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Australia Reverses Arbutin Ban with Usage Specifications

Contact Author Michele Behrens
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Arbutin is typically used in cosmetic products for skin lightening/brightening.

 

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) released an update to the Standard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (SUSMP) regarding arbutin usage and labeling.

Related: Skin Whitening and Hyperpigmentation: Literature Review

More specifically, the TGA defined parameters of use for arbutin by differentiating the types of arbutin and its allowable concentration before mandatory SUSMP labeling must be used. According to the report, this action means a significant number of products previously banned in Australia can now be sold.

As the administration explains, arbutin is a naturally occurring derivative of hydroquinone that is typically used in cosmetic products for skin lightening/brightening. It works by slowly releasing hydroquinone through hydrolysis, which in turn blocks tyrosinase activity and reduces the skin’s melanin production.

It is important to note that a supplier of any type of arbutin used in cosmetics must be able to prove that the hydroquinone levels present in the arbutin are less than 10 mg/Kg.

 

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