The Beauty Alphabet: K is for Kojic Acid

Skin color disorders can be caused by various factors such as sunlight, aging, and hormone imbalance. There are various ways to combat these situations, and kojic acid can be an ingredient that aids in combating them.

Kojic Acid

Kojic acid comes from the Japanese term “koji“, meaning “steamed rice“. When I think of Japanese steamed rice, I think of fluffy, white rice — expect your skin to be fluffy and white (bright). Kojic acid is a by-product in the fermentation process of malting rice — the Japanese rice wine.

Kojic acid is a natural metabolite produced by fungi that has the ability to inhibit the synthesis of melanin as a tyrosinase inhibitor — it stunts melanin production, making it a great whitening agent and skin brightener. It is great for balancing skin tone and fading dark spots and hyperpigmentation. It also eliminates free radicals and strengthens cell activity.

It has efficacy as an anti-inflammatory and skin lightening agent. The CIR determined that at concentrations below 1%, Kojic acid is considered safe when looking at dermal sensitization and skin lightening.

Who should use kojic acid?

Kojic acid is great for those with unwanted pigmentation from photo-aging and age spots as it can brighten skin and reduce pigmentation. Because it has anti-inflammatory effects, kojic acid can be used by those with sensitive skin as well.

Kojic acid isn’t as popular as typical AHA’s and BHA’s, which is why you typically won’t see kojic acid in cosmetic products — but everyone has their time to shine.

Further Reading

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