Skincare Active Ingredients

Kojic acid for skin

This acid is a naturally occurring compound derived from fungus. Kojic acid is widely used in Asia to improve skin clarity, by reducing pigmentation and is also used for skin whitening.

  • Tyrosinase inhibitor: kojic acid can help to treat melasma, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, brown sunspots, and freckles by decreasing melanin production.
  • Used for skin clarity and skin whitening.
  • Anti-bacterial and Anti-inflammatory: kojic acid has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to a certain extend and hence could help with acne.
  • Antioxidant: It can also fight free radicals thus preventing aging.
  • Can provide UV protection: it is not a replacement for sunscreen.
  • Anti-proliferative: kojic acid can prevent the spread of cancer.

Ester of kojic acid:

Kojic dipalmitate works just like kojic acid and is less powerful than it, making it suitable for sensitive skin and skin of colour.

Who all can use Kojic acid?

Kojic acid is suitable for all skin types except for sensitive skin and skin of colour. Kojic dipalmitate is better to use for sensitive skin and skin of colour.

What all skincare ingredients can I mix with Kojic acid?

  • Retinol
  • Vitamin C
  • Niacinamide
  • Azelaic acid
  • Peptides
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Arbutin
  • Licorice root
  • Ceramides
  • Ferulic acid
  • Tranexamic acid

How to use Kojic acid topically?

Some things to consider before applying kojic acid:

  • Kojic acid concentrations should be 1%-2%.
  • It is best used during the Hydroquinone off-cycle in melasma patients.
  • Chemical exfoliants should be used at night and only 1-2 times a week.
  • Moisturize and use sunscreen.
  • Read the packaging for instructions.
  • Use kojic acid at night (only once a day). You can use it twice a day if your able to tolerate it.
  • Use kojic dipalmitate if you have sensitive skin.

Morning routine:

  • Cleanser
  • Toner (optional).
  • You can apply skincare actives like niacinamide or vitamin C.
  • Moisturize, and
  • Use sunscreen.

Night routine:

  • Cleanser
  • Toner (optional).
  • AHA/BHA/PHA’s can be used (mandelic acid if you have sensitive skin).
  • You can then apply kojic acid or kojic dipalmitate along with other actives like retinol or vitamin C or derivatives.
  • Moisturize
  • Facial oil if you want that extra moisture.

Important note:

Kojic acid is best used with other actives and other de-pigmenting agents such as tranexamic acid and licorice root (calm and gentle for the skin).

Always consult a doctor before using kojic acid or any other actives.

Frequently asked questions:

Is kojic acid safe during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

Kojic acid is said to be safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding, but it is still better to consult a doctor about it.

Is kojic acid AHA or BHA?

Kojic acid is like AHA and BHA, three of these help in reducing hyperpigmentation along with other benefits.

Can Kojic acid cause purging?

Yes, kojic acid can cause purging because it is an ingredient that can promote cellular turnover. By promoting new cells to turnover, kojic acid can reduce pigmentation and brighten the face.

How do you know if Kojic acid is causing purging?

  • It forms after the introduction of a new product with a specific ingredient that can increase cell turnover rate.
  • If it occurs only on specific acne-prone areas of your face.
  • If it lasts for only 4-6 weeks.

Can I use kojic acid with adapalene?

Yes, you can kojic acid with adapalene as long as you use them both at separate times of the day and there is no irritation from these two actives. You can use kojic acid in the morning and adapalene at night

Can I use kojic acid with tretinoin?

Yes, you can use kojic acid with tretinoin as long as you use them both at separate times of the day and there is no irritation. You can use kojic acid in the morning and tretinoin at night.

Can I use kojic acid and niacinamide together?

Yes, you can use kojic acid and niacinamide together as long as you use them both at separate times of the day. You can use kojic acid in the morning and niacinamide at night or use them both at the same time (if there is no irritation).