Kojic Acid: The powerful skin lightening compound for Hyperpigmentation

kojic acid

Kojic Acid:

The powerful skin lightening compound for Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is the new wrinkle. Uneven skin tone and dark patches of pigmentation can make the face look worn down, tired, and unhealthy. And unfortunately, the majority of men and women suffer from some form of hyperpigmentation. In part I of SKINNEY Medspa’s series on hyperpigmentation, we looked at the causes of hyperpigmentation and its most common types, including Melasma, freckles, acne marks and age spots. Many cosmetic treatments improve the appearance of this these types of hyperpigmentation, including Photofacials, Chemical Peels, Laser Resurfacing, and more. However, in Part II of this series, we are going to focus on how individuals can improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation by using skin-lightening creams, specifically, formulas containing Kojic Acid.

<< Read Part I: Understanding Hyperpigmentation


Learn more about Laser Skin Resurfacing >>


The most well known topical agent used in skin lightening is hydroquinone. However, this ingredient can lead to skin sensitivity and other adverse dermatological issues. Kojic Acid is a gentler alternative to hydroquinone, and is found in many OTC skin lightening creams.


Kojic Acid is an antioxidant derived from Fungi. Kojic Acid is scientifically shown to effectively treat hyperpigmentation.¹ Kojic Acid soap, cream, and serums are often used to improve the appearance of freckles, sunspots, melasma, acne marks and other forms of hyperpigmentation. Kojic Acid is also commonly used to lighten the overall skin tone.


Clinical research supports the use of Kojic Acid or KA in “cosmetic formulations and to treat hyperpigmentation.”² According to researchers published in the journal of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology,” KA works in dermatology applications by disrupting melanin skin-pigment biochemistry.”¹ Researchers published in the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology further elaborate saying that KA offers “safe and nontoxic depigmenting agents with a satisfactory inhibitory effect on melanin formation and tyrosinase activity.”² Specifically, KA suppresses tyrosinase, the enzyme that reacts with tyrosine, the amino acid necessary for the production of melanin. In simpler terms, KA lightens dark patches of skin by breaking down melanin and preventing the production of melanin.

The Advantages of Kojic Acid

Besides preventing the production of melanin, Kojic Acid is a favored skin lightening ingredient because of it shape and molecular makeup. According to clinical findings published in Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, Kojic Acid’s “stable derivatives increase skin penetration, which offers better skin lightening.”¹  Basically, Kojic Acid has a small molecular composition that allows it to deeply penetrate the skin into the cellular levels of the epidermis where melanin is synthesized, improving its ability to lighten hyperpigmentation.


As with other topical medications such as hydroquinone and retinol, you may experience mild sensitivity and inflammation when first using Kojic Acid. This response usually goes away within a few weeks of use.

The Best Skincare Product for Lightening Hyperpigmentation and Evening Skin Tone:

Photofacial in a bottle from the high end Medspa in a Bottle collection line is specially infused with Kojic Acid to lighten brown spots, such as melasma and other forms of hyperpigmentation for a beautiful, radiant skin tone.

photofacial in a bottle®

While visibly improving skin’s overall texture, kojic acid prevents + treats dark spots while glycolic helps exfoliate dead surface skin cells + supports natural cellular turnover revealing a more youthful, revitalized complexion.

Photofacial in a bottle benefits:

  • fades dark spots + redness
  • reduces melasma or hyper-pigmentation
  • increases collagen + elastin production
  • unique blend of kojic acid + glycolic acid
  • arnica oil for redness

Shop for Photofacial in a Bottle >>




¹  Are Natural Ingredients Effective in the Management of Hyperpigmentation? A Systematic Review

² Depigmenting Effect of Kojic Acid Esters in Hyperpigmented B16F1 Melanoma Cells




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