Kojic Acid is well known in around the world for its Skin Lightening abilities. However how much do you actually know about it?

What is Kojic Acid?

Kojic Acid is a powerful agent that derives from fungi, and also a by-product of when particular foods ferment, such as Sake (a Japanese rice wine).

It is widely and commonly used around the world in skin care and cosmetic products to lighten and brighten your skin.  It usually comes in the forms of serums, creams, lotions, soap | serums, creams, lotions, soap and also cleansers and powders, with the intended use on the face and arms/hands.

Certain forms of kojic acid products are meant to be applied to the skin and left to absorb while others such as serums and lotions, while other products such as soap can be applied and washed off.

What are the effects of Kojic Acid?

Kojic Acid is scientifically proven to assist in lightening your skin. It achieves this result through inhibiting the melanin production in your body. Melanin is the pigment produced by our body that colours our skin, eyes and hair. Overproduction of melanin can lead to dark spots and an uneven skin tone. Kojic Acid inhibits an amino acid in our body called tyrosine, which in turn reduces melanin production.

In plain terms, Kojic Acid will even out and lighten your skin tone when applied.

Kojic Acid also has an anti-bacterial effect – it can help treat your acne that has been caused by the bacteria in your skin and may also brighten some scars left from the acne.

Are there any side effects?

Kojic Acid is generally a very safe ingredient, however as the effect is to inhibit the production of melanin, proper sun care becomes more important. Melanin helps to protect the skin from sun damage, so it is important to stay out of the sun and use sun screen and other measures to help with the skin lightening effect from the kojic acid products.

Contact dermatitis can also happen as a result from using kojic acid on sensitive skin. This shows symptoms such as a rash, itching and dry patches of skin. If you develop any of these symptoms it is best to stop using the kojic acid products immediately.

If you have sensitive skin – Papaya is a great alternative to Kojic Acid!


Kojic Acid is a very powerful ingredient for those looking to brighten dark spots and lighten their skin. Most people will see results after a few weeks although it is possible it will take longer for certain people.

It is a safe and effective alternative to Hydroquinone (bleaching)

When used in conjunction with other whitening ingredients such as glutathione and vitamin c, people will find that they will see very good natural results as they all work together in unison to provide the most effective formula.

Complexion Medline specialises in Skin Lightening formulas and has a wide range of products suitable for all skin types. To see the full Skin Lightening range visit our Shop.

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