My Honest Review On The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin Serum

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Previously I made a review on The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% serum due to the fact I was suffering from excessive oiliness, yea I do have oily (acne-prone) and sensitive skin type. I needed something to lessen oil production and shrink my large pores too and the ordinary niacinamide serum really did wonders on my skin, however it didn’t really do much on my hyperpigmentation (dark spots), so I decided to try out The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin Serum 2% to see how things goes, and after 3 weeks of using this serum I’m glad to share my honest review with you guys.


The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin Serum Review

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But before we dive into that, let’s know about Alpha arbutin and its benefits to the skin.

What’s Alpha Arbutin?

Alpha Arbutin is naturally derived from bearberry plant, it’s also found in cranberries, blueberries, wheat, and pears. Alpha arbutin prevents the formation of melanin, as it functions as a tyrosinase inhibitor to provide skin lightening and brightening effects.

Skin Benefits Of Alpha Arbutin.

The ultimate skin benefit of alpha arbutin is to reduce melanin production, that way it relatively de-pigment the skin which helps addresses the issues of hyperpigmentations such as dark spots, brown spots, acne scars, sun spots and uneven skin tone.

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin serum contains 2% Alpha Arbutin and Hyaluronic Acid (HA).

What’s Hyaluronic Acid’s Benefits To The Skin?

Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, it’s called “the moisture magnet” it pull moisture from the atmosphere into the skin to keep it optimally moisturized, hydrated and supple.


The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin Serum Review

The Ordinary alpha arbutin serum comes in a transparent glass bottle with a dropper to dispense product content. With the lid tightly closed to avoid spillage. The serum is been packaged in its pack.
The packaging is simple, no fanciness.


The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin Serum Review

The Ordinary alpha arbutin serum has a gel-like texture and a bit thick in consistency (just like hyaluronic acid serum) and spreads effortlessly on the skin. This serum is colourless and absorbs quickly into the skin without leaving a residue.

The ordinary Alpha arbutin serum

The Ordinary alpha arbutin serum is also very hydrating and soothing when applied on the skin, all thanks to its hyaluronic acid content which hydrates the skin. Which makes this serum suitable for all skin types (but more ideal for dry skin).


The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin Serum Review

The Ordinary alpha arbutin serum comes in 30ml size.

Ingredients List.

Aqua (Water), Alpha-Arbutin, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Propanediol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Lactic Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

About The Ordinary Brand.

Deciem is a parent company of The Ordinary brand which is based in Canada. This brand had been known with their quality products (skincare line) at a ridiculous affordable prices. As we always term it, The Ordinary brand broke the record of balancing the equation between inexpensive and quality skincare products.

My Honest Review On The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% Serum.

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin Serum Review

Like I mentioned earlier, my main intent of purchasing The Ordinary 2% Alpha Arbutin + HA serum was to tackle and fade some left over blemish scars I had on my left-cheek.

I applied this serum religiously on my face & neck at night only, but I emphasized more concentration on the affected (dark spots) area and after 3 weeks I’m glad to say this serum restored my confidence.

Let me break down the process.

  • First Week: During the first week of applying The Ordinary alpha arbutin serum I didn’t notice any changes on the spots, but I love the fact that the serum hydrates my skin and makes it soft and supple. This kept me pushing.
  • Second Week: At this stage I gave it my all.
    I really wanted this serum to work on my skin, so I Introduced an exfoliating peel into my routine which is The Ordinary AHA + BHA peeling-solution. After applying & leaving the peeling-solution on my face for 10 minutes and washing it off, then I apply The Ordinary alpha arbutin serum and you know what? After 3 days into the second week of application I started noticing some difference on my spots. They started to fade gradually. This really boosted my motivation. I kept on applying the treatment every night.

A skincare routine without exfoliation is not complete as you may be wasting your time and your skincare products because your skincare topicals aren’t penetrating into your skin, they are just sitting on your skin and this is one of the many reasons why your skincare topicals aren’t working.

Moving on, I continued applying The Ordinary alpha arbutin serum, and before the third week ran out my spots were drastically faded, you can still see them but not as bad as before, I mean, you have to take a closer look before you could see them, but I’m not settling for less, I will continue with the treatment because I know in the long run they’ll all fade for good. I need patience and consistency.


Never forget to apply sunscreen to protect your skin from the wicked UV rays of the sun. “The sun is the devil”. You wouldn’t want to ruin your skincare-efforts right?. I never forget to apply my sunscreen during the day to shield my skin from the sun and save it from sun damages.

What I Like About The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin Serum.

  • Faded hyperpigmentation: Although it took 2 week and some days before I could see positive results but the main thing was that “it worked”. It faded dark spots on my cheeks and that’s all that matters.
  • Absorbs Quickly: The texture is a bit tick but it absorbs almost instantly when applied on the skin with a clean finish without leaving any residue behind.
  • Spreads Easily: Despite its thick consistency yet it still spreads effortlessly on the skin with little or no added effort.
  • Fragrance-Free: The Ordinary 2% Alpha Arbutin + HA serum is 100% fragrance-free which lowers the possible occurrence of irritations as fragrance has been linked to causing irritations especially to individuals with sensitive skin. Not only that, this serum is also alcohol-free, silicone-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free and vegan.
  • Its Oil-Free: For the fact that The Ordinary alpha arbutin serum is oil-free makes me love it even more. You know why? I have an oily skin and for that fact, I don’t really like using skincare products with much oils. Infact, I prefer oil-free formulas.
  • It’s Wallet-Friendly: Just like the rest of The Ordinary skincare products, this serum is ridiculously cheap and affordable compared to other alpha arbutin serums on the market and you know what? It still delivers results.
  • It’s Hydrating: All thanks to hyaluronic acid a moisture magnet that draw and retains moisture into the skin to keep it hydrated and plump. This serum will never dry out your skin.

What I Dislike About The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin Serum.

  • Took Time To See Results: The fact that it took close to 3 weeks to see positive results makes it one of its cons, but hey, I have no regrets because at last my target was achieved and my needs was satisfied. So, my advice is, you have to be patient and consistent while using The Ordinary alpha arbutin serum definitely you’ll see results. Don’t forget to exfoliate too to enhance effectiveness.

Possible Questions & Answers.

Q: How did you combine The Ordinary AHA + BHA peeling-solution & alpha arbutin serum to get results?

A: I started out by using the ordinary peeling-solution twice weekly (at night only) and I always leave it on my face for 10 minutes (as recommended by the ordinary) before watching off. Then I apply alpha arbutin serum afterwards. And during the day I use sunscreen to protect my skin from UV rays of the sun.

Note: You must be an experienced acid user before using the ordinary AHA+BHA peeling-solution. If you don’t really have any idea on how to go about it it’s advised to consult with you board-certified dermatologist to guide you properly on how to get it done.

Q: Should I apply alpha arbutin serum morning and night?

A: Yes you can, but I recommend all dark spots or hyperpigmentation skincare treatments to be applied at night time only then use a moisturizer and sunscreen during the day. But nevertheless you can still apply skin lightening topicals during the day but please, please and please, don’t forget to apply sunscreen afterwards.

A: Arbutin is a naturally occurring derivative of hydroquinone. It is one of the best alternatives to hydroquinone as it provides the skin-lightening effect of hydroquinone but does not possess the same risks or side effects. Read more about Alpha arbutin.

Q: Is alpha arbutin suitable for all skin types?

A: alpha arbutin is suitable for all skin types (even to the most sensitive skin). It’s gentle on the skin and can be used twice daily for optimum result without causing any dryness or irritation. However, as with any ingredient, it is still possible to have an allergic reaction to arbutin (which is very rare).

If you happen to experience some ugly reaction while using arbutin products, you should check the ingredients list to see if there’s any other ingredient you’re allergic to. In other words, always do a patch test prior to commencing skincare treatment.

Q: Can pregnant women use alpha arbutin?

A: Well many dermatologists have approved the use of alpha arbutin to tackle issues of hyperpigmentations & melasma during pregnancy instead of straight hydroquinone. even the American Academy of Dermatology considers it a safe option. But however, we advice to stay away from alpha arbutin during pregnancy, you can continue with alpha arbutin once the baby is born. To tackle melasma and discoloration issues during pregnancy we recommend vitamin C or Kojic acid. See pregnancy-safe skincare ingredients.

Q: As a skin lightening ingredient is arbutin safe to use for a long period of time?

A: Arbutin is 100% natural and derived from bear berry plant. It’s completely safe to use as long as you want.

According to this study, Alpha arbutin has proven to be a safe skin lightening ingredient, as it showed no inhibitory effect on HMV-II cell growth at a concentration below 1.0 mM.

Q: Where can I buy The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA Serum?

A: You can buy on UltaDeciem • Amazon • Cultbeauty • Sephora.

UP NEXT: See Our Other Favorite Arbutin Serums To Fade Hyperpigmentation (Dark Spots).

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