Natural Skin Lightening Ingredients Explained

Natural skin Lightening Ingredients are mostly found in fruits, vegetable, herbs and plants, they are regarded “NATURAL” because they where extracted from mother nature, this natural skincare lightening ingredients are very effective in inhibiting the production of excess melanin produced in the skin, there by revealing a beautiful flawless skin.

Most of us don’t know too well about this natural Lightening ingredients and where they are derived from. In this article, we are going to explain everything.


Natural Skin Lightening Ingredients Explained.

Alpha Arbutin

Alpha-Arbutin is a biosynthetic active ingredient that is pure, water-soluble and is manufactured in a powder form, it’s extracted from the bearberry plant.

As one of the most advanced skin lightening ingredients in 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, alpha arbutin has shown to inhibit the activity of tyrosinase. Alpha Arbutin’s inhibitory mechanism is different from that of beta-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. See some face brightening gels with alpha arbutin.

Beta-Arbutin (Bearberry Extract)

Beta-Arbutin is often referred to as just Arbutin. As a natural extract also found in bearberry (Uva Ursi) plants, Arbutin also provides a skin lightening effect on the skin by inhibiting tyrosinase activity.

Though arbutin is a natural derivative of hydroquinone, it does not possess the same risks or side effects. Arbutin has been shown to be a very safe ingredient and does not break down into hydroquionone very readily.

Though it is cheaper to manufacture than Alpha-Arbutin, the skin lightening effect is much less than that of its counterpart. For this reason, many new skin whitening products now use Alpha Arbutin as opposed to only beta-Arbutin.

Kojic Acid

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.

The name kojic acid is taken from the Japanese term “koji,” meaning “steamed rice.” It is widely used in cosmetic and skin care products as a whitening and brightening agent.

Kojic acid is derived from a fungus, and studies have shown that it is effective as a lightening agent, inhibiting production of melanin (brown pigment).

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 (in a test tube) and in vivo (on a live subject), showing kojic acid to be effective for inhibiting melanin
production. You can see the best Kojic acid soaps in the market.

However it’s important to let you know that Kojic acid has a sister called Kojic acid dipalmitate.

Kojic Acid Dipalmitate

Kojic acid dipalmitate (KAD) is derived from kojic acid. It is more stable compared to Kojic acid, as it overcomes the instability to light, heat and metabolic ions. Kojic acid dipalmitate have the same whitening mechanism as kojic acid, but also have better performance as it also inhibits activity of tyrosinase in the skin thereby reducing the production of melanin, and also reducing the appearance of pigmentation and discolorations.

Licorice Extract

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 has anti-inflammatory properties (due to ihibition of superoxide anion production and cyclooxygenase activity) also make it a very popular ingredient in the skin care


Niacinamide is commonly known as Vitamin B3 and is an effective skin lightening compound that works by inhibiting melanosome transfer from
melanocytes to keratinocytes. Often this ingredient works best when combined with other skin lightening treatments. Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) is also known to be effective in reducing acne.

Mulberry Extract

Paper Mulberry extract, is obtained from the root of Broussonetia kazinoki, or B. papyrifera, from the family of Moraceae.

Extracts of this root are potent inhibitors of Tyrosinase enzyme. The active constituents present in the extract are Prenylated, polyhydroxylated mono-and bis-phenylderivatives.

Mulberry Extract is known for its natural skin brightening properties and the ability to help fade away dark spots and pigmentation caused by ageing and exposure to the sun. It is a natural alternative to skin lightening products that can sometimes contain harsh ingredients such as Hydroquinone and Mercury.

A 0.4% concentration of paper mulberry extract inhibits tyrosinase by 50% compared to 5.5% for hydroquinone and 10.0% for kojic acid. At 1% paper mulberry extract is not a significant

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic Acid is an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) that’s derived from sugar cane, which promotes exfoliation and naturally brightens the skin tone. By encouraging cell turnover, glycolic acid not only evens out skin discolorations, but also helps to minimize fine lines and wrinkles. AHA’s such as Glycolic Acid can assist other ingredients in skin lighteners by allowing them to penetrate farther into the skin. See the best glycolic facial cleansers in the market.

Lactic Acid

Also an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid), Lactic acid which is found in fermented foods and sour milk, it also mimics the properties of Glycolic acid. AHA’s such as Lactic Acid can assist other ingredients in skin lighteners by allowing them to penetrate farther into the skin.

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. Use a moisturizer afterwards.


Emblica is a patented composition extracted from the plant Phyllanthus emblica. The extract uses a multi-level cascade of antioxidant compounds resulting in a long-lasting and stable antioxidant activity.
Recent studies have shown that this natural antioxidant also provides significant skin lightening properties when used in moderate concentrations.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C  is a natural antioxidant that occurs in many different forms (some stable and others unstable) each with distinct properties. Several of these forms have been shown to reduce melanin formation and provide a skin whitening effect when applied topically.

These include l-ascorbic acid, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate and sodium ascorbyl phosphate. These forms when used individually or together can assist in slowing down hyperactive melanocytes and thus resulting in lighter skin. See the best vitamin C serums, | Facial Cream and facial cleansers, on the market that worths your money.

Possible Questions and Answers.

Q: What’s the difference between Kojic acid and Kojic acid dipalmitate?

  •  Kojic acid is a by-product in the fermentation process of malting rice, for use in the manufacturing of sake, the Japanese rice wine.
  • While kojic acid dipalmitate (KAD). Is derived from kojic acid
  •  Kojic acid isn’t stable. As it oxidizes when exposed to sunlight and heat.
  • Kojic acid dipalmitate on the other hand is more stable, as it can overcome the instability to light and heat.
  •  Kojic acid is a great Lightening ingredient, as it inhibits the production of melanin.
  • Kojic acid dipalmitate is more effective in inhibiting the production of melanin in the body.

Q: Between alpha arbutin and beta-arbutin which is more effective?

A: Alpha-arbutin is more effective than beta-arbutin. But both are melanin inhibitory mechanism.

Q: Can I use alpha arbutin and beta-arbutin everyday?

A: Yes ofcourse, they are generally safe for all skin types. They lightens dark spots, lessens appearance of acne scars, and helps even out skintone.

Q How does glycolic and lactic acid allows skin Lightening products penetrate farther into the skin?

A: They are exfoliating acids, from the family of AHA (alpha hydroxy acids). They exfoliate the skin by penetrating into the skin pores and remove excessive oils, dirts, and other pore-clogging impurities, leaving the pores clean and clear. This allows your skincare ingredients penetrates deeper into the skin to do their respective jobs.

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