Meet Arbutin: The Secret Skin-Brightener You’ve Never Heard Of

Faith Xue

Ready for some crazy news? In a recent study, researchers found that the number-one skin concern that made women appear older wasn’t wrinkles. No, it was a much more surprising culprit: uneven skin tone, meaning age spots and ruddy skin texture actually age you more than fine lines and crow’s feet. Here’s the problem: Many products that promise to brighten, tone, and add luminosity can be too harsh or drying for those with sensitive skin—which is why we’re about to blow your mind.

Allow us to introduce you to arbutin, the secret skin brightener you’ve never heard of. Vitamin C, kojic acid, licorice are all great natural brighteners, but there are a couple reasons why arbutin kicks them to the curb. We spoke with dermatologist Dr. Michael Lin and asked him to give us the 411. Keep scrolling to find out why this ingredient might just change your skin!

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