Arbutin is derived from the leaves of cranberry, mulberry or blueberry shrubs. It is known to prohibit the development of melanin which is the pigment in skin. It appears as an ingredient in natural whitening agents used to treat age spots, freckles, melasma and other skin color issues. Arbutin is considered a safe alternative to hydroquinone, a popular chemical-based depigmenting agents. The effects of arbutin are dependent on its concentration. Higher concentrations are more effective than lower concentrations, but they can sometimes result in the reverse result – an increase of hyperpigmentation.