When skin lightening products were relatively new to the market and still only prescribed by dermatologists and doctors, usually only for severe melasma or hyperpigmentation, many consumers had never heard of kojic acid at all.
Today, kojic acid is being used in cosmetics and skin lightening products regularly because it actually works and doesn’t have the dangerous side effects of many chemicals and compounds used as main ingredients.
If you’re already using topical treatments for skin lightening or just weighing your options before you pick a type to try, you should definitely consider a product that contains kojic acid. Kojic acid has many benefits that other main ingredients can’t offer.
What Is Kojic Acid?
Kojic acid is an all-natural compound derived from fungi – sort of like mushrooms. That means that kojic acid is completely natural and not something that’s man-made in a laboratory by a group of scientists and dermatologists.
Kojic acid can be purchased raw, but buying a pre-mixed topical skin lightening treatment that contains kojic acid makes more sense for people. Most pre-mixed topical treatments have other beneficial ingredients that can help kojic acid better do its job when it comes to lightening dark spots or your overall complexion.
How Does Kojic Acid Work?
Simply put, kojic acid works to stop the production of melanin in your skin. Melanin is the substance that gives your skin its pigment, and the more you have, the darker your skin will be. Age spots, sun spots and spots related to melasma and hyperpigmentation generally contain more melanin than the surrounding healthy skin.
However, you don’t have to have a skin problem for kojic acid to work. It will work on healthy skin and reduce the production of melanin, giving your skin an overall lighter appearance wherever you use the topical treatment.
Longer Shelf Life
Many products designed for lightening the skin have a very short shelf life because they really aren’t all that stable. Products that contain kojic acid generally have a much longer shelf life because kojic acid resists oxidation and spoilage.
Since many producers of skin lightening products sell treatments for fairly long periods of time, buying one with kojic acid just makes more sense. If you have to use a skin lightening treatment for six months, you don’t want the product to go bad or stop being effective halfway through. Kojic acid won’t do that because it’s very stable.
Kojic Acid Is Effective
Many companies claim that their products work just as well as ones prescribed by dermatologists – especially companies that make all-natural products that don’t have any side effects. Unfortunately, many of the companies that make this claim are using poorly conducted studies or simply misleading people when it comes to how effective they really are.
However, kojic acid has been widely studied by many dermatologists and scientists because it is an ingredient that’s commonly used in skin care products. Kojic acid has been proven effective – unlike many other all-natural ingredients designed to lighten the skin.
Kojic Acid Is Safe
Unlike many main ingredients used in topical treatments designed to lighten the skin, kojic acid is very safe.
For example, hydroquinone, a common ingredient in dermatologist-prescribed skin lightening treatments can cause incredibly dry skin, severe rashes and even contact dermatitis –a type of short-lived yet severe allergic reaction. Kojic acid is not known to cause severe dry skin, rashes or contact dermatitis, even in people with sensitive skin.
Kojic acid isn’t just used for skin care, either. Kojic acid is also commonly used in foods as a preservative since its all-natural and helps to extend the shelf life of a given product. That means that kojic acid is so safe that it can actually be eaten without any adverse side effects.
You certainly can’t say that about other ingredients commonly found in skin lightening products. If you were to eat hydroquinone, for example, you’d need to make a trip to the emergency room right away.
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