Acids are part of our daily routines, but we are mainly used to glycolic and salicylic. It's time to introduce you to a new friend: kojic acid.
If your ultimate skincare goal is to have a brighter skin, then this might be exactly what you were looking for. But, before we get too excited, let's see what this is all about, shall we?
What is kojic acid?
Kojic acid is the byproduct of different fungi. Unlike other acids that work exfoliating the skin, kojic acid inhibits pigment production. It also has the added benefit of working perfectly well with other ingredients such as hydroquinone (a star, when it comes to skin-lightening). Dermatologists tend to recommend these two together.
What are the benefits?
As mentioned before, kojic acid inhibits pigment production. Long story short (and over-simplified): dark spots are caused by an enzyme called tyrosinase, which is blocked by kojic acid. This is why it is so helpful to treat dark spots, marks from acne and it can even improve melasma.
Kojic acid can also act as an antioxidant, so it is great for counteract free radicals, that can cause serious skin damage. This helps improve skin tone and it is a great anti-aging ingredient.
That's not all. Kojic acid has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. These features are quite rare for an acid, making it a potential star.
Are there any side effects?
As a general rule, and according to experts, kojic acid is actually better tolerated than other acids, but of course, it can cause an allergic reaction or irritation to some people. Although it is not usual, kojic acid can cause a red rash, itching, irritation, and burning. If you usually have sensitive skin, it is recommended to use kojic-based products once or twice a week. As usual, if you are in doubt, check with your dermatologist!