An Alternative To Hydroquinone For Skin Lightening Kojic Acid

Posted by molanparker on May 1st, 2017

If you suffer from any sort of skin discolouration, you might have searched for products with skin lightening agents such as hydroquinone or Kojic acid. Hydroquinone has been considered a gold standard in skin lightening till recently but its use has been banned in several countries due to the potential risks of skin cancer.

Kojic acid is a natural acid that has gained immense popularity due to its skin lightening and brightening qualities with minimal side effects. It has now widely replaced hydroquinone in skin lightening skincare products. It is derived from various fungi like mushrooms and sake.

How kojic acid works?

Tyrosinase is an enzyme which plays an important role in the production of melanin, a colour pigment within the skin. Kojic acid works by inhibiting the function of an enzyme known as ‘tyrosinase’. Different research studies have verified the effectiveness of kojic acid as a highly effective skin lightening agent with results similar to that of hydroquinone .

Kojic acid is not just a skin lightener; it also has antioxidant, antifungal and antibacterial properties due to which it is used in numerous skincare formulations and treatments for treating different skin conditions. Melasma is difficult to treat skin discolouration. Kojic acid has been found to be effective in the treatment of melasma. The results of a study showed that a combined use of a kojic acid with glycolic acid caused a noticeable reduction in skin pigmentation . The use of kojic acid in 1% to 2.5% concentrations is shown to be effective for treating hyperpigmentation .

Lim JT. Treatment of melasma using kojic acid in a gel containing hydroquinone and glycolic acid. Dermatol Surg 25(4):282-4 (1999 Apr).
Garcia A, Fulton JE Jr. The combination of glycolic acid and hydroquinone or kojic acid for the treatment of melasma and related conditions. Dermatol Surg 22(5):443-7 (1996 May).

Due to antioxidant properties of a kojic acid, it helps to eliminate free radicals while keeping the skin cells in a healthy state. The use of kojic acid in skin peel London treatment improves skin tone, removes oxidative stress and reduce the signs of ageing caused due to premature skin ageing.

The use of kojic acid in skin facial peel treatment restores even skin tone, improves pigmentation and lightens skin tone.
Lim JT. Treatment of melasma using kojic acid in a gel containing hydroquinone and glycolic acid. Dermatol Surg 1999;25:282-4

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