Arbutin Vs Kojic Acid: Pros & Cons Of Both For Skin Whitening

Arbutin Vs Kojic Acid- Pros & Cons Of Both For Skin Whitening
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Kojic acid is regarded as a chelation substance derived from a variety of fungus species. It’s also obtained from fermented malting rice. It’s applied in cosmetics to prevent tyrosinase formation, an amino acid relevant in the synthesis of melanin. Melanin causes skin pigmentation, darkening and affects eye color and hair.


Kojic acid vs. Arbutin Forms of Uses


Unlike arbutin, which may be present in cosmetic products with a concentration of 4%, kojic acid is relatively 1%. It’s used chiefly as a skin whitening agent. Therefore, you are more likely to find it in serums, lotions, creams, and soaps. With oils, it is directly absorbed into the skin. When used as soaps, it’s washed away. Also, you may get kojic acid in face masks.


Benefits of Kojic Acid


Reduces aging of the skin


Kojic acid improves skin complexion by whitening it. This, in return, reduces the appearance of sunburn scars and aging spots.


Cures Melasma:


Most pregnant women experience dark spots formation on the skin, a condition known as melasma. Kojic acid, by inhibiting the formation of melanin, it acts as a remedy for the state.


Reduces visibility of scars


Kojic acid is responsible for inhibiting the discoloration of scars. It reduces the dark pigmentation that comes along with certain types of scars.


Antifungal growth benefit


There are certain fungal infections such as athlete foot, candidiasis among others. Kojic acid prevents their formation making the growth environment unpalatable. further, it also cures bacterial infections on the skin


Hazards and side effects


According to the expert panel review, kojic acid of about 1 % concentration in all cosmetics was found safe to use. Despite this, there might be some side effects depicted in some individuals. Further ye food and drug administration checks that cosmetics are of quality and hazard-free, so be sure to buy your product from a certified company in the US.


1.   Contact dermatitis


This is the most prevalent side effect associated with kojic acid. It depicts itself as redness which comes along with swollen skin, irritation, and itchy sensation. Contact dermatitis is more likely to occur in individuals with sensitive skin. Also, should you use a product with a concentration of more than 1% kojic acid, you pose the risk of dermatitis. If your skin is antagonistically working against the kojic acid products, you will have to discontinue its use.


2.   It makes the skin vulnerable to burns.


It may come along with sunburn effects. Since you are reducing melanin, your skin becomes susceptible to sunlight burning more from U.V light. However, burning may result from longer durations of use. Therefore, fate long periods of application, you should brace yourself up with protective clothing.


3.   May result in skin cancer


All you should know is that melanin prevents u.v rays from penetrating the skin. Counteracting its formation lowers down the barrier, hence penetration. Consequently, tumorous skin cells may develop, leading to skin cancer. Some countries have even prohibited Kojic products due to their potential to cause cancer.


Who is kojic acid suitable for?


Kojic acid is ideal for you if you are susceptible to hyperpigmentation, either caused by the sun or aging skin o0r post-breakout infections. On the contrary, if your skin complexion is more reactive, you have to use it in small doses and incorporate it into your night schedule for treatments. Still, you have to know that there are mild inflammations associated with the commencement of the product use.


But, should you experience discomfort, irritation, and soreness, opt for lower concentration or use a mild product. To abate the irritations, use hydrocortisone cream on the areas infected. After you start using kojic acid, you probably will see results after two weeks. Super effects may depict if you use kojic acid with glycolic acid.


Take away


Always use kojic acid on areas with hyperpigmentation or scars. Please do not use it to whiten your natural complexion. Further, before the commencement of the use of Kojic products, see your dermatologist first. They will direct you on the best and safe approach. Still, they will give you the correct prescription and other treatments.


Kojic acid is suitable for persons having skin spots, scars, and hyperpigmentation. If you have underlying skin infections, you should avoid kojic acid. And if you are allergic, you should see a dermatologist first and adhere to all the instructions on the product you are using and the doctors. Should your condition heal, you should withdraw from use.


Final shot


Before using any product that has traces of kojic acid, you have to see a dermatologist. It may be helpful to you; however, it poses skin damage risks if you have any underlying skin condition.


A dermatologist shall give the concentration and frequencies on which to use kojic products. Further, when buying a Kojic product, ensure it has a clear direction, and you have to follow them strictly. You should also see that the product contains the concentration prescribed by your doctor. Remember, if you have irritations and discomfort, cease using it and see a doctor. Also, you should never apply it on already irritated skin or rashes.




Arbutin also termed as a glycoside, or rather say glycosylated hydroquinone, is derived from the bearberry plant that belongs to the genus Arctostaphylos. It’s topically applied to prevent the enzyme tyrosinase activities, hence preventing the synthesis of melanin and its formation. It’s used as a skin whitening agent, and minute amounts are present in wheat and pear fruits skin. Also it can be derived from Viburnum opulus as well as Bergenia crassifolia. .


Benefits of arbutin


1.   It’s a natural skin whitening cream capable of treating hyperpigmentation.


Arbutin can be used with cosmetics to fade hyperpigmentation. This implies that it works against aged skin parts, hence restoring a youthful glow. Also, it removes sun spots and scars that result from acne. Additionally, it prevents future melasma and hyperpigmentation from forming despite sunburns.


2.   How does arbutin stop melanin production?


Melanin forms out of the activities of the enzyme tyrosinase. The enzyme forms tyrosine, an amino acid that is then passed to melanocyte cells for conversion into melanin. Arbutin counteracts the chain by inhibiting tyrosinase activities. With the void of tyrosine, melanocytes become non-functional hence minimal production of melanin. Consequently, minimal tyrosine results in minimal melanin and hence slight skin pigmentation. This, in turn, rids of dark patches on skin, freckles, and sunburns.


 3.   Brightens your skin


Arbutin improves your skin complexion, making it look younger, healthier, and lively. The perception of arbutin is more than that of a skin blender. It doesn’t blend your skin from the foundation; It works on the actual skin. It exposes your inner beaming and youthful glow.


Arbutin Vs. kojic acid, Which one is better?


On a scale of one to one, both arbutin and Kojic promote skin complexion, and they are associated with side effects. Kojic acid results to contact dermatitis. On the other hand, arbutin, cause allergic reaction and irritations. When it comes to effectiveness, kojic acid seems to be a fast and natural skin whitener. Users will experience changes in 24 days. Arbutin takes longer, and you should expect changes after 4-5 weeks of consistent use.


On the contemplation between kojic acid vs. arbutin, kojic acid is more powerful compared to arbutin. To some extent, you are advised to use a lower concentration for effective outcomes. Additionally, Lower concentrated kojic acid is an over-the-counter product and can be combined with other cosmetics. However, it comes unstable and breaks down over time when used in other cosmetics. While you may get kojic acid in-home chemical peels, arbutin will not serve the same purpose with my perspective. Kojic acid seems to b the best whitening agent.


Alpha and Beta Arbutin


Arbutin exists in two forms, alpha and beta. Alpha is said to be more effective, but it is, however, expensive to manufacture. On the other hand, beta arbutin is cheaper to manufacture, less expensive, and less effective on the skin.


Why Choose Arbutin?


There is plenty of skin whitening products, but arbutin seems to be an effective solution as it doesn’t pose significant risks. Still, it’s applicable along with other skincare products. Further, there are rear-reported cases of arbutin adverse effects. More so, it’s compatible with any skin. And it doesn’t make it sensitive to sunlight.


Arbutin vs. Hydroquinone


In as much as arbutin is a safe whitening cream, hydroquinone is a prominent agent. They both work against melanin production by the melanocyte’s cells. However, they vary in effect. Arbutin only inhibits tyrosinase activity. Hydroquinone poses fatality risks to the melanocyte’s cells.


In 2013 a  study conducted by Inoue et al., it was found that hydroquinone had the capabilities to impede the early cell differentiation of melanocytes. The observations made on arbutin depicted that it only affected melanogenesis through the inhibition of tyrosinase.


Further, hydroquinone was found to be harmful, mostly on expectant women. The effect was later attributed to the mercury contents that it contained. Following these reports, some countries banned the use of this product.


It is also claimed to be carcinogenic, despite its effects as a whitening agent. It also depicts toxicity on melanocytes. Generally, hydroquinone is more effective when compared to arbutin. However, when choosing between it or arbutin, arbutin is a perfect choice since it’s safer to use. Further, products that contain hydroquinone require prescriptions before you use them. On the condition that you have more challenging dark spots, hydroquinone can be an option once prescribed to you by a dermatologist.


The surge for skin lightening


We have to understand the surge to skin lightening to understand how arbutin works. In countries where tans are revered, those with pale skin might not be interested in skin lightening. However, those who have aging skins may realize its outcomes immediately.


Since we age, we experience an increase in hyperpigmentation and have a decreased ability to manage pain. For instance, having liver acne is a sign that we should avoid aging.


Homeostatic imbalance can also cause no-uniform skin complexion as well as hyperpigmentation. Sometimes the word melasma or pregnancy mask is used to refer to hormonal changes leading to hyperpigmentation. However, sunlight can also contribute to these conditions.


Moreover, anyone can have uneven skin tone, and it’s primarily prevalent in Asians, so particular tend to develop it. Arabs, Middle Easterners, and Indians are among the most prone to it. People of dark color are also able to savor the benefits of Arbutin’s even-toned effect.


Although we need not be concerned with this hyperpigmentation from a medical standpoint, we cannot ignore its psychological impacts. A non-uniform skin complexion with dark spots along with acne scars lowers an individual’s self-esteem.


How DOES Arbutin Work?

Since it is extracted from hydroquinone, it works similarly to hydroquinone on skin lightening. Arbutin abates the perpetuation of melanin by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase. This leads to no tyrosine formation, which h would have otherwise been converted by the melanocyte cells to melanin. Owing to the fact that melanin causes pigmentation, its inhibitions will help reduce dark spots, making the skin lighter.


Arbutin should be applied twice a day for five consecutive weeks. However, you have to know that your skin will retain its former complexion once you stop using these products. They are not the permanent whitening solution.


Is Arbutin Dangerous On The Skin?


Arbutin is statistically safe if the product you are using contains a 3-4 % concentration. Its compatible with all skins and cases where adverse effects depict are minimal.


Nonetheless, should alkaline conditions be availed, arbutin may convert into hydroquinone, an anti-pigment agent. If you live in such conditions, seek guidance from a dermatologist for advice forts before use.


Side effects of arbutin on the skin include


  • Skin irritations which may a result of faint acne


  • Increased sunburns


  • Skin redness and allergic reactions causing irritations


Can you use Alpha Arbutin Kojic acid?


Regarding arbutin prominence, it is used in different cosmetic products. Lotions are the most common ones. Should you manage to get the QRx Labs lab lotion, you will savor the arbutin and kojic acid combination benefits. It’s also fitted with licorice root extract. The combination maximizes the toner’s effects, and hence when used, it’s fast and more effective in whitening your skin.




Okay, ladies and gentlemen, when posed with a contest between Kojic acid vs. Arbutin, it seems like both choices are equally weighted. Kojic acid seems effective on its own, and so does Arbutin, despite being slower and less powerful. However, both agents can be combined for better and effective results. Further, combining Kojic and Arbutin makes them compatible with all types of skin.

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