uva ursi

{Arctostaphylos uva-ursi}

General: Also called bearberry (uva ursi is Latin for "bear grape") this shrub thrives in the mountains of Asia, North America, and Europe. It has a long history of use as a diuretic to treat kidney and bladder issues.

Skin Benefits: Besides an antioxidant and astrigent (tightening) effect, bearberry leaves are one of the only natural sources of hydroquinone, a compound that inhibits melanin (pigment) production, creating a noticeable lightening effect. Synthetic hydroquinone, often sold in skin-lightening products, irritates that skin and can actually increase skin sensitivity to sun, further hyperpigmentation over time. We use this natural melanin-inhibitor in Ultra-C Radiance Serum.

Source: U.S.A. | Wildharvested

Method of Extraction: Dried leaves infused in water.

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Photo by Sten Porse (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons