beauty loving beauty review

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% +HA vs. InstaNatural 25% Skin Brightening Serum

We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

It wasn’t that long ago that many of us were looking at alternatives for our favorite The Ordinary formulas. Some of us still are! I’ve been testing out one, and wanted to share my findings!
I’ve been using the InstaNatural Skin Brightening Serum in place of The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA for a little over a month. Both products have similar claims and ingredients, so it’s really up to you to decide which one you’d like in your routine.


The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA claims from The Ordinary website
Alpha Arbutin reduces the looks of spots and hyper-pigmentation. 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. Alpha Arbutin is much stronger in effect than Arbutin or Beta Arbutin.
InstaNatural Skin Brightening Serum claims from the InstaNatural website
Our Pro-Radiant Skin Brightening Serum is a blend of brightening ingredients designed to address discoloration and uneven skin tone. Vitamin C and Alpha-Arbutin target hyperpigmentation and visibly reduce the appearance of dark spots, while Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide nourish the skin, addressing dehydration, lines and wrinkles.

  • Vitamin C provides antioxidant support to defend against UV and free radical damage
  • Powerful skin brightening ingredients like Licorice Extract, Alpha-Arbutin and Niacinamide provide a safe way to brighten and even the skin, tackling discoloration at the source
  • CoQ10 and Hyaluronic Acid provide lightweight hydration and anti-aging benefits to support healthy collagen production
  • Shape Magazine agrees this serum is the best option for restoring your skin’s youthful glow


The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA
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.
Our formulations are updated from time to time as part of our commitment to innovation. As such, the ingredient list shown here may vary from the box of the product depending on time and region of purchase.
InstaNatural Skin Brightening Serum
Water (Aqua), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Glycerin*, Niacinamide, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Alpha-Arbutin, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Undaria Pinnatifida Cell Culture Extract, Astaxanthin, Hesperidin, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis Flower Extract, Argania Spinosa (Argan) Kernel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Prunus Virginiana Bark Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Hydrangea Arborescens Root Extract, Punica Granatum Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum*, Pentylene Glycol*, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin. *Naturally Derived


I’ve used both products, and honestly like both of them because my experience has been positive with both. I can say I enjoyed the InstaNatural Skin Brightening Serum a bit more because of the pretty orange color and citrus smell…I know, not really a reason to enjoy a product, but I’m being honest. It’s not boring, and it’s not plain. The InstaNatural Skin Brightening Serum will run you about $20 and The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA runs about $8.90. Both bottles are 30 ml..
The price difference is completely explainable. The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA contains less ingredients than the InstaNatural Skin Brightening Serum. Niacinamide is an ingredient my skin absolutely loves, and I can get my fix with the InstaNatural Skin Brightening Serum. It really takes out the need for another product thus cutting the time I spend with my nighttime routine down.
If I had to buy one of these products right now, I’d choose the InstaNatural Skin Brightening Serum. In my eyes, it has more ingredients that my skin loves and takes one more bottle off my counter. I won’t get into the train wreck that has become The Ordinary, but I do hope they get back on track!
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Disclaimer- I received the InstaNatural Skin Brightening Serum
complimentary from the brand. All opinions are 100% my own.
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  • Reply Hannah Jacqueline

    This looks so good! I definitely need to try it! What type of skin do you have?

    April 9, 2018 at 2:09 pm
    • Reply Nikol

      Combo! I get dry during the winter though!

      April 9, 2018 at 4:33 pm

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