How Kojic Acid Annihilates Hyperpigmentation

Need to get your skin glowing and even-toned in two weeks without any fancy in-office treatments? Consider adding kojic acid to your skin-care routine. According to cosmetic chemist Ginger King, the powerful ingredient targets and inhibits the production of melanin to diminish dark spots and brighten skin in that exact time frame. 

Never fear, this essential skincare primer is a quick read …

Compared to retinol (four to six weeks) and tranexamic acid (eight to 12 weeks), kojic acid's melasma-fighting magic works basically in a blink of an eye. But how does it do it? We asked King, as well as board-certified dermatologists, to share the secrets behind kojic acid's speedy, hyperpigmentation-busting benefits. 

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Why is it special?

  • Reduces Hyperpigmentation and melasma.
  • Improves texture, fades dark spots and gives you a visibly even skin tone, naturally. 
  • Enhances skin for a luminous bare-faced glow. 
  • Safe for all skin types, no nasties, cruelty-free.

What exactly is kojic acid? 

What do fungus and rice have in common? They are both potential sources of kojic acid. Not only is the active ingredient often derived from several types of mold, including mushrooms, but it's also a by-product of the fermentation of foods, including sake and soy sauce.

Unlike alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids, kojic acid won't even out your complexion by chemically exfoliating the outermost, dead layer of skin, Instead, it's more like a low-key, less controversial version of hydroquinone. 

Both lighten and illuminate skin by inhibiting the formation of tyrosinase, which is an enzyme that is essential for melanin production. 

How does kojic acid benefit skin? 

Because of its melanin-blocking properties, kojic acid is helpful with treating and preventing hyperpigmentation of all types, including post-inflammatory and sun-induced. "It is best for anyone looking for a more naturally occurring ingredient to lighten dark spots and provide a more even complexion.

Although kojic acid is more tolerated than AHAs and BHAs, it may not be the best option for your hyperpigmentation woes if you have sensitive skin. Why? Contact dermatitis is the ingredient's most common side effect. "It can cause redness, irritation, swelling, itchiness, and pain when it causes a flare-up. 

To combat this, kojic acid should be paired with soothing ingredients, Rieder says. In fact, this acid is often compounded with other ingredients to keep skin happy and side-effect-free — all the while helping it absorb better. 

On the flip side, kojic acid is also often combined with hydroquinone to increase its potency. For both of these reasons, I'm a fan of Agency's Dark Spot Formula, which is custom mixed based on your skin's specific needs on a month-to-month basis. 

In general, Rieder recommends only using kojic acid-spiked products for one or two months at a time with a break with the same time span to avoid irritation. Because of this, I like to think of it as a project-by-project basis version of vitamin C. And like that beloved ingredient, kojic acid "also increases sun damage potential, so sunscreen is required.

Whitening Kojic Acid Soap

Why is it special?

  • Brighten skin tone.
  • Prevent melanin formation which lighten Hyperpigmentation. 
  • Promote skin metabolism, and regenerate damaged skin cells.

What are the best kojic acid products on the market

SkinBrightening Oil or Kojic Acid Shop is the way to go. "It combines kojic acid, niacinamide, and tranexamic acid to provide a multi-pronged approach to treating stubborn dark spots. The oil is even safe for use during pregnancy or nursing, slotting it into your morning and nighttime skin-care routines as it's safe for daily use.

Above all, treat your skin lovingly with only the very best natural products.

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Respected skincare know-it-alls recommend a high-quality skincare (SANDBOX Brightening Oil) featuring turmeric and Vitamin C to even skin tone and texture, tackle hyperpigmentation and acne, and more.

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In the end, the most trustworthy skincare experts are beauties, just like you, who put this mask to the test.

So take a tip from Mother Nature, skincare experts and beauties just like you…

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