Kojic acid is an ingredient frequently found in skin care products that is primarily used to whiten one’s skin. There are many applications for this product, such as using it to lighten freckles or dark spots on the skin.
Though it is typically used for cosmetic purposes, it can also be used to kill certain bacteria and to preserve food color. When applied on the skin, it lowers the amount of melanin (pigment) produced, thus reducing dark spots.
Kojic acid was first discovered in mushrooms in Japan, 1989. The same acid can also be found in other substances like leftover residue while fermenting Japanese rice wine. Studies have also shown that this acid is present in other natural foods like rice and soy.
There are many beauty products that contain kojic acid, including creams, lotions, and soaps. Many use these products on their face to try and whiten and even out their complexion. It can also be used to treat skin discoloration conditions that alter the color of their skin like melasma.
Some customers use these products to remove sunspots, freckles, and other unwanted pigmentations. This ingredient is so prevalent, it can even be found in some tooth whiteners. Shortly after applying kojic acid, individuals may experience a stinging sensation on the areas of skin they put it on.
Those who have sensitive skin may even get a skin irritation from using products containing the acid. Furthermore, areas that have been treated with kojic acid become more susceptible to burns from the sun’s UV rays.
There are various health benefits to using kojic acid. For one, it is known for its antibacterial and antioxidizing capabilities. It also helps with proper food storage since it can allow food to remain fresh for longer periods of time.
Some dermatologists will prescribe kojic cream as the preferred treatment method for acne since it can be applied topically to kill acne-causing bacteria.
Many products that use kojic acid as an ingredient usually have very small amounts of it. This is because there is uncertainty regarding how safe it is to use in large amounts in the long term. These concerns rise due to the carcinogenicity of this lightening product since there have been conflicting studies based on animal studies.
As of yet, there are no cases involving cancer in humans from using it. As it is with any other skin care product on the market, consumers need to do their due diligence and take caution when applying kojic acid to their skin.
Most skin lightening products are typically fine if used sparingly on the skin but may result in irritation if used frequently for a long time. Skin care experts also recommend people test out new products if their skin becomes irritated or whitens too much using the current product.