Do you want to achieve radiant, even-toned skin in just two weeks without resorting to costly in-clinic treatments? Consider including kojic acid in your daily skin care routine. At that precise time, the potent ingredient targets and inhibits melanin production, reducing dark spots and brightening the skin.
In comparison to retinol (4–6 weeks) and tranexamic acid (8–12 weeks), kojic acid's melasma-fighting magic occurs in the blink of an eye. However, how is this accomplished? We uncover the secrets to kojic acid's rapid anti-hyperpigmentation effects.
What exactly is kojic acid?
What is the relationship between mushrooms and rice? They are both potential sources of kojic acid. Not only is the active ingredient derived from various types of mould, including mushrooms, but it is also a byproduct of foods such as sake and soy sauce fermentation.
Unlike alpha and beta hydroxy acids, kojic acid does not chemically exfoliate the skin's outermost, dead layer. It's more akin to a milder, less divisive version of hydroquinone. Both products illuminate and lighten the skin by inhibiting the formation of tyrosinase, an enzyme necessary for the production of melanin.
How is kojic acid beneficial to the skin?
Kojic acid's melanin-blocking properties make it beneficial for treating and preventing all types of hyperpigmentation, including post-inflammatory and sun-induced hyperpigmentation. It is ideal for anyone seeking a more natural way to lighten dark spots and achieve a more even complexion.
Although kojic acid is more tolerable than AHAs and BHAs, if you have sensitive skin, it may not be the best option for hyperpigmentation. Why? Contact dermatitis is the most frequently reported adverse reaction to the ingredient. It can cause flushing, itchiness, swelling, and pain.
Combine kojic acid with soothing ingredients to counteract this. Indeed, this acid is frequently combined with other ingredients to maintain healthy skin and minimise side effects — all while increasing absorption. By contrast, kojic acid is frequently combined with hydroquinone to enhance its effectiveness. I like to combine kojic acid with azelaic acid, green tea extract, and resveratrol. Previously, hydroquinone was used, but it has since been phased out.
To avoid irritation, use products containing kojic acid for no more than one or two months at a time, with a one-month break in between. As a result, I like to think of it as the project-specific equivalent of vitamin C. And, like that well-known ingredient, kojic acid increases the risk of sun damage, necessitating the use of sunscreen.
Published by Dr Niketa Sonavane