Kojic Acid Cream: General Information and Uses
If you suffer from melasma or hyperpigmentation and found treatment with a hydroquinone cream damaging, then you may want to consider the use of a kojic acid cream. Kojic acid, which is derived from the extracts of certain species of fungi, has been proven to lighten dark spots on the skin caused by sun damage or an excess of pigmentation brought on by hormonal changes in the body, or because of certain genetic factors. Kojic acid cream has a number of advantages over man-made skin lighteners, but before you consider adding it to your skin care kit, knowing a little more about how it works to lighten the skin, how to choose a product that suits your skin, and the possible side effects of using it can help you make a well-informed purchasing decision. Kojic acid cream can be purchased at many online skin care retailers and local pharmacies that carry a wide variety of skin care items.
How Kojic Acid Works
Before you can choose a kojic acid cream, it’s important to first understand how it works. The acid is created through the fermentation of malting rice and fungi. When used in skin care products, this acid slows the production of melanin in the skin, which is the pigment produced by the body that creates skin color.
In the case of hyperpigmentation or melasma, the body creates too much melanin, which leads to dark spots on the face, neck, and arms. While these skin problems can present anywhere on the body, they are most common on the face and hands.
When used consistently, kojic acid cream can prevent the spread of dark patches, freckles, and other dark spots on the skin while lightening those that already exist. Many formulations also include other beneficial ingredients that help to moisturize and soothe the skin, depending on which brand you choose.
Kojic Acid Cream Ingredients
If you have dry, sensitive, or aging skin, then it’s a good idea to choose a kojic acid cream that contains ingredients to support your skin, in addition to lightening the skin.
For example, if you want to lighten dark patches and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, then choose a formulation that includes ingredients such as retinol or amino acids (which may be listed as peptides) to boost cell turnover and hydrate the skin.
If you have skin that is prone to redness or irritation, then you may want to consider a kojic acid cream that contains soothing elements like aloe vera and cucumber extract. Avoid formulations that contain paraben-based preservatives and heavy fragrances, as these have been known to cause allergic reactions in sensitive skin.
How to Use Kojic Acid Cream
Once your dermatologist has determined that kojic acid cream is a viable treatment option for your hyperpigmentation or melasma, it is important to strictly follow her instructions for administering the cream, in order to reduce the severity of your symptoms.
While every product will have varying instructions on how to apply the cream, in general, you should wash your face before application.
Most formulations are safe enough to use twice a day, but you may want to avoid using a strong soap or cleanser in tandem with any kojic acid cream unless it’s been approved by your dermatologist. Wash and dry your face completely and then apply a thin layer of the cream to affected areas of the skin. Massage it gently into the skin until it is well absorbed. Depending on which kojic acid cream you use, it may take several weeks for results to show.