|Jmol-3D images||Image 1|
|Molar mass||272.25 g mol−1|
|Appearance||colorless to white powder|
|Melting point||199.5 °C; 391.1 °F; 472.6 K|
|Solubility in water||5.0 g/100 mL|
|Solubility||soluble in alcohol
slightly soluble in ethyl ether
insoluble in benzene, chloroform, CS2
|Vapor pressure||almost 0 (25 °C)|
|Flash point||293.4 °C; 560.1 °F; 566.5 K|
| (what is: / ?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C or 77 °F, 100 kPa)
Arbutin is a glycoside; a glycosylated hydroquinone extracted from the bearberry plant in the genus Arctostaphylos. It inhibits tyrosinase and thus prevents the formation of melanin. Arbutin is therefore used as a skin-lightening agent. Arbutin is found in wheat, and is concentrated in pear skins. It is also found in Bergenia crassifolia.
Skin lightening agent
Bearberry extract is used in skin lightening treatments designed for long term and regular use. An active agent in brands of skin lightening preparations, it is more expensive than traditional skin lightening ingredients like hydroquinone, which is now banned in many countries. In vitro studies of human melanocytes exposed to arbutin at concentrations below 300 μg/mL reported decreased tyrosinase activity and melanin content with little evidence of cytotoxicity.
Arbutin is glucosylated hydroquinone, and may carry similar cancer risks, although there are also claims that arbutin reduces cancer risk. The German Institute of Food Research in Potsdam found that intestinal bacteria can transform arbutin into hydroquinone, which creates an environment favorable for intestinal cancer.
- Carmen Pop, Laurian Vlase, Mircea Tamas (2009). "Natural Resources Containing Arbutin. Determination of Arbutin in the Leaves of Bergenia crassifolia (L.) Fritsch. acclimated in Romania". Not. Bot. Hort. Agrobot. Cluj 37 (1): 129–132.
- PubChem - Arbutin
- Garrett, J. T. (2003). The Cherokee Herbal: Native Plant Medicine from the Four Directions. Bear & Company. p. 209. ISBN 1879181967.
- Arbutin, Supporting Nomination for Toxicological Evaluation by the National Toxicology Program
- O'Donoghue, J L (September 2006). "Hydroquinone and its analogues in dermatology – a risk-benefit viewpoint". Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology 5 (3): 196–203. doi:10.1111/j.1473-2165.2006.00253.x. PMID 17177740. "The potential toxicity of HQ (hydroquinone) is dependent on the route of exposure"
- Treatment of hyperpigmentation problems / skin lightening[unreliable source?]
- Bowman, Lee. July 25, 2005. Scripps Howard News Service. High yuck factor not necessarily good for us anymore