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Is Kojic Acid The Key To Brightening Dark Spots Caused By Acne?

Here's everything you need to know about this popular skincare ingredient.

Dealing with acne is a long and winding road, but the battle doesn't stop once you get rid of the bumps. You also have to deal with the dark spots they leave behind. Thankfully, there are tons of skincare products available that are loaded with brightening ingredients that can help fade the marks. One of the more popular ones is kojic acid. Many Pinays swear by this ingredient's ability to brighten their skin tone, but did you know that it also does ~wonders~ in clearing up blemishes? Ahead, we discuss everything you need to know about kojic acid, plus the best products to try:

What is kojic acid?

Kojic acid is a chemical derived from mushrooms. It can also be created during the brewing process of sake from fermented rice. Its name is taken from the Japanese term koji, which means "steamed rice."

According to Claire Chang, M.D., "Unlike other acids that work by dissolving the bonds between the cells and exfoliating the skin, kojic acid works by inhibiting pigment production." Due to its ability to penetrate the skin and halt the production of melanin, it is popularly used as a spot-fading treatment. It's also the gentler option to hydroquinone, an ingredient that is usually present in rejuvenating sets.

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What are the benefits of kojic acid?

  1. It restrains the production of melanin on the skin.

    Excessive sun exposure can cause hyperpigmentation and aggravate dark spots caused by acne. Applying kojic acid on your face can help even out your skin tone and give your complexion an overall brightening effect.

  2. It has anti-aging benefits.

    Not only does kojic acid reverse sun damage, but it also reduces wrinkles and slows down signs of aging. It inhibits the action of tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for producing melanin and the aging process.

  3. It is a powerful antioxidant.

    Kojic acid can help counteract the free radicals caused by sun exposure and pollution. Not only does it improve overall skin tone, but it's also a good ingredient for anti-aging.

How should you use kojic acid?

According to Rachel Nazarian, M.D., you should slowly incorporate kojic acid-infused products into your regimen if you have sensitive skin. Apply them once or twice a week until you're sure that your complexion can handle the ingredient. Over time, they will also make your complexion more sensitive to the sun, so always wear sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher.

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What are the best kojic acid-infused skincare products?

  1. Best Kojic Acid-Infused Skincare Product: Mario Badescu Whitening Mask

    Give your face a detox by applying this brightening mask from Mario Badescu once a week. It's infused with kojic acid, licorice, and mulberry extract that will help even out your skin tone to reveal a more ~radiant~ complexion.

    Best Kojic Acid-Infused Skincare Product: Mario Badescu Whitening Mask
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    Mario Badescu Whitening Mask, P1,930,

  2. Best Kojic Acid-Infused Skincare Product: Belo Kojic Acid Exfoliating Lemon Scrub

    This cult-fave bar soap now has an exfoliating variant that's loaded with a lemon extract to help even out your complexion and slough away the dead skin cells.

    Best Kojic Acid-Infused Skincare Product: Belo Kojic Acid Exfoliating Lemon Scrub

    Belo Kojic Acid Exfoliating Lemon Scrub, P65, Watsons

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  3. Best Kojic Acid-Infused Skincare Product: Kojiesan DreamWhite Anti-Aging Soap

    This popular soap from brand Kojiesan is infused with kojic acid, collagen, and elastin, which makes it a favorite among those looking to brighten their skin and reduce signs of aging.

    Best Kojic Acid-Infused Skincare Product: Kojiesan DreamWhite Anti-Aging Soap

    Kojiesan DreamWhite Anti-Aging Soap, P78, BeautyMNL

  4. Best Kojic Acid-Infused Skincare Product: Gluta-C Kojic Plus+ Facial Wash

    If you have oily skin, this facial wash is perfect for you. Other than mattifying your complexion, it can also brighten it, thanks to its potent mix of kojic acid, glutathione, and vitamin C.

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    Best Kojic Acid-Infused Skincare Product: Gluta-C Kojic Plus+ Facial Wash

    Gluta-C Kojic Plus+ Facial Wash, P115, BeautyMNL

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