Cosmetics raw material — Beta arbutin

Do you know anything about beta arbutin? Do you know the difference between it and alpha arbutin?


Alpha Arbutin and Beta Arbutin are two common whitening ingredients that have some differences in structure and properties as follows:

1. Structure:

The chemical name of alpha arbutin is 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde-d-glucoside, which is formed from benzaldehyde and glucose molecules through the connection of aldehyde and hydroxyl groups. The chemical name of β-arbutin is β-D-glucoside ether benzaldehyde, which is formed by glucose and benzaldehyde molecules through the connection of glucose and aldehyde groups.

2.Optical isomers:
Alpha arbutin: Alpha arbutin is a D-type isomer, that is, it has right-handed properties.
Beta arbutin is a D isomer or optically inactive type.

3.Whitening effect:
Alpha arbutin: alpha arbutin has a strong whitening effect, can inhibit the activity of tyrosinase, reduce the production of melanin, thereby reducing pigmentation, even skin color.
β arbutin: β arbutin also has a certain whitening effect, but compared with α arbutin, its whitening effect is weaker.


Skin care products on the market with arbutin

Alpha arbutin: Alpha arbutin has good stability in aqueous and oily substrates and is not susceptible to light, heat and pH. Compared with α arbutin, β arbutin is more likely to decompose and fail under some conditions.

Benefits of Beta-arbutin:

1.Whitening and Freckle-removing

2.Application – Medicinal

Burn and scald medicine raw materials: characterized by rapid pain relief, strong anti-inflammatory force, rapid elimination of swelling, quick healing, no scar.

Recommended dose: OTC and medicinal burns for external use ≤10%


Is arbutin safe?

Yes,of  course, on February 1, 2019, the EU SCCS released that α-arbutin and β-arbutin are safe to use.

According to SCCS:
1.  the maximum concentration of α-arbutin used in face cream is 2%, and the maximum concentration of α-arbutin used in body milk is 0.5%, both of which are also safe to use at the same time.
2. The maximum concentration of β-arbutin used in face cream is 7%.

How does it work?

The content and distribution of melanin is the main factor that determines the skin color. Melanin is produced in the melanocyte in the basal layer of the skin epidermis, formed by tyrosine under the action of tyrosinase through a series of complex biochemical reactions, and transferred from the basal layer to the outer layer of the skin through synapses, making the skin colored.

Arbutin is a tyrosinase inhibitor, which can effectively inhibit tyrosinase activity without affecting cell proliferation concentration. By directly binding itself to tyrosinase, it competes for the binding site of dopamine, blocks the synthesis of dopamine and dopa quinone, thus interfering with melanocytes and inhibiting the production of melanin. At the same time, it also has the function of desalting the formed melanin, accelerating the decomposition and excretion of melanin, reducing skin pigmentation, removing stains and freckles.