Kojic acid is a natural acid that is primarily used for lightening skin pigmentation. It is an effective, safer alternative to hydroquinone.
Kojic Acid: Education and Skin Care Products
Kojic acid is a fine white powdery substance composed of tiny crystals. The formal discovery of kojic acid occurred in 1989, and since then, the substance has been used widely in skin care products due to its numerous benefits. The ingredient is obtained from mushrooms that are native to Japan and is a by-product of the fermentation process used to produce the alcoholic beverage sake.
In skin care products, kojic acid functions primarily as a skin-lightening agent. To understand kojic acid's effects, it is necessary to understand how the skin gets it color. The body naturally produces a pigment known as melanin through specialized cells known as melanocytes. A person's genes determine how much melanin the body naturally produces. In people with fair skin, only small amounts of melanin are manufactured by the melanocytes, while copious amounts of the pigment are made by the cells of those with dark complexions.