A comparison of the Alpha arbutin and ursolic acid

- Dec 22, 2020-

In daily life, we often see two products with very similar names. In fact, the naming of products is for competition in supermarket, but the naming of some substances in nature follows certain rules. Alpha arbutin and Ursolic acid are both plant extracts, which have greater efficacy, especially in the cosmetics industry. So, what are the differences between them?

Alpha arbutin

ursolic acid powder

Alpha Arbutin is white needle-like crystals or powder. Density: 1.556g/cm3, melting point: 195-198°C, boiling point: 561.6ºC at 760 mmHg, flash point: 293.4ºC, water solubility: 10-15 g/100 mL at 20 ºC, vapor pressure: 1.9E- 13mmHg at 25°C.

The high content of ursolic acid is shiny prismatic (absolute ethanol) or fine-hair-like needle-like crystals (dilute ethanol), the low content is brown-yellow or yellow-green powder. It has a special smell and is one of the natural plants. which is a five-ring triterpenoid compound. Melting point: 283~288℃. Specific optical rotation [α]D25 +67.5°(C=1, 1mol/L potassium hydroxide alcohol solution). At 15°C, 1 ml of ethanol (99%) can dissolve 10 mg, and 1 ml of boiling can dissolve 45 mg. Insoluble in water, but still in methanol, methanol, acetone, pyridine, petroleum ether.

Alpha arbutin structure

ursolic acid structure

Arbutin is extracted from the leaves of bearberry, which can inhibit the production of melanin by inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase in the body, thereby reducing skin pigmentation, removing stains and freckles, It also can anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory . Mainly used in the preparation of high-end cosmetics.

Ursolic acid is a kind of triterpenoid compound that exists in natural plants. It has many biological effects such as sedation, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-diabetic, anti-ulcer, lowering blood sugar, etc. Ursolic acid also has obvious antioxidant function Therefore, it is widely used as a raw material for medicine and cosmetics.

Arbutin is used in high-end cosmetics , it can be formulated into skin care creams, freckle creams, high-grade pearl creams, etc., which can not only beautify skin care, but also have properties of anti-inflammatory and anti-irritation .

high-end cosmetics.jpg ursolic acid powder for medicine

The clinical manifestations of ursolic acid can significantly and rapidly reduce alanine aminotransferase, serum aminotransferase, reduce jaundice, increase appetite, anti-fibrosis and restore liver function. It has the characteristics of quick effect, short treatment course and stable effect.

The above is a brief introduction to Alpha arbutin and ursolic acid. In general, the difference in efficacy is not very obvious.


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