Kojic acid is an all-star skincare ingredient for lightening and brightening.
An ingredient with very natural routes. Can you guess where it comes from? Mushrooms or it’s even sometimes made from rice. Kojic acid is one of very few ingredients which can lighten your skin tone without the troublesome side effects associated with hydroquinone.
When your skin tone darkens or becomes patchy and uneven, your skin has been making an excess of a pigment called melanin. Melanin is what gives skin colour and a lack of melanin i.e. no melanin, well that leads to albinism. Too much melanin causes skin to darken i.e. to form age spots whereas no melanin leaves skin colourless. Helpfully kojic acid can help your skin find a happy in-between.
Kojic acid works like this;
When your skin creates melanin it needs help from a team of enzymes called tyrosinase.
The tyrosinase enzyme is what scientists call the rate-limiting step of melanin production. Tyrosinase controls the speed at which your skin will make melanin – imagine it like an oven. If your skin has lots of active tyrosinase enzymes i.e. you oven has high heat, your skin will be able to make lots of melanin. If your skin has only a few active tyrosinase enzymes i.e. your oven has low heat your skin will be able to make only a small amount of melanin.
But what does this mean? How can Kojic acid benefit your skin?
What Kojic Acid Can Do For Your Skin?
Short answer. Kojic acid is a fantastic skincare active for lightening, brightening and evening your skin tone. Which means if you have any of the below skin concerns and are wanting a solution, kojic acid skincare can help;
- Uneven skin tone
- Unwanted pigmentation
- Post acne hyper-pigmentation also known as post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation
- Age spots aka liver spots
- A dull skin tone
All of these skin concerns are a result of your skin over-making melanin – but you don’t have to accept and live with them. Not when Kojic acid skincare can help correct your melanin balance.
Kojic Acid Skincare: How to Use
Kojic acid is an extremely adaptable skincare ingredient which can be used in your AM and PM skincare routine. However there is one other skincare ingredient you’ll want to be making sure you use – sunscreen.
Kojic acid can help lighten and brighten your skin by reducing your skin’s ability to make melanin aka to tan. However sunlight can do the opposite – sun exposure stimulates your skin to make melanin. To get the best results from using kojic acid skincare you’ll want to be making sure you’re also using a high SPF, broad-spectrum sunscreen daily.
How Long Does It Take For Kojic Acid to Work?
Once your skin’s made melanin it hangs-around for a while. Imagine how long it takes a tan to fade – this gives you a really good idea of how long it will take your kojic acid skincare to begin working. The skin all over your body is made up from several invisible to your eye layers. Your skin’s melanin pigment gets made in skin’s deepest layers which with time, moves up through these layers and is eventually exfoliated away as dead skin.
Every day your skin makes new skin cells and loses old skin cells. It averagely takes 30 days for a new skin cell to become a visible skin cell and to then very quickly exfoliate away. Meaning, the benefits of your kojic acid skincare can begin to show after around a month and will continue to build/get better with regular use.
Bottom line: Kojic acid skincare is a powerful way to help lighten and brighten your skin tone.