comparing 2 alpha arbutin products… the ordinary and skin functional

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The beginning of 2021 saw me introducing alpha arbutin to my skincare routine. I have been forever trying to reduce the hyperpigmentation on my skin and it’s a constant battle because each pimple I get is guaranteed to leave a dark mark *sigh*. I started off buying from The Ordinary and recently bought the Skin Functional formula – in this post I will be comparing the offering from both brands.

I won’t be comparing the brands according to which worked better for me because I haven’t used the Skin Functional one long enough. Honestly, I don’t expect to see a significant difference between the 2 brands. So to help you make your choice I will be using the criteria of: texture and feel, ingredients as well as price and availability.

What they say
The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin reduces the looks of age spots and can help improve skin tone. It’s used at a high 2% concentration versus a standard concentration of 1% and supported with a next-generation form of Hyaluronic Acid for enhanced delivery.
Skin Functional Indicated for the long-term management of dark marks. A blend of Alpha Arbutin and plant extracts work synergistically to degrade existing dark marks and inhibit further dark mark formation. This concentrated formula has a dual brightening effect, where existing dark marks are improved while reducing the formation of new dark marks.

the ordinary 2% alpha arbutin and hyalurronic acid

How I use it
I use alpha arbutin in my morning skincare routine after I apply my hydrating toner and before I apply moisturiser.

Texture and feel
Both products are a viscousy liquid with a sticky, gel-like texture. I find The Ordinary one to be a bit more viscous and sticky, the stickiness disappears after a while. I find the products to apply similarly; they are fast absorbing and give my skin a glow.

Ingredients
The only similarities in the ingredients for these products are water and the 2% Alpha Arbutin. The Ordinary’s formula has hydrolyzed sodium hyaluronate as one of the ingredients. The top 5 ingredients for each product are:

The Ordinary Aqua (Water), Alpha-Arbutin, Polyacrylate Crosspolymer-6, Hydrolyzed Sodium Hyaluronate, Propanediol

Skin Functional Aqua, Ethoxydiglycol, Alpha Arbutin, Propanediol, Pentylene Glycol

SkinFunctional Dark Mark Management 2% alpha arbutin

Price and availability
Each brands sells their version of the product in a 30ml glass bottle. The Ordinary’s 2% Alpha Arbutin is the cheapest for South Africans on Cult Beauty for £7. Skin Functional’s Dark Management is sold on the Skin Functional website for R240 and on Beauty on TApp (where I bought mine) for the same price.

My verdict
In my opinion the Alpha Arbutin products from both brands are very similar, however I prefer The Ordinary one as it has hyaluronic acid so it covers my skin hydration and fighting hyperpigmentation needs in one product.

Have you used any of these products?

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Tatie

    Too bad no one stocks Ski Functional this side of the Limpopo (boo hoo) but I will definitely be trying The Ordinary, your blog has turned me into a skincare junkie lol

    1. Lungi

      my apologies for turning you into a junkie

  2. Matlhatsi

    I have used the Ordinary and it has done Wonders for the hyperpigmentation around my eyes, have been wondering wht the difference would be between the 2 brands cause the Ordinary is a bit pricey.
    Thank for the review.

  3. Patience

    As soon as I get my coins I am getting The Ordinary one

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