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Kojic acid: Achieve glowy skin with this under-the-radar skincare ingredient

You’re probably familiar with glycolic and salicylic acids in your beauty routine, but there’s another under-the-radar acid that deserves some attention in the skincare limelight, especially if you want a brighter, more even complexion. Read on to learn everything there is to know about Kojic Acid.

What is Kojic Acid?

Kojic acid is a potent antioxidant and skin brightener derived from the fermentation of mushrooms. Unlike other acids that exfoliate the skin by dissolving the bonds between its cells, kojic acid inhibits abnormal or excessive pigment production while fading existing discoloration. It is also said to have antioxidant properties, which aid in the repair of our skin cells from the damaging effects of UV rays, pollution, and oxidative stress.

Benefits of Kojic Acid for skin

Image: Courtesy Unsplash

Acts as an antioxidant

This ingredient can help scavenge and counteract skin-damaging free radicals caused by UV exposure and pollution. This not only improves overall skin tone but also makes it a good anti-aging ingredient in general.

It is anti-inflammatory and anti-viral

Unlike many other acids, it has these distinct properties, though they are secondary to the skin-lightening benefits.

Inhibits melanin production in the skin

The pathway that leads to excess dark spots is complex, but an enzyme called tyrosinase is at the heart of the problem. Kojic acid inhibits UV-activation of tyrosinase, limiting melanin production. This means that it can help lighten existing sunspots and photodamage, fade dark marks left by acne scarring or pimples, and even improve melasma.

It has anti-fungal properties

Kojic acid is thought to have anti-fungal properties. It may aid in the prevention and treatment of fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and yeast infections.

Decrease the appearance of scars

Scar discolouration may also be reduced by this acid. Although the acid does not increase scar tissue thickness, it may reduce the dark pigmentation associated with certain types of scars. It is possible that lightening the scar will make it less visible.

Side effects of using Kojic Acid

Although side effects from kojic acid are uncommon, experts say that using a concentration greater than 1% can sometimes cause irritation. So, if you have sensitive skin, stick to a lower concentration. In terms of application, experts agree that kojic acid is generally safe to apply to your skin on a daily basis. However, when incorporating any active ingredient into your skincare routine, it’s critical to consider the other products you’re using. In general, kojic acid gets along well with other ingredients that treat dark spots, but using too many in this category can cause irritation. We believe in keeping things simple and only using one or two skin brighteners at a time.

Who should use Kojic Acid-infused products?

If you have an uneven and pigmented complexion, this ingredient may be of great benefit to you. Kojic acid is an excellent ingredient to include if you are dealing with pigmentation of any kind. It is effective on pigmentation caused by sun damage, melasma, or the more common post-inflammatory pigmentation, such as dark spots caused by acne, bug bites, or injuries. It may even help with under-eye circles caused by hyperpigmentation. However, it will not help with puffiness, hollowing, or thin skin with visible blood vessels.

Our edit of the best Kojic Acid products

All Images: Courtesy Shutterstock

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: Can i use kojic acid daily?

Answer: To begin, use kojic acid two to three times per week and gradually increase your tolerance to daily as needed.

Question: Kojic acid vs niacinamide: which is better?

Answer: Niacinamide protects the skin from damage, whereas Kojic Acid inhibits tyrosinase and treats hyperpigmentation.

Question: Kojic acid vs vitamin c serum: which is better?

Answer: Kojic acid has a higher potency than Vitamin C. The reason for this is that, unlike vitamin C, kojic acid is a stable compound. Kojic acid does not degrade as quickly as vitamin C when exposed to air or light. It is thus effective in any form of product, such as lotions, creams, serums, powders, and so on.

Kojic acid: Achieve glowy skin with this under-the-radar skincare ingredient

Anushka likes to write about fashion, beauty, and other nice things. When not bound to her keyboard, she likes to make her Pinterest boards come to life.


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