Kojic acid is a popular treatment for hyperpigmentation disorders (like melasma, acne scars, skin blemishes, etc.).
Although it’s a naturally occurring substance, it’s only been used by the cosmetics industry for about twenty years. Has it proven itself to be safe, or is it too soon to know?
Understanding Kojic Acid
Kojic acid is a chemical which is extracted from certain types of fungus. It’s also made during certain fermentation processes involving rice, such as the production of sake. Originally used as a food preservative, it was found that kojic acid would also lighten the organic matter it came in contact with. Ever since then, kojic acid has been used as a skin lightener.
Kojic Acid Side Effects
There is a known side effect which has been directly associated with the use of kojic acid products. Reportedly, this substance can lead to an increased sensitivity in the skin. Although it is usually temporary, some people believe it is a long-lasting effect. So that brings us back to the question, is kojic acid safe?
Kojic Acid Safety
Obviously, any substance which has adverse side effects can’t be considered 100% safe. That being said, most skin care products, medicines, and even foods have side effects for some people. Also, I think it’s important to point out that the other effective skin lightening ingredient – hydroquinone – has been associated with cancer. So although kojic acid does have a side effect, it’s not nearly as bad as the alleged hydroquinone lotion health risks.
There are risks and rewards with any skin lightening treatment, including kojic acid. The best way to determine which one (if any) is appropriate for your condition would be to talk with a dermatologist.