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Make your own alpha arbutin hyperpigmentation treatment

Is a Solution for:
Cellulite, Stretch Marks, Sagging Skin
Reviewed by Marta August 22, 2009 28 Comments

Niacinamide and alpha arbutin seem to be about the best choices for fading hyperpigmentation and evening out sun damaged skin tone. Your Best Face upped the amount of alpha arbutin in its reformulated Restore, but most of the time we simply don't know if we are getting meaningful amounts of actives in our potions - unless, that is, we make our own. I had a go with buriti oil (a new antioxidant find of mine) and threw in Matrixyl 3000 for good measure.

If you want to channel your inner formulator and fashion a freckle fader, then read on for the recipe (it takes a couple of minutes to whip up) and a little background on the ingredients. Note, I have been fiddling around with the recipe over the weekend and have modified the ingredients slightly - the main reason was I overdid the buriti in the version posted on Saturday and have now reduced it to a few drops. Easier still, use YBF Concentrate as your base.

The recipe is:
4 teaspoons of Your Best Face Antioxidants Concentrate or 4 teaspoons quality olive oil
1 teaspoon buriti oil
Half teaspoon alpha arbutin
Half teaspoon Matrixyl-3000
Half teaspoon niacinamide

There's more on the ingredients below. You can buy ingredients from Lotioncrafters, Skin Actives and New Directions Aromatics.

A one-month study on 80 Chinese women, using a 1% alpha arbutin concentration, resulted in a “skin lightening effect”. It was faster and more effective than kojic acid (another commonly used skin lightener) and it left hydroquinone in the shade. Alpha arbutin is typically derived from plants, including bearberry, which has sun protection properties and is probably responsible for claims made by the makers of alpha arbutin that it also reduces the degree of skin tanning after sun exposure.

Matrixyl 3000 is made from two new peptides that have nothing to do with the palmitoyl-pentapeptide 3 that is in the original matrixyl. The two new peptides are palmitoyl-tripeptide and palmitoyl-oligopeptide. It boosts collagen production.

Mauritia flexuosa is a palm tree that grows in South American swamps and is rich in vitamin C and vitamin A. A brazilian research team claims it has the richest natural source of beta-carotene known to man. One study speculates that the oil, called buriti, has such low cytotoxicity that it may render topical creams completely non-irritating.

Niacin is vitamin B3. It has been shown to be an effective skin lightening agent, especially for skin conditions where hyperpigmention may occur on the face or other visible parts of the body, and to have anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a potential treatment for acne, rosacea and any blistering-type disease. Studies also noted that niacin and its derivatives have chemopreventative effects.

  • July 23, 2016

    by Ms B

    Sorry but marta's answer in feb is a nonsense. I have been compounding my own cream for years with no problems at all. If you know what you are doing you can make your own vey simple aquaeus cream and add active ingredients as required. Yes there are issues of Ph and compatibilty of ingredients but if you do your research PROPERLY and learn about EVERY ingredient that you are using, buy Ph meter and work as a scientist would in a lab you find, as in most areas of life, knowledge and experience bring great results.

    The lesson here should be NOT to superficially dabble in things we do not understand and then write silly articles trying to advise others :(

  • June 4, 2016

    by missdianathmpsn

    I'm very interested in trying this, how effective was this? How long does it take to lighten the dark spots? I got my Alpha Arbutin http://www.amazon.com/Alpha-Arbutin-Whitening-Serum-Hyperpigmentation/dp/B01DQTE6UG?ie=UTF8&ref_=nav_signin from Amazon, perhaps you and your readers might want to try using this too. My mom, who is 86 years old has brown age spots. Although at first she's having doubts of the effectiveness, she tried using it. And surprisingly, after a week her spots are starting to fade. And said she will continue to use the product and would happily recommend it to anyone with dark spots problem. Thanks for posting this, Marta! I think this product will work really well with your recipe! Can't wait to try it!

  • February 12, 2016

    by Marta

    Hi Abby, I am afraid that you are not going like my answer. This post is from 2009. I experimented a few times with DIY skincare without much success. Your question gets to the heart of it - formulating is complex and raises plenty of issues such as pH balance, compatibility and so on. I decided to leave it to the experts.

  • February 12, 2016

    by Abby

    Hi Marta, first of all THANKS a ton for this post. This recipe has exactly the ingredients I was looking for and I can't wait to make it. I hope you can answer a few questions I have at the earliest (so I don't have to wait too long to make it!).
    So, (1) can I store the product out at room temperature?
    (2) Do I have to worry about the PH? Someone told me Niacinamide added at the incorrect PH will turn into something else and cause flushing.
    and (3) Did this product work on you?
    Thank you again!

  • December 21, 2015

    by A Thomas

    How long for the skin lightening formula to work do u know?

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