Photostability of naturally occurring whitening agents in cosmetic microemulsions

J Cosmet Sci. 2004 Mar-Apr;55(2):139-48.


An o/w microemulsion formulated using lecithin and an alkyl glucoside as mild, non-irritant surfactants was proposed as a cosmetic vehicle for arbutin and kojic acid, naturally occurring whitening agents. After assessing the physicochemical stability of the microemulsion in the presence and absence of whitening agents, several perfumed compositions, developed using fragrant molecules of natural or synthetic origin, were introduced, and the olfactory impact of the perfumed microemulsion was evaluated. The photostability to UVB irradiation of both whitening agents was determined in aqueous solutions and in microemulsions, and also in the presence of the perfumed compositions. The stability of arbutin and kojic acid was higher in microemulsions than in aqueous solutions, and only in some cases did the presence of odorous molecules appear to influence it: linalool exerted some protective effect towards kojic acid photodegradation.

MeSH terms

  • Arbutin / chemistry
  • Cosmetics*
  • Emulsions
  • Light*
  • Pyrones / chemistry


  • Cosmetics
  • Emulsions
  • Pyrones
  • kojic acid
  • Arbutin