If you have been researching lightening skincare products, you may have heard of the ingredient kojic acid. This is used to whiten skin, and it primarily works for dark spots and freckles. Here is an explanation of how kojic acid works and what you may want to know about using it.
Where Does Kojic Acid Come from?
Kojic acid was originally found in 1989 in mushrooms from Japan, but it has since been discovered in other substances, like the residue that comes from fermenting rice wine. Scientists have noted the acid in soy, rice, and other grains, but most of the world’s supply of it still comes from mushrooms.
How Does Kojic Acid Work?
Kojic acid is absorbed into the skin through tropical solutions, like soaps, creams, lotions, and moisturizers. As the skin pulls in the acid, the kojic starts to slow down the production of melanin. Melanin is the element that makes the skin darker. When it is concentrated in one area, it can leave a dark spot. By slowing this production, the kojic acid makes the skin lighter, brighter, and more vibrant.
How Can I Use Kojic Acid?
To use kojic acid, you need to find a product that contains it. This will be a cream or soap of some sort that you apply directly to the skin you want lightened. The exact application for the product will depend on what you use, but you will either let it soak into the skin or rinse it off. It will probably take a few sessions to show its full effects, but eventually you will have lighter and more evenly colored skin.
Concerns with Kojic Acid
If you have sensitive skin, you may experience some irritation with kojic acid. If this gets to the point that it burns or stings for long periods of time, it may be best to find an alternative product. You may experience some tingling no matter what, but it should be quick and painless. Anything beyond that is a cause of concern.
As with any skincare product, kojic acid products can cause sensitivity if used for long stretches of time. The lightened areas of the skin impacted by the acid may be prone to sunburn, so it is important to wear protection when going outside. You’ll want to do this anyway to preserve your newly-white glow.
Alternative Uses for Kojic Acid
Beyond the skincare market, kojic acid is also used in food storage to keep foods fresher longer. It is also used to kill certain bacteria, and it is becoming a popular choice for acne control. The acid controls the production of acne-causing bacteria, thus reducing the amount of blemishes on the skin.
For the most part, you will see kojic acid in skin lightening creams and cleansing products. If you happen to benefit from it in other ways though, great! The goal here is to make sure that your skin looks the best that it possibly can, no matter where you go or what your current concerns may be. Perhaps kojic acid is just the solution you have been looking for.