How many of you are aware of the Filipino skin lightening beauty brand kojie San? maybe you’ve heard theirs about their skin lightening lotion or cream? or at least you might be aware of their most popular product the kojie san skin lightening soap which has gained widespread popularity worldwide over the years.
Anyway, what makes their products effective and safe for skin lightening is the little ingredient contained in it, and that is kojic acid.
Where is kojic acid gotten from?
Kojic acid is an agent that is extracted from different types of fungi, especially the different strains of Aspergillus (a kind of fungus). It was first discovered in 1907 and was extracted from a strain of Aspergillus called Aspergillus oryzae grown on steamed rice.
The name kojic acid is taken from the Japanese term “koji,” meaning “steamed rice.” It is widely used in cosmetic and skincare products as a whitening and brightening agent.
Kojic acid is made from several different types of fungi, it is also a byproduct when certain foods ferment, including Japanese sake, soy sauce, and rice wine.
Kojic acid inhibits and prevents the formation of tyrosine, which is an amino acid that’s needed to produce melanin. Melanin is the pigment that affects our hair, skin, and eye color, the more melanin you have in certain parts of your body, the darker it will be.
For instance, if you have more melanin in your hair it will be black if you have little to none you’d be a blondie.The same goes for the eyes and skin. So when we talk about melanin, basically everyone has it, however, to varying extent.
So because kojic acid inhibits the production of melanin, it can have a lightening effect on the skin. It has the ability to really penetrate the layers of your skin and stop the production of melanin.
Kojic acid is usually sought out as a spot-fading treatment and is often considered a less-aggressive answer to hydroquinone. Caro white is practically the most famous cosmetic product containing hydroquinone, I wrote a blog post about my experience with it a while back you should go check it out!
So are you considering giving it a go? Here are
5 things you need to know about using kojic acid for skin lightening
For those who struggle with brown spots, hyperpigmentation, and stubborn post-breakout marks, in particular, kojic acid may be the answer to your pressing concerns. With questions buzzing over whether or not the ingredient works and is safe to use, I put together a comprehensive list of everything you need to know this acid before picking up a kojic acid-infused serum, cream, soap, or lotion to include in your skincare regimen.
1: just as every other skin lightening agent out there, the result is NOT permanent.
Funny enough, we’ve heard people ask as these type of questions over and over again “how can I permanently lighten my skin”, “will kojie san or kojic acid permanently lighten up my skin?” like I said in a related blog post, there is no such thing as permanent skin lightening, so long as your body produces a certain amount of melanin in its healthy state, you skin will eventually revert back to that skin tone once you discontinue using what had caused you to get lighter in the first place.
This is relative, however. If you had gotten darker by the sun, as most people tend to do even when they use sunscreen at times. When you lighten up, you will stay that shade, unless you go back and take in another hit from the sun.Using an exfoliate or a product which contains a good balance of AHAs and BHAs, would also help you achieve similar results. We have a previous post about everything you need to know about AHA’s and BHAs and how to use it. Go check it out.
So after you stop the use of a kojic acid-infused product, your skin will eventually shift back to its natural tone. Using a product, however, with excess amounts of the ingredient can cause some serious irritation. So instead, you should only use kojic acid-infused products to fade discoloration that wasn’t originally on your skin, like age spots, sun spots, or those obnoxious post-breakout marks.
2: Kojic acid is not suitable for every skin and therefore should be used differently.
Those who have a tendency to get hyperpigmentation, whether caused by the sun, signs of aging, or post-breakout effects, can benefit from the ingredient. However, if your complexion is on the more sensitive side, incorporate it in small doses starting with your nighttime treatments. A slight inflammation and sensitivity to it is to be expected in the beginning. So just as you would with your retinol or hydroquinone, you may want to seek out a product with a lower to milder concentration altogether if you continue to experience irritation.
3: you can you different forms of kojic acid-infused product for different beauty routine.
Depending on your choice of treatment, kojic acid can be used on your skin in a variety of forms—from potent serums to one-and-done face masks, soaps or facial wash, to creams and toners. Using a mask will even out your skin tone rather than lighten it. Using kojic acid in a facial wash would act as a gentle alternative everyday treatment. If you prefer more of an overnight beauty treatment you could use creams that have been infused with kojic acid.
When using powders, it should be mixed with either water or lotion, depending on the product instructions. Some products, like soaps and cleansers, are meant to be washed off immediately. Others, like creams and serums, are designed to be left on and absorbed into the skin. (However, kojic acid overall has relatively poor absorption rates below the surface of the skin.)
Some products like face masks are designed to be used only on occasion. Creams and cleansers may be used daily if you wish.
4: there may be side effects of using kojic acid on your face.
Contact dermatitis is the most common side effect of kojic acid. It can manifest itself as redness, irritation, itchiness, rashes, swollen skin, or pain and discomfort. Contact dermatitis is most common in those with sensitive skin, or in individuals using a product with a higher concentration than 1 percent of kojic acid in a cosmetic product. Discontinue use if you’re reacting to a product with kojic acid in it.
Over time, long-term use of kojic acid may make your skin more susceptible to sunburn. Keep this in mind, and be particularly mindful of using sunscreen or wearing protective clothing
5: kojic acid can help treat acne caused by bacteria!
In addition to skin-lightening effects, kojic acid also contains some antimicrobial properties. It may help fight off several common types of bacterial strains even in small dilutions. This can help treat acne caused by bacteria in the skin. It may also lighten scars from acne that haven’t faded yet.
Kojic acid also has antifungal properties. It’s even added to some antifungal products to increase their effectiveness. It may be useful in treating fungal infections of the skin like yeast infections, candidiasis, and ringworm or athlete’s foot. If soap containing kojic acid is used regularly, it may help prevent both bacterial and fungal infections on the body.
I bought kojic acid not to look ago this year, it is in a powdered form, however, which is 99% kojic acid.
To be honest, I have only used it a couple of times, and so far, so good. Since its powdered, I have to mix it up with a little water to make a paste which I apply to my face as a mask, I leave it on for about three minutes and then I wash it off completely. I usually follow it after with a serum and a moisturizer.
I have tried many other products containing kojic acid over the years, so I might make a review of them in the feature.
What is your thought on kojic acid, is it something that you see yourself trying out in the future?