Know Your Ingredients: Kojic Acid

Kojic Acid molecule structure

What it is
Kojic Acid is a by-product of the manufacture of sake (rice wine)

What it does
Kojic acid is a skin lightener. It inhibits melanin production by blocking the enzyme essential for it, called tyrosinase. It lightens skin discolourations, such as age and dark spots, freckles, and melasma.
In addition, it has antioxidant properties.

Side effects
Kojic acid is very unstable and oxidize rapidly. When it is exposed to air, it turns into a shade of brown and loses its efficacy.
In high concentrations, it can irritate skin.
In addition, it causes sun sensitivity as well, so you should always use a sunscreen before applying Kojic Acid.

(Source: Food Chemistry March 2003, and American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, September–October 2000)

5 Comment

  1. I have never tried as my skin is very fair and I don’t have skin discolorations problems. But scientific studies claim it is very effective at lightening skin. It’s not a very used ingredient though as it is quite unstable.

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