Do’s & Dont’s of layering skin ingredients with Alpha Arbutin

What is Alpha Arbutin?

Alpha Arbutin is a water-soluble molecule, derived from berry plants such as bearberries, blueberries, and cranberries. It is one of the most advanced natural ingredients in skincare, given its effectiveness in inhibiting pigmentation.⁣ It helps in reducing melanin formation, improving the appearance of age spots, freckles, melasma, and hyperpigmentation. It is a derivative of hydroquinone that is considered the master of all skin lightening agents. But there are many concerns surrounding the functioning of this ingredient like skin sensitizing if applied for a long period of time. This is where Alpha Arbutin shines as it is safer, gentler, and considered to be a more tolerable alternative to hydroquinone.

The skin benefits of Alpha Arbutin:

  • Alpha Arbutin helps in reducing the dark spots and acne marks.
  • It acts as a skin-lightening agent.
  • It also acts as a gentle antioxidant that improves the skin’s radiance.
  • Alpha Arbutin is considered to be the best ingredient to treat hyperpigmentation.

Should we use Alpha Arbutin with other ingredients?

Alpha Arbutin is a gentle active that goes well with all ingredients and is suitable for all skin types. It is mild enough to be safely used in both morning and evening skincare routines. Just make sure you double up one sunscreen whenever you use any skin lightening agents in your routine, especially if used in the morning.

How to get the most benefit out of your Alpha Arbutin products?

Just using an ingredient isn’t enough, you need to use them correctly to get the most out of them. Here’s how you can use Alpha Arbutin to enhance your skincare routine and get one step closer to brighter, clearer skin.

  • Cleanse your face with a mild cleanser and apply your daily toner (if you use any).
  • Apply 2-3 drops of your hyaluronic acid-based products on damp skin and let it absorb completely. This will increase the rate of absorption of your alpha-arbutin products.
  • Now, apply 2-3 drops of your alpha arbutin-based serum and gently massage onto the skin until it is absorbed completely.
  • You can always layer it with other ingredients to get better and quicker results.
  • Always follow with moisturizer and your favorite sunscreen(during days).
  • It is to be noted that alpha-arbutin usually shows results in 4-5 weeks when applied in the right amount and concentration.
  • Make sure you do patch testing before pairing your alpha arbutin serum with other actives.

Layering Alpha Arbutin with other ingredients: The Do’s & Don’t:

  • Do use Alpha Arbutin and Niacinamide: When paired with Niacinamide, alpha arbutin helps effectively in reducing hyperpigmentation. Niacinamide promotes collagen production to make the skin more firm and radiant and also helps in increasing the cell turnover rate, leaving brighter and even-toned skin.
  • Don’t mix too many ingredients: It’s best to avoid mixing multiple active ingredients. It is always recommended to use a maximum of three actives in a skincare routine. Also, we suggest pairing Alpha Arbutin with Niacinamide and Vitamin C in different skincare routines because we know that Niacinamide and Vitamin C are not the best of friends. Try using these ingredients in different routines to avoid creating a risk of irritation altogether.
  • Do use Alpha Arbutin and Vitamin C: Alpha Arbutin and Vitamin C when paired together boost the skin’s radiance, give instant brightness to the skin, and also protect the skin from free radicals.
  • Don’t use multiple products with a high pH: Alpha Arbutin can release hydroquinone at a higher pH, so it’s important to monitor the pH of your skincare products and combine them wisely.
  • Do use Alpha Arbutin and AHA/BHA: Using Alpha Arbutin with AHA/BHA facilitates better absorption of arbutin⁣ and shows skin brightening results more effectively. Always apply arbutin serum after AHA/BHA and it is recommended to use this duo during night skincare routine only that too 2 nights/week.
  • Don’t use Alpha Arbutin without sunscreen: You must use sunscreen every day even if you aren’t using Alpha Arbutin. But while using skin lightening ingredients such as Alpha Arbutin, it’s important to use a sunscreen to avoid undoing the effect of Alpha Arbutin and damage to the skin.
  • Do use Alpha Arbutin and Hyaluronic Acid: Pairing Alpha Arbutin with Hyaluronic Acid gives a clearer, softer & dewy skin. Hyaluronic Acid has skin hydrating properties and applying it before applying arbutin helps arbutin to deeply penetrate into the skin and shows more effective results.


Alpha Arbutin is a potent skin-lightening active that leaves the skin looking radiant, glowing, and evenly toned. The best part? You can use it with other ingredients to get the best results, so you don’t have to replace your favourite Vitamin C or Niacinamide serum just yet. Add Alpha Arbutin to the mix and watch it work in unison with other ingredients to yield optimum results.. However, it is always suggested to do a patch test first before pairing it with other actives.


1) Should Alpha Arbutin be avoided?

We recommended that pregnant & breastfeeding women should avoid using alpha arbutin.

2) Can alpha arbutin be used for a longer period?

Yes, it is safe to use alpha arbutin for a longer period, if used in the correct percentage

3) What percentage of alpha-arbutin is sufficient?

Alpha Arbutin, when alone, needs to be at a high percentage. But when combined with another depigmentation agent such as niacinamide and that too within the same formulation, there is a synergistic effect on both of them and they increase the efficacy of each other. Hence, a low concentration should be sufficient.

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