Bearberry extract turns up more and more often in skincare. This edible red berry (which is a favorite food of bears – hence the name) has long been used in herbal medicine. It contains something called arbutin, which is a natural skin brightener.
Arbutin is a glycoside; a glycosylated hydroquinone extracted from the bearberry plant in the genus Arctostaphylos. It inhibits tyrosinase and thus prevents the formation of melanin. Arbutin is therefore used as a skin-lightening agent. Arbutin is found in wheat, and is concentrated in pear skins. It is also found in Bergenia crassifolia. Arbutin was also produced by an in vitro culture of Schisandra chinensis.
Source: Truth About Aging, Wikipedia