Kojic acid is a by-product in the fermentation process of malting rice, for use in the manufacturing of sake, the Japanese rice wine. Kojic Acid is widely consumed in the Japanese diet and is believed to be beneficial to health. it can be used in several different areas, such as cosmetics, food additives, pharmaceuticals etc. Kojic Acid is actually one of the most successful recent and natural skin whitening agents. Indeed, for skin whitening Kojic acid can be used to reduce dark spots, including freckles, liver spots, acne scars, and age spots.
How Kojic acid works
Skin whitening is a now a prime objective of skincare for many women, with hyper pigmentation due to sun damage or hormone variations now considered as much of an aging factor as wrinkling. Indeed, Skin may either appear lighter or darker than normal; there may be blotchy, uneven areas, patches of brown and yellow to gray discoloration or freckling. Kojic acid has been proven to be safe and effective in brightening and whitening skin discoloration or pigmentation spots on all types of complexions, even on Asian and sensitive skin. As one of the most advanced skin whitening ingredients on the market, it has been shown to work effectively on all skin types. Kojic acid can produce excellent effects in even toning the skin, fighting age spots, pregnancy marks, freckles as well as general skin pigmentation disorders of face and body.
Kojic acid works similar to other skin whitening products. Because it is a tyrosinase enzyme inhibitor, it reduces the skin's ability to produce and synthesise melanin. On a molecular level, melanin is produced in the body from the conversion (in several steps) of the amino acid tyrosine. Kojic acid works by inhibiting the tyrozinase enzyme, thereby preventing the conversion of dopa to melanin. Melanin is in fact what determines the colour pigmentation of the skin. Skin pigmentation disorders occur because the body produces either too much, or too little melanin, the darker you are the more melanin in the skin. By preventing the synthesis of melanin the kojic acid can make the area of skin whiter. Excess melanin comes to the surface and peels off in a few days. However, it normally takes 3-6 month of use to see sufficient results, and the darker your skin pigmentation, the longer you have to stay on the whitening regimen and wait until visible lightening takes place.
Be warned though, that excessive use of kojic acid can result in sun damage to the skin. Melanin is actually also the skins natural sun blocker and it protects the skin from harmful UV rays. By reducing the amount in your skin you reduce your natural defence from the sun. Be sure therefore to use plenty of sun protection while using Kojic acid products and try to stay in the shade when possible.
Kojic acid is an effective alternative to the usual skin whitening products, and you should certainly consider it an option.