Latin name Arctostaphylos uva ursi, there is research showing that this extract has antibacterial and antioxidant properties (Sources: Food Microbiology
, April 2003, pages 211–216; and Pharmaceutical Biology
, June–July 2004, pages 289–291), and there is a small amount of research showing it can have skin-lightening properties (Source: International Journal of Dermatology
, February 2003, pages 153–156). Bearberry extract’s potential efficacy is derived from its active components: hydroquinone and arbutin (Sources: Phytochemical Analysis
, September–October 2001, pages 336–339; and http://supplementwatch.com/suplib/supplement.asp?DocId=1306). Hydroquinone is well established as a melanin-inhibiting agent; arbutin has far less quantitative information available, but in high concentrations it has shown it can inhibit melanin production (Source: Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin
, January 1996, pages 153–156). However, the small amount of bearberry extract present in skin-care products makes it unlikely that these products can affect melanin production.