Kojic acid is a scientifically studied and effective skin brightening agent. It can be used to lighten all forms of hyperpigmentation (melasma, dark spots, and sunspots) as it inhibits the enzyme that controls the production of skin pigment (melanin). Kojic acids is known as a tyrosinase inhibitor.
Kojic acid evens the skin tone and prevents the formation of existing dark spots. In addition, the molecule has additional anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
Kojic acid is a skin lightening (depigmenting) agent used to treat hyperpigmentation. It is produced from various microbes and the fermentation of soy and rice.
Hyperpigmentation is the result of an uneven distribution of skin pigment called melanin. Melanin is produced during a process called melanogenesis that can be triggered by inflammation, sun exposure, or hormonal changes. Any changes in melanogenesis such as an increase in melanocytes, melanosomes production, melanin synthesis, and/or melanocyte hyperplasia (greater deposition of melanocytes within the skin) can result in hyperpigmentation.
The production of melanin is under the control of an enzyme called tyrosinase. Kojic acid blocks the activity of tyrosinase, and therefore, decreases the synthesis of melanin. This brightens existing dark spots and prevents the formation of hyperpigmentation.
Apart from acting as a skin lightening agent, Kojic acid also has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and antioxidant properties. It also does not cause sun sensitivity as it can act as a UV filter in certain circumstances.
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2. Amin P, Chandorkar N, Tambe S. Alpha Arbutin as a Skin Lightening Agent: A Review. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Research. 2021;13(02).