Bearberry for Skin: A Beginner’s Guide

bearberry for skin 

Bearberry is a Wonder Extract for Your Skin

We started using bearberry extract at the very beginning of our formulation journey.  All along it has been a God send for helping keep skin clear as well as diminishing sun spots and discoloration.

As you’ll see below, there are derivatives that come from the bearberry plant, that are great for your skin, including arbutin, betulinic acid, ellagic acid, and allentoin.  We’ll dive in more about each thing as you read on.

History of Bearberry

Bearberry, or kinnickinnick, trailing, evergreen shrub of heather family. Flexible, rooting branches grow up to 2 m long, are covered with reddish, shreddy bark and bear alternate, dark green, oval leaves. Small, waxy, urn-shaped flowers are white or pink, tipped with red. They grow in small clusters at branch ends, in late spring and early summer, and develop into bright red, fleshy fruits. The genus name, Arctostaphylos, derives from Greek arctos, "bear," staphylos, "bunch of grapes"; species name, uva-ursi, from Latin uva, "bunch of grapes," ursus, "bear" - literally "bearberry, berry-bear."

Bearberry grows across Canada on dry sandy soils (often called sandberry), but is also found on gravel terraces, sand dunes and in the boreal forest, and is valuable as ground cover for checking erosion on watersheds. It is less common above the treeline. Kinnickinnick [Algonquian, "that which is mixed"] leaves were combined with tobacco and smoked by Blackfoot and other native groups in religious ceremonies.

Bearberry extract has a high content of tannic and gallic acids which make it an astringent. It also contains arbutin, which becomes a germicide in the renal tract. The Thompson tribe of BC used it for kidney diseases, and the Blackfoot made an infusion for sore gums, and salve for skin diseases.

bearberry for skin

How Your Skin Can Benefit from Bearberry

Bearberry is also known as Uva Ursi.  It is commonly used as an astringent in cosmetic preparations and skin care products. It is also used as a lightening agent to fade freckles or skin discoloration which may be caused by sun damage or hormonal conditions. Bearberry extract is reputed to have antibacterial and antioxidant properties that may be beneficial for cleansing the skin and improving its appearance, as a big benefit to people with acne.

It contains a few sought after ingredients Allantoin (wound healing), Arbutin (natural lightening), Betulinic Acid (improves elasticity and cancer preventative), Ellagic Acid (natural lightening and antioxidant).

The reason bearberry (uva ursi) has so many benefits for the skin? It contains a natural chemical called arbutin. The leaves of the bearberry shrubs are very rich on arbutin, which is a naturally occurring form of hydroquinone.

Hydroquinone can help brighten the skin because it blocks a specific enzyme called tyrosinase, responsible for producing melanin (which darkens the skin). Traditionally, melanin naturally protects us against the sun, but scars, UV rays, and hormonal changes often lead to an overproduction of it, causing dark spots. Other conditions, like hyperpigmentation or melasma, can also cause them as well.

The solution? Bearberry and or it’s derivative arbutin (which again includes naturally occurring hydroquinone).   It can stop the overproduction of melanin and give your skin bright new cells that could even out your skin tone and lighten your complexion.

So keep your eye out for products that contain bearberry extract, also known as uva ursi, and/or arbutin.

ONE. Bearberry can brighten or lighten skin, sun damage, or sun spots.  As noted above, bearberry can slow down the over production of melanin and therefore help clear skin of sun spots and pigmentation issues.

TWO.  Bearberry is full of tannins and polyphenols, which means it’s can reduce inflammation and oxidation, and therefore can give your skin the break it needs to create more collagen, hence the ability to help with anti aging.

THREE.  Bearberry can minimize the size of pores.   Because bearberry is astringent and anti-inflammatory, It’s great for calming down skin, pores and keeping them clear.

FOUR.  Bearberry is great for getting acne breakouts under control.  Offers a variety of medicinal benefits but is mainly known for it’s anti inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant qualities. It’s wonderful for acne care, as it has astringent and disinfectant qualities, and kills the bacteria that causes acne.

Our Skin Lightening Face Cream is a great choice if you're looking for bearberry and it's derivatives


Our skin lightening face cream is highly concentrated with plant based ingredients that are proven to brighten and lighten skin, like alpha arbutin, vitamin c, niacinamide, kojic acid, lemon peel bioferment, Nordic flowers, and willow bark.

Naturally reduce sun spots, aging discoloration, uneven skin tone, discoloration from acne scarring, and pigmentation issues.  

Each product is made fresh the day you order it. 

Enjoy free shipping in the US.

Chemical free, synthetic free, paraben free, sulfate free, cruelty free. Organic and earth derived ingredients. Made with love, one order at a time.


• Significantly reduce sun discoloration.
• Have more even skin tone.
• Brighten skin naturally.


Apply skin lightening face cream to clean, dry skin AM and/or PM.


Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe) Leaf Juice, Alpha Arbutin, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Ester), Azadirachta Indica (Organic Neem) Seed Oil, Candelilla Wax, Carnosine, Centella Asiatica, Cocos Nucifera (Organic Coconut) Oil, Elderberry Extract, Ginger Extract, Kojic Acid, Glycerin, Green Tea Extract Lemon Essential Oil, Lemon Peel Bioferment, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Primula Veris Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract, Veronica Officinalis Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Montmorillonite (Green Clay) Extract, Niacinamide, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Organic Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Salix Alba (Organic White Willow) Bark Extract, Sea Kelp Bioferment, Stearic Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Vaccinium Corymbosum (Organic Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Organic Cranberry) Fruit Extract, Xanthan Gum


This natural skin lightening face cream highlights some key important ingredients, as follows:

Alpha Arbutin:  Alpha Arbutin is derived from the Bearberry plant, and is the natural alternative to skin lightening. While it is natural, it can be faster and safer than chemical alternatives. Arbutin will correct sun spots and discoloration.

Kojic Acid:  Kojic acid has been proven to lighten visible sun damage, age spots, and scars. This can result in an anti-aging effect on the skin. In addition to skin-lightening effects, kojic acid also contains some antimicrobial properties.

Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Primula Veris Extract, Alchemilla Vulgaris Extract, Veronica Officinalis Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, and Achillea Millefolium Extract:  Our clinically proven skin lightening and tone evening complex, derived from Alpine plants.

Niacinamide:  Improves skin color, decreases inflammation, improves blotchiness, and can lighten skin per the National Library of Medicine.

Willow Bark:  Naturally derived and contains the natural version of salicylic acid. Promotes cell turnover, exfoliation, acne prevention, and the reduction of wrinkles. 


Bearberry and all of it’s derivatives (arbutin, allentoin, betulinic acid, ellagic acid) are very good for your skin and skin care goals.  Anytime you can benefit from a natural ingredient such as bearberry, you’re on the right track to brighter, clearer skin.

Jeanette @ | Owner, Formulator & Herbal Expert