Kojic Acid Benefits for Skin and How to Use

Kojic acid is good for treating melasma because it eliminates dark spots on the skin, promotes skin rejuvenation and can be used to fight acne. It is found in the concentration of 1 to 3%, but to prevent it from causing irritation to the skin, most cosmetic products contain about 1 or 2% of this acid. 

Cosmetic products that contain kojic acid in their composition can be found in the form of a cream, lotion, emulsion, gel or serum, with creams being more suitable for mature and drought-prone skin, while versions in lotion or serum they are more suitable for those with oily or acneic skin. 

Kojic acid is derived from fermented soy, rice and wine having a great effect in removing dark spots on the skin, because it blocks the action of an amino acid called tyrosine, which is closely linked to melanin, which is related to the spots in the skin. Thus, when it is desired to remove skin spots, it is recommended to apply the product only on top of the region to be treated. 


Products containing kojic acid are especially indicated to remove dark spots on the skin, which can be caused by the sun, scars, age spots, dark circles, removal of spots from the groin and armpits. The benefits of kojic acid for skin include:

  • Lightening action, for preventing the action of melanin;
  • Facial rejuvenation, by removing wrinkles and expression lines; 
  • Improves the appearance of scars, including acne;
  • Removes blackheads and whiteheads, due to its antibacterial action;
  • It helps to treat ringworm and athlete’s foot, because it has antifungal action. 

This acid is used to replace the treatment with hydroquinone, usually used to combat dark spots on the skin, but the doctor can also recommend a combination of kojic acid + hydroquinone or kojic acid + glycolic acid in the same formulation.

The treatment is usually done for 10-12 weeks and if there is no improvement in symptoms, the doctor may recommend another formulation, because the same type of acid should not be used for a long time on the skin because it can cause irritation, or as a rebound effect, can aggravate dark spots. 

Treatment with kojic acid 1% can be used for a longer time, for about 6 months to 1 year, being well tolerated by the body, without adverse effects. 

How to use

It is recommended to apply the product containing kojic acid daily, in the morning and at night. During the day it is recommended to apply sunscreen immediately afterward to protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun. 

The results can start to be seen from the 2nd week of use and it is progressive.

In concentrations greater than 1% it should only be used under the recommendation of a dermatologist.

The use of a product containing this acid in concentrations above 1% is more likely to cause skin irritation that is manifested by itching and redness, rash, skin burn, and sensitive skin. If these symptoms appear, it is recommended to stop using the product. 

When not to use

This type of product should not be used during pregnancy, gestation, on the injured skin can increase the risk of cancer

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