Do you have dark patches of skin due to being on the pill, pregnancy, sun damage, acne or just general patches of dark skin that you wish you could get rid of? There might just be a solution for you – an all-natural one!

Kojic acid is the key ingredient for reducing the appearance of dark spots

Kojic acid is a naturally occurring substance in many fungi species and gets its name from Aspergillus oryzae which has the Japanese name koji. This acid is also found as a by-product of fermentation in the manufacturing of Japanese rice wine or sake, as well as soy sauce.

One of the most important roles of kojic acid in skin products is its ability to prevent the formation of the amino acid, tyrosine, which is needed in the production of melanin. Since melanin affects eye colour, hair colour as well as skin colour, kojic acid will therefore aid in a lightening effect.

In the cosmetic industry – where kojic acid is used as a skin lightening agent or as a treatment of various skin conditions – it is approved for safe use in concentrations of 1% or less.

Kojic acid has been around for years and is used in creams, cleansers, powders, serums and soaps

Positive lightening results are usually seen within two to three weeks of starting treatment – and in some specific products the addition of glycolic acid or papaya enhances the results even more.

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Although kojic acid (as found in skin care products has been declared safe in concentrations of 1% or less), it is possible that some people may have an allergic reaction of some kind. The side effects can manifest as an irritation, itchiness, rashes, swelling or even pain. These side effects, known as contact dermatitis, may occur in people with sensitive skin and the use of these products must then be discontinued.

The use of a hydrocortisone cream will soothe any affected sensitive skin irritation. These products should never be used on damaged skin.

Another side effect of using kojic acid is that over time the skin becomes more susceptible to sunburn, so the use of sunscreens and the wearing of protective clothing is important.

Since approval in 1988, kojic acid has become a standard in the skin lightening industry and its efficacy is recognised worldwide.

Benefits of kojic acid for other skin problems

  • Kojic acid effectively inhibits the activity of tyrosine, a protein amino acid that promotes melanin production, and therefore lightens skin tone and reduces hyper pigmentation.
  • Kojic acid also fights aging by reducing the appearance of age spots.
  • Melasma: Kojic acid helps reduce darkening of the skin due to pregnancy or birth control pills.
  • Scarring: Kojic acid reduces the discolouration of scars.
  • Antifungal: Kojic acid has some antifungal benefits that can be used in the treatment of yeast infection and athlete’s foot.
  • Antibacterial: Kojic acid is a natural antibacterial.

Where to buy skincare products that contain kojic acid

Kojic acid is the main ingredient in Erase Labs Skin Lightening Products