Arbutin Reviews

I Tested The Ordinary’s Alpha Arbutin Serum and My Skin Glowed

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Why is Alpha Arbutin not available in Australia? We’re so sorry! Due to regulatory restrictions, they are not available in Australia or New Zealand at this time. To target brightening, you may wish to explore our Vitamin C range

  • The only product Alpha Arbutin shouldn’t be mixed with is The Ordinary Niacinamide Powder due to its pH level. Apart from that, Alpha Arbutin has no other conflicts so it´s a really easy product to fit into your skincare routine.

This is very clearly a fake of The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin. The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin is only available in 30ml bottles. To avoid buying counterfeit products, only purchase through Deciem authorised stockists.

Please note that even bottles and boxes direct from Deciem or authorised stockists may vary slightly. You may find some say US oz and some say fl oz on the front. Text may vary slightly on the sides of the box. No need to panic, this is normal.

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin Fake

Orders RM 150 and above


Zone Order Total Delivery Fee
Singapore Orders RM 0 -RM 199.99 (about SGD 65)

Orders RM 200.00 (about SGD 65) and above

Orders RM 0 – RM 599.99

Orders RM 600 and above

Orders RM 0 – RM 749.99

Orders RM 750 and above

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What makes this product unique?

Tyrosinase is a copper enzyme responsible for the production of melanin, which causes darkening of skin tone and hyperpigmentation. This professional solution contains highly saturated brightening and pigment-lightening actives to interrupt melanin synthesis.

2% Alpha Arbutin: Known as the best alternative to hydroquinone, alpha arbutin is a depigmenting agent that inhibits the activity of tyrosinase, retaining skin’s natural radiance and luminosity.

1% Kojic Acid: Tyrosinase holds copper ion in the active site. Upon sun exposure, the copper ion instructs tyrosinase to actively produce darkening pigments. Kojic acid captures copper ion to avoid the activation of tyrosinase from UV rays, vigorously preventing the formation of spots and lightening pigmentation.

1.5% Niacinamide: Blocks the transfer of pigment onto skin’s surface, averting darkening of skin tone.

2% Sodium Ascorbyl Palmitate: Stabilized form of vitamin C that upgrades the brightening efficacy of the entire formulation.

Together, Garden of Wisdom Alpha Arbutin 2% and Kojic Acid 1% Serum reduces the visual appearance of pigmentation, taking away years of one’s perceived age.

All Garden of Wisdom products are fragrance free, alcohol free and never tested on animals. Suitable for vegetarians, the environmental-friendly bottles are 100% recyclable.

What does it do?

Supercharged with pigment-busting actives, Garden of Wisdom Alpha Arbutin 2% and Kojic Acid 1% Serum puts up a formidable fight against hormonal spots, freckles, post blemish redness, sun/age spots, dark patches and uneven skin tone. Consistent use promotes flawless, glowing complexion with absolute brightness.

Who is this product for?

Lightweight enough for all skin types, particularly impressive for anyone with pigment-related concerns.

Distilled Water, Paper Mulberry Infusion, Alpha-Arbutin 2%, Sodium Ascorbyl Palmitate 2%, Niacinamide 1.5%, Kojic Acid 1%, Leucidal SF, Optiphen.

Apply Garden of Wisdom Alpha Arbutin 2% and Kojic Acid 1% Serum onto cleansed face and neck skin both in the morning and evening. This pro formula layers beautifully with other serums.

Alpha arbutin is not the same as beta arbutin (also known as arbutin). Studies conflict on which is more potent in skincare. While both can help fade skin discoloration and hyperpigmentation, alpha arbutin is said to be more stable and possibly more effective.

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% Serum opened with dropper

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA is a thick liquid gel that feels a bit tacky upon application. Once it sinks into my skin and dries, the tackiness goes away. My skin feels slightly more hydrated after using this serum, thanks to the inclusion of hyaluronic acid. As long as I use a thin layer, it works well with other skincare products and under makeup.

I didn’t notice a dramatic improvement in the areas of hyperpigmentation and discoloration on my cheeks and forehead after using this serum for a few weeks on its own, but I wasn’t expecting to. It can take months to see improvements when using products formulated with alpha arbutin, so patience is necessary.

I really like this serum because it can be an additional active in your arsenal of actives to treat hyperpigmentation. You can use it in conjunction with other brightening products without any conflicts. I like to use this serum in my morning skincare routine with vitamin C products to boost my antioxidant protection and help brighten my skin.

It did not irritate my skin at all, which is a nice change for once when it comes to brightening products. So this alpha arbutin serum should be suitable for all skin types. Still, since everyone’s skin is unique, The Ordinary recommends patch testing for any new products before introducing them into your skincare routine.

This serum would be ideal for oily and acne-prone skin that experiences dark spots or acne scarring. It’s also suitable for aging and mature skin dealing with age spots, sun spots, and an uneven skin tone, or anyone will dull skin looking for a brighter complexion.

If you’re wondering about the inspiration for the name, it’s the pronunciation of the acronym “INCI,” which stands for the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, an agreed-upon, regulated list of how cosmetics ingredients should be identified on product labels. Each product has its chief ingredient listed on the packaging with dictionary-style writing underneath showing how the name is phoneticized, a clever and slightly erudite touch.

Alpha Arbutin

The Inkey List’s Alpha Arbutin doesn’t have a lot of extras but does contain can the namesake ingredient in a concentration capable of delivering the results promised.

Packaged in an opaque squeeze tube that protects its delicate beneficial ingredients from light and air exposure, this lightweight serum glides across skin and absorbs quickly. The texture is slightly tacky for about 10 minutes after it’s dried, but after that it you won’t feel it.

True to claims, this can improve an uneven skin tone and hydrate skin. Research shows 2% alpha arbutin (the amount this is said to contain) brightens skin tone because it works by breaking down into hydroquinone, the gold standard when it comes to fading hyperpigmentation. Alpha arbutin is considered an alternative to hydroquinone for those who might not be able to tolerate hydroquinone itself directly on skin.

Backing up the alpha arbutin are workhorse hydrators like glycerin and propanediol plus skin-plumping hyaluronic acid. Skin is also treated to antioxidant- and fatty-acid rich squalane, some hydrating lipids, and tetrapeptide-30. Though it’s the last ingredient on the list, tiny amounts of tetrapeptide-30 can interrupt pathways that lead to discolorations and uneven skin tone. And did we mention this formula is fragrance free?

All-told, this is a great product that delivers on what it says it can do, which is something we always like to see!

  • Serum texture is lightweight and suitable for all skin types.
  • Alpha arbutin helps improve the appearance of dark spots and uneven skin tone.
  • Includes hyaluronic acid, squalane, and a brightening peptide.
  • Packaged to protect its light- and air-sensitive ingredients.
  • Fragrance free.
  • None.

A concentrated, two percent alpha arbutin serum to help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Derived from the leaves of the bearberry plant, this concentrated two percent alpha arbutin serum helps improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and skin tone. Also formulated with squalane for increased hydration.

The Inkey List is the creation of Colette Newberry and Mark Curry, respectively the former branding and product developers of the widespread UK-based drugstore chain Boots, which has its own namesake skin care line. As with a number of up-and-coming “indie” brands, the media coverage centers on their inexpensive products with minimalist formulas that tend to focus on a single star ingredient, such as hyaluronic acid, squalane, or retinol.

If you’re wondering about the inspiration for the name, it’s the pronunciation of the acronym “INCI,” which stands for the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients, an agreed-upon, regulated list of how cosmetics ingredients should be identified on product labels. Each product has its chief ingredient listed on the packaging with dictionary-style writing underneath showing how the name is phoneticized, a clever and slightly erudite touch.

Though the formulas are somewhat basic, The Inkey List gets its packaging spot-on – all products are in opaque containers, with no jars or clear containers to be found. Fragrance isn’t on this brand’s radar, either–at least not in terms of adding it to their products (which will make your skin very happy).

We’d like to see more complex formulas, but then again such formulas cost more to make, and The Inkey List is mostly a bargain brand. We wrote “mostly” because in some cases, on an ounce-per-ounce basis, The Inkey List costs just as much as some other brands offering the same type of products (like leave-on exfoliants) in larger sizes.

Even with the predominantly one-note ingredient theme, the brand typically includes beneficial ingredients in efficacious amounts and skips irritants, with the exception of a couple a products that contain witch hazel water and drying denatured alcohol.

That aside, the brand offers a good selection of effective products, something we’re always glad to see. The Inkey List is sold exclusively in the U.S. at Sephora; you can learn more about the brand here:

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Like I mentioned earlier my main intent of purchasing The Ordinary 2% Alpha Arbutin + HA serum was to tackle and fade some left over blemishes scars I had on my left-cheek.

Possible Questions & Answers.

Q: How did you combine The Ordinary AHA + BHA peeling-solution & alpha arbutin serum to get results?

A: I started out by using the ordinary peeling-solution twice weekly (at night only) and I always leave it on my face for 10 minutes (as recommended by the ordinary) before watching off. Then I apply alpha arbutin serum afterwards. And during the day I use sunscreen to protect my skin from UV rays of the sun.

Note: You must be an experienced acid user before using the ordinary AHA+BHA peeling-solution. If you don’t really have any idea on how to go about it it’s advised to consult with you board-certified dermatologist to guide you properly on how to get it done.

Q: Should I apply alpha arbutin serum morning and night?

A: Yes you can, but I recommend all dark spots or hyperpigmentation skincare treatments to be applied at night time only then use a moisturizer and sunscreen during the day. But nevertheless you can still apply skin lightening topicals during the day but please, please and please, don’t forget to apply sunscreen afterwards.

Q: Does alpha arbutin have any link with hydroquinone?

A: Arbutin is a naturally occurring derivative of hydroquinone. It is one of the best alternatives to hydroquinone as it provides the skin-lightening effect of hydroquinone but does not possess the same risks or side effects. Read more about Alpha arbutin.

Q: Is alpha arbutin suitable for all skin types?

A: alpha arbutin is suitable for all skin types (even to the most sensitive skin). It’s gentle on the skin and can be used twice daily for optimum result without causing any dryness or irritation. However, as with any ingredient, it is still possible to have an allergic reaction to arbutin (which is very rare).

If you happen to experience some ugly reaction while using arbutin products, you should check the ingredients list to see if there’s any other ingredient you’re allergic to. In other words, always do a patch test prior to commencing skincare treatment.

Q: Can pregnant women use alpha arbutin?

A: Well many dermatologists have approved the use of alpha arbutin to tackle issues of hyperpigmentations & melasma during pregnancy instead of straight hydroquinone. even the American Academy of Dermatology considers it a safe option. But however, we advice to stay away from alpha arbutin during pregnancy, you can continue with alpha arbutin once the baby is born. To tackle melasma and discoloration issues during pregnancy we recommend vitamin C or Kojic acid. See pregnancy-safe skincare ingredients.

Q: As a skin lightening ingredient is arbutin safe to use for a long period of time?

A: Arbutin is 100% natural and derived from bear berry plant. It’s completely safe to use as long as you want.

According to this study, Alpha arbutin has proven to be a safe skin lightening ingredient, as it showed no inhibitory effect on HMV-II cell growth at a concentration below 1.0 mM.