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In 2015, the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) confirmed the safety of two chemicals used as lightning agents in cosmetics.

Lightening chemical hydroquinone is banned under EU cosmetics regulation, yet the SCCS has confirmed that chemicals α-arbutin and β-arbutin are safe for use in cosmetic products, under certain conditions.

Natural arbutin is a molecule extracted from the bearberry plant that prevents the formation of melanin in skin. Arbutin functions as tyrosinase inhibitors to provide skin lightening and brightening effects.

In general, the use of arbutin as a lightening agent in the cosmetic product industry uses synthetic materials that can be hydrolyzed back into hydroquinone compounds which are prohibited from being present in cosmetic products. Because the use of arbutin in cosmetic products has not been regulated, such as in European regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 and In Indonesian regulation PerBPOM No 23/2019, so SCCS recommends according to its scientific studies for the use of arbutin in cosmetic products, such as

  • α-arbutin in cosmetic products in concentration up to 2 in face cream and up to 0.5 in body lotion
  • β-arbutin in face creams, at a concentration of up to 7 has been approved, provided that this does not result in the release of hydroquinone over one part per million (1 ppm)


How SIG can help

SIG Laboratory can perform arbutin analysis on a wide variety of cosmetics products to help you determine the content of α-arbutin in various cosmetic products that you produce and ensure that the arbutin contained in the product is in the appropriate amount, as determined by existing regulations.


Method of Analysis

HPLC is a technique we offer to analyze α-arbutin in cosmetic products with a UV-Vis detection system.

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