harsh or irritating as other skin lighteners.  
  • Can be used with other products - arbutin is gentle and natural, therefore it’s an effective product to use with your other skincare essentials. It works especially well with vitamin C and AHA’s. 
  • Can be used in the sun - because it doesn’t react with the sun, arbutin is safe to use in the summer.
  • Prevents and treats - this powerful molecule does double duty, effectively preventing new dark spots from appearing and lightening current ones.
How to Use Arbutin
Adding arbutin into your current skincare routine is easy because it works well for all skin types and tones. Because it is gentle, our experts recommend using arbutin two times a day, once in the morning and once at night, preferably before your moisturizer. Pairing it with a vitamin C based product or an AHA can further boost its benefits and even help improve absorption. Arbutin can be found in many products including creams, serums, moisturizers, and night creams so it’s really up to you on how you’d like to use it.
If you’re looking for a safe and gentle way to fade dark spots, pigmentation, and acne scars, arbutin may be right for you. It’s always advisable to speak with your dermatologist before starting any new skincare product. It’s also important to remember that fading any type of pigmentation, smoothing unevenness, or diminishing the appearance of dark spots can take time. With daily use and a little patience, you’ll begin to see a brighter, lighter, and more even skin tone! Have you tried the safe alternative to hydroquinone, arbutin?  
Best Reviews
My AM routine while rocking cherie merch!
My AM routine while rocking cherie merch!
@cheriethanks for the cute sweatshirt! I am obsessed. Here is my am routine! sisley - FLORAL TONING LOTION First I tone and prep my skin with this toner. I love this toner so much because it is so hydrating and doesn’t strip the skin. It also moisturizes while helping to clean and prep it to absorb other products. NATURIUM - Hyaluronic Acid Essence 2% Then I use this essence. I love this brand so much and this essence is so hydrating and light. It helps plump and prepares it for the serum. NATURIUM - Niacinamide Serum 12% Plus Zinc 2% Next I use this serum which I have been enjoying. It is super gentle that I can even use it during the day. So far my skin has been tolerating it very well. I also notice my dark spots decreasing much quicker. LORD JONES - Acid Mantle Repair CBD Moisturizer Then I use this moisturizer that I am obsessed with. It so far has been my favorite product of the year. It’s so hydrating and calming. It feels amazing on the skin as well. Last I finish off with a sunscreen. I previously reviewed this before! It’s from Korean brand Corthe. ^^ what do you like to do in your morning routine?
Trying out a new brand! I love it!
Trying out a new brand! I love it!
I was lucky enough to try these new products from Dermtella ! This is a science based brand founded by doctors. I have to say I was really surprised at how well the products worked with my skin! I used the Centella Purifying Gel Cleanser. What’s in it: ⚡️ Centella Asiatica Extract ⚡️ Matcha Green Tea ⚡️ Squalane ⚡️ Oat Amino Acids #Dermtella - Centella Purifying Gel Cleanser[products]#[FiveStars] At first I was surprised when I saw the color of the cleanser but then I realized there was matcha green tea. It did an amazing job of cleaning my skin without feeling dry or stripped. I really enjoyed this cleanser. Next I used the Glow2O™ Brightening Toner. What’s in it: ⚡️ Niacinamide ⚡️ Colloidal Oatmeal ⚡️ Hyaluronic Acid ⚡️ Probiotic Enzymes ⚡️ Centella Asiatica Extract #Dermtella - Glow2O™ Brightening Toner[products]#[FiveStars] This toner has amazing ingredients. It also has no fragrance and no scent at all. It leaves the skin feeling really clean and balanced. It is so hydrating and does an amazing job of prepping the skin. Last I used NiaSkin™ Face Moisturizer. What’s in it: ⚡️ Niacinamide ⚡️ Peptides ⚡️ Oatmeal Amino Acids ⚡️ Hyaluronic Acid ⚡️ Ceramide Complex #Dermtella - NiaSkin™ Face Moisturizer[products]#[FiveStars] This moisturizer is amazing. All the products are so calming because they have oat ingredients within them. They are all super hydrating as well. This moisturizer glides on and leaves skin feeling amazing. Over a week just using these products I noticed my skin get brighter and feel more hydrated and firm. I really am grateful to have received these products because now they will be a staple in my routine. 🌟Products were gifted🌟
Share your story in 🏷 Beauty Thanks
Share your story in 🏷 Beauty Thanks
❤️We are so moved and inspired by our creators’ stories and so grateful that cherie could accompany them on their beauty journeys during this tough time. Check out these creators’ posts and share your own story in 🏷 Beauty Thanks with the community! Creator: @MelaninSkinCareAddict “I’m very thankful for the beauty on the inside. This has been a tough year for me as an ICU nurse fighting covid. I can't even begin to tell you about the awful things I have seen but I will tell you that my coworkers have so much beauty on the inside…” Creator: @RedheadSkincare “This year I’m very thankful for my father’s health (everyone in my family honestly). I’ve been so worried about him due to the fact that he has Parkinson’s. I am thankful that he’s been feeling okay. I’m also thankful that I get to be apart of the Cherie community…”
Tips from a dermatologist on sunscreen ☀️
Tips from a dermatologist on sunscreen ☀️
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Skincare Products ( that i have been LOVING )
Skincare Products ( that i have been LOVING )
Recently, I have been super into skincare and keeping up with my skin’s appearance as I am growing myself in the beauty industry ( meaning that I am now CONSTANTLY doing makeup on myself! ) Fluff and Starface both sent me these products to try out, and I have been LOVING them so far! I have combination skin, and this routine is PERFECT for me! My new three favorite skincare products that I have been enjoying as of lately are 1) FLUFF - Face Oil #1 , which is 100% jojoba oil, which I used as an all natural makeup remover! Jojoba oil is super moisturizing and amazing for literally all skin types- especially acne prone and sensitive skin! 2) FLUFF cleanser , which is again - all natural - containing jojoba oil, hemp seed oil (which moisturizes without clogging pores, and balances out oily skin), ashwagandha root (which stimulates production of natural skin oils), and aloe vera (which reduces blemishes and acne, as well as lightens blemishes on the face). This cleanser does a great job of removing makeup as well as leaving you skin moisturized and soft! 3) STARFACE Moisture on Mars Hydrating Face Cream! A little bit of this product really goes a long way, leaving your face super soft, hydrated, and all with a SERIOUS glow!!! I highly recommend checking these 3 products all out! They all work great separately, but in my opinion as I have been using them cohesively, my skin has been looking and feeling great ( besides that one pimple 🙄 ). xx Isabelle