Kojic acid is THE natural solution to treating dark spots and lightening the skin. This acid is a chemical derived from mushrooms, and can also be created through the process of fermenting rice. Its primary function is to reduce the appearance of dark spots that can arise from sun damage, aging, scars, or post-breakout effects, and is most beneficial to individuals who have a high tendency to get hyperpigmentation on their face.
Specifically, kojic acid is great for lightening the skin and reducing dark spots because it has a scientifically-proven effect on melanin production. Melanin is the pigment in our bodies which gives our eyes, hair, and skin their colour, and tyrosine is an enzyme that supports its production. Kojic acid makes its impact when it blocks tyrosine from forming, leading to lower melanin levels in your body and thus lightening your skin’s dark spots.
As such, this acid is an all-time favorite for achieving anti-aging effects, making you feel confident in your skin by reducing pigmentation of scars, and treating melasma: the darkening of the skin during pregnancy. It contains antioxidants that help combat free-radical damage caused by exposure to UV rays and/or pollution, and can also be used as a preventative tool against common types of bacterial skin infections.
This powerful chemical is widely used in skin creams, lotions, and serum formulas, and is a great alternative to hydroquinone – which is also a skin lightening cream that can sometimes irritate sensitive skin.
While the magnitude of the benefits are large, it is also important to note some of the risks involved with applying kojic acid to your face. If you have sensitive skin, it is recommended to start with smaller treatments because you may experience slight inflammation and/or sensitivity in the form of a red rash or irritation. It goes without saying, but do not use products that contain this acid if you are allergic to it, and do not apply it directly on wounds, lips, or eyelids.
Nonetheless, the results you will achieve by incorporating kojic acid in your skincare routine will surely be recognizable. As cliché as it sounds, it will indeed turn your frown upside down!
Written by: Adi Tzadok