Alpha-Arbutin is a biosynthetic active ingredient that is pure, water-soluble and is manufactured in a powder form. As one of the most advanced skin lightening ingredients on the market, it has been shown to work effectively on all skin types. It is the epimer of arbutin, and research has proven that it has a stronger inhibitory action than that of (beta) arbutin. Though it is a very expensive ingredient to manufacture, even at very low concentrations, a-arbutin has shown to inhibit the activity of tyrosinase. Alpha Arbutin's inhibitory mechanism is different from that of arbutin and can be up to 10 times more effective. The a-glucosidic bond found in alpha Arbutin offers higher stability and efficancy than the B form found in the related Beta-Arbutin. This leads to a skin whitening active that acts faster and more efficiently than existing single components.
Kojic acid, often used as an ingredient in Asian diets, is a more recent discovery for the treatment of pigmentation problems and age spots. Discovered in 1989, kojic acid is now used extensively as a natural alternative to hydroquinone. Kojic acid is derived from a fungus, and studies have shown that it is effective as a lightening agent, inhibiting production of melanin. Kojic acid is a by-product in the fermentation process of malting rice for use in the manufacturing of sake, the Japanese rice wine. There is convincing research, both in vitro and in vivo, showing kojic acid to be effective for inhibiting melanin production.
Lemon Juice Extract:
Lemon juice is one of nature's most potent skin bleaching ingredients. Unfortunately it is also very irritating to the skin and should only be used at small concentrations in skin lighteners. Lemon juice is also known to be extremely drying to the skin if applied directly.
The licorice plant serves many purposes in skin care. The ingredient that is responsible for the skin whitening aspect of the plant is known as glabridin. Glabridin inhibits pigmentation by preventing tyrosinase activation. Studies have shown that it can provide a considerable skin brightening effect while remaining non-toxic to the melanin forming cells. Glabridin is found in very small traces and therefore it is important to ensure that the correct part of the licorice plant is used. Licorice's anti-inflammatory properties (due to ihibition of superoxide anion production and cyclooxygenase activity) also make it a very popular ingredient in the skin care industry.