Alpha arbutin and Niacinamide are common ingredients in skin care products, especially for hyperpigmentation scars. You can find them in different types of skincare products. Sometimes they are also used in combination with other active ingredients. They are available in various forms, like serums and creams.

This blog will discuss Niacinamide and alpha arbutin and how they affect your skin. You will also learn how to use both products on your skin and their side effects. 

What is Alpha Arbutin?

Alpha Arbutin is a natural compound found in bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva ursi) and other plants. It’s an effective skin-lightening agent with fewer side effects than hydroquinone.

Alpha Arbutin inhibits melanin, the chemical which determines your skin pigment. Melanin protects your body from UV radiation, but too much melanin can cause unwanted dark spots on the skin. By inhibiting the production of melanin, alpha arbutin helps to even out your complexion and fade dark spots over time. Alpha Arbutin also does this without damaging your skin’s natural barrier function.

What is Niacinamide?

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 found in yeast and root vegetables. It is well known for its role in enzymatic reactions. This essential nutrient helps build proteins in our skin and protects it from environmental changes and damage [1].

Given sufficient bioavailability, Niacinamide has antipruritic, antimicrobial, vasoactive, photo-protective, sebostatic, and lightning effects depending on its concentration. Niacinamide is a well-tolerated and safe product often used in cosmetics [2].

Alpha Arbutin vs. Niacinamide For Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentary disorders of the skin, like melasma, aging spots, and solar lentigo, can result from the overproduction and accumulation of melanin [3]. 

Alpha arbutin is more effective in controlling melanin levels. 

How to Use Alpha Arbutin and Niacinamide Together

Alpha Arbutin and Niacinamide are water-based serums used as the first step in a skincare routine after thoroughly cleaning and drying the face.

This combination of ingredients is very effective at reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation and dark spots on the skin while also helping to prevent new ones from forming [4].

While performing your skincare routine, you should use alpha arbutin first. Since it is very strong, it can cause skin irritation and dryness if used last.

Alpha Arbutin vs. Niacinamide: Which Is Better?

As a topical treatment for eczema or acne, Niacinamide reduces redness, retains skin moisture, and reduces pigmentation. A great advantage of Alpha Arbutin is that it evens out and brings uniformity to your skin tone. Each is good for your skin in its way.

Alpha Arbutin vs. Niacinamide For Scars

Niacinamide fades scars and spots, giving the skin a clear appearance. Alpha Arbutin lowers tanning. Both prevent excess melanin formation in the skin, reducing tanning and freckles. You can take Niacinamide and Alpha Arbutin daily for the best skin results [5].

How to Apply Alpha Arbutin and Niacinamide 

If scars or dark spots are your primary concerns, apply alpha arbutin first, rub it in, and wait a few minutes for it to absorb. Then, apply the Niacinamide layer and allow it to dry. If you have oily skin and are worried about clogged pores or excessive sebum production, use Niacinamide first and let it dry. Then, apply Alpha Arbutin as the second layer.

Instead of vigorously massaging the serum into the skin, you should apply it until it’s fully absorbed. It only takes two or three drops of these serums to cover the entire face. Also, remember to apply the serums to your neck because we typically use skincare products on our faces and neglect our necks. 

Remember to moisturize and apply sunblock after using alpha arbutin and Niacinamide. Moisturizing your skin is essential as skin-lightening serums sometimes dry out your skin more than your natural texture.

Alpha Arbutin can also make your skin sensitive to sunburn and sharp UV rays. If you’re trying to lighten your hyperpigmentation and not wearing sunscreen, it can cause age spots and sun spots.

Bottomline: Alpha Arbutin Vs. Niacinamide for Skin

Although the given data is not sufficient for a scientifically founded evaluation, Niacinamide shows promising results in galenic preparations for epicutaneous application. You can use Alpha Arbutin and Niacinamide together, but it is very important to take precautions after applying these products.  

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • Leyden JJ, Shergill B, Micali G, et al. Natural options for the management of hyperpigmentation. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2011;25(10):1140–1145.
  • Johannes Wohlrab, Daniela Kreft Niacinamide – mechanisms of action and its topical use in dermatology Affiliations expand PMID: 24993939 DOI: 10.1159/000359974
  • Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Cincinnati College of Pharmacy, 136 Health Professions Building, 3225 Eden Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45267-0004, USA;
  • Department of Molecular Medicine, Cell and Matrix Research Institute, BK21 Plus KNU Biomedical Convergence Program, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Daegu 41944, Korea;
  • Mechanistic Basis and Clinical Evidence for the Applications of Nicotinamide (Niacinamide) to Control Skin Aging and Pigmentation Yong Chool Boo Affiliations expand PMID: 34439563 PMCID: PMC8389214 DOI: 10.3390/antiox10081315,

Farah is a veteran writer, season journalist, and copywriting expert with over six years of professional experience in the content creation field. Her forte lies in translating medical jargon and complicated health terms into easy-to-understand language for readers who may not have a medical background. LinkedIn