Looking to get brighter, smoother skin? Consider adding arbutin to your routine! In this article, we’ve selected the best skincare products reinforced with arbutin for every skin type and at every price point. These are the best arbutin creams and serums out on the market for brightening the skin and keeping it looking youthful.
1. The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
This is arguably the product responsible for the new popularity of arbutin serums. Developed by Deciem, this product combines hydrating hyaluronic acid with 2% alpha-arbutin, in order to fade the look of all sorts of dark marks. It’s a simple, non-comedogenic formula that is easy to add to any existing skincare routine. Buy it from Sephora!
2. SkinCeuticals Phyto Plus
If you’re into the idea of combined therapies, this is a great arbutin serum to try. It combines a high dose of arbutin with kojic acid, so the two come together to make this serum extra powerful at renewing the skin and fading pigmentation. It’s a light, hydrating formula that works well for most skin types, though be careful if you’re sensitive. Order it online from Dermstore!
3. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Clinical Grade IPL Dark Spot Correcting Serum
This medical-grade skin-lightening product corrects pigmentation with the help of all of the known brightening actives. In addition to arbutin, it also contains l-ascorbic acid, kojic acid, azelaic acid, licorice root extract and lactic acid, so it could probably work overtime as your exfoliant, anti-acne and anti-aging serum. You can find it at Nordstrom.
4. Obagi Clinical Vitamin C+ Arbutin Brightening Serum
Made with a powerful combination of naturally-derived arbutin and vitamin C in its most potent form, this serum targets melanin formation while fortifying and renewing the skin. It is a light and hydrating arbutin serum that is suitable for all skin types, and may even help with redness for some. Get it from Sephora!
5. Arcona Brightening Drops Clarifying Serum
This exfoliating arbutin serum might be the perfect multi-use product. It contains a healthy dose of glycolic acid to slough off dead skin cells, while its brightening action comes from a combination of vitamin C, kojic acid, and arbutin. It contains salicylic and azelaic acids, as well, so it’d be particularly suited to those with oily or acne-prone skin. It is available at Nordstrom.
6. Kate Somerville RetAsphere Micro Peel Retinol Glycolic Treatment
We can’t think of a better skin-renewing combination than retinol and glycolic acid. The two ingredients work together, making this a very thorough peel that improves collagen production, while the brightening action comes from a blend of naturally-derived arbutin and licorice root extract. Pick it up from Ulta!
7. Paula’s Choice Radiance Renewal Mask
This Paula’s Choice mask hydrates the skin overnight while brightening it with a blend of gentle actives in a very moisturizing formula. Dark spots are targeted with arbutin, as well as the bearberry leaf extract from which it is sourced. There is also niacinamide, which boosts these effects while offering antioxidant protection. It’s a great choice if you have normal, dry, or sensitive skin. Shop it via Dermstore!
8. The Inkey List Alpha Arbutin
Alpha-arbutin is a version of arbutin made in a lab, so it tends to be extra effective at reducing dark marks. This gel includes a full 2% of it along with brightening tetrapeptide-30, while the rest of the formula focuses on gentle hydration with hyaluronic acid and squalane. If you have oily skin, it could easily double as your moisturizer, while if it’s dry it will still give you a moisture boost. Purchase it from Sephora!
9. iS Clinical Super Serum Advance Plus
There are no fillers in this arbutin serum – only highly potent brightening, soothing, and anti-aging agents. Arbutin and vitamin C are the star brighteners that fade pigmentation, with their abilities boosted by copper tripeptide growth factor. The blend includes centella asiatica and its synthesized compounds for powerful redness-soothing action. It’s a great choice for any skin type. It is sold at Dermstore.
10. Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream
Not many are aware that Sunday Riley’s best-selling moisturizer is an arbutin cream. This hyper-moisturizing formula nourishes the skin with two forms of hyaluronic acid and moringa oil, while enzymes help to keep the surface layer fresh and renewed. 1% alpha-arbutin is strong enough to brighten without irritating, so it is great for all skin types. Grab it from Sephora!
11. Kat Burki Complete B Illume Repair Brightening Serum
This arbutin serum makes some intense claims (that might be a little over the top), but we gotta admit it’s a nice one. It’s a soothing blend that overflows with gentle actives, featuring alpha-arbutin, licorice root extract, niacinamide, and reishi mushroom extract to brighten, along with soothers like centella asiatica and witch hazel. It offers light hydration, so it should suit anyone. You can buy it from Nordstrom.
12. Derma e Even Tone Brightening Serum
If you prefer natural formulas, this is one of the best alpha-arbutin serums to consider. It is loaded with natural ingredients that brighten and protect the skin, like licorice root extract and niacinamide, as well as a gentle form of vitamin C for added antioxidant effects. It has a soothing effect, but does contain some essential oils that might not work for those with sensitive skin. Find it through Dermstore!
13. First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Eye Cream
An arbutin cream for the eyes might be exactly what you need if you’re dealing with pigmentation around the sensitive eye area. This silky formula moisturizes the eye area thoroughly, while loading it up with a collection of brightening, anti-aging, and soothing agents like licorice root extract, niacinamide, bisabolol, and a few different peptides. Pick it up from Sephora!
14. DHC Alpha-Arbutin White Mask
Nothing feels quite as relaxing and luxurious as smoothing a sheet mask over the skin. With this sheet mask from Japanese brand DHC you can brighten, hydrate, and revitalize your skin all in one go. It contains loads of hydrating ingredients, along with a touch of alpha-arbutin, vitamin C, and mulberry extract. It’s available online on Dermstore.
15. Skin Inc Supplement Bar Pure Revival Peel
This light exfoliant offers a physical exfoliation in combination with the brightening effects of arbutin. You leave it on your skin like a mask, and then use circular motions to scrub and remove dead skin cell build-up. It is gentle enough for sensitive skin, and has an antioxidant effect thanks to an ingredient called fullerene. Purchase it from Sephora!
Photos via @nrahmichelle, Sephora, Dermstore