The Ordinary Alpha-Arbutin 2% + HA Serum is an effective and very affordable serum if you need skin brightening/evening. It is a clear, medium-textured gel serum dispensed from a dropper style bottle. I found about 4-6 drops was about the right amount for each use.
The Ordinary serums are (mostly) really good options for sensitive skin, since they are almost all fragrance free and alcohol free. Many are also silicone free. The whole line is cruelty free and vegan as well, which is great.
If you have dark spots or hyperpigmentation, you will find the 2% alpha arbutin in this formula to improve your overall skin tone, making it more even over time. I definitely found that post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) went away much more quickly when I was using this serum. It usually takes months, but now it’s usually gone within a few weeks unless it was a particularly bad blemish. I also experienced some slight lightening of a couple dark sun spots on my cheeks. They are much less noticeable now than they were a few months ago. And I was really bad about being consistent with applying this serum, only using it a few times a week when I remembered to do so. I’m sure it would work even better if you use it every day.
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Alpha-Arbutin, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Propanediol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Lactic Acid, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.
I generally used this at night only. The Ordinary recommends using it twice daily, but I didn’t like how it layered with other products. It was a bit heavy and seemed to slow the absorption of other products (something I don’t want to deal with in the AM, but for PM I don’t care). But despite this, I experienced no clogged pores or breakouts. Nor any kind of irritation on my sensitive skin. It also has a bit of hyaluronic acid, so it provides a bit of hydration as well.
I definitely recommend trying this if you want a good brightening serum to help even your skin tone for a good price.
The Ordinary Alpha-Arbutin 2% + HA Serum is available for $9 USD in a 1oz bottle at Asos.