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3 Benefits of Using Kojic Acid for Your Skin

woman using kojic acid on her skin

Do you have dark spots that just won’t go away, no matter what you try? We’ve been there — and as the Even Tone Experts, we’re here to spill the tea on how you can get the toned skin of your dreams.

Even-toned skin isn’t as far away as you might think. Kojic Acid is a cutting-edge skincare ingredient that specializes in lightening the appearance of pesky dark spots and clearing up blemishes. Read on for some of our favorite tips and tricks on using Kojic Acid to get dreamy, glowy skin. 

What Is Kojic Acid?

Kojic Acid is a powerful skin brightener that is a byproduct of certain types of mushrooms. It can even be found in the fermentation processes used to make popular Asian staples such as soy sauce and rice wine.

Kojic Acid has been around for a while but made its debut in the world of skincare in 1989. Since then, it has rapidly gained interest from skincare companies and scientists for the way it can affect the appearance of dark spots.

Why? Because this spunky ingredient packs quite the powerful punch. Even when used in the smallest of concentrations, Kojic Acid can lighten dark spots and chase away bacteria. This revolutionary ingredient is only used in concentrations of 4% or less, and all with the same glowing results. 

Where Do Dark Spots Come From?

Buckle up, because we’re about to get a bit technical here. Dark spots (or hyperpigmentation, as they’re more formally known) show up when your skin produces a little too much melanin. Melanin is why skin comes in so many beautiful shades, but sometimes it can also cause uneven skin tone when hyperpigmentation occurs.

At the heart of melanin production is a protein called tyrosinase. Because melanin can’t form without tyrosinase, many dark spot products target the protein to disperse hyperpigmentation. This is where Kojic Acid comes in.

3 Benefits of Using Kojic Acid

Kojic Acid is at the forefront of natural skincare products, and for a good reason. Check out a few of the benefits of Kojic Acid below:

1. Get That Even-Toned Complexion

Kojic Acid is most well known for being an ingredient that can affect the appearance of dark spots. Kojic Acid helps combat areas with excess melanin while also inhibiting the production of melanin overall.


This doesn’t just apply to dark spots — Kojic Acid can also help fade the appearance of age spots, light scars and even blemish-related hyperpigmentation. These melanin-related discolorations can affect any skin tone, but fortunately Kojic Acid can help smooth them out.

Kojic Acid can also slow melanin production to begin with. This means that not only can it help you get even skin, but it can help you keep your skin fresh and young.

2. Give Yourself the Gift of Clear Skin

Although Kojic Acid is known for its skin brightening properties, it can also help target blemishes. Blemishes often form because of bacteria that find their way onto your skin. The bacteria can irritate your skin and ultimately cause redness and blemishes that may leave stubborn dark spots and acne scars behind.


Kojic Acid targets blemish-causing bacteria and helps neutralize them before they can irritate your skin. If you have oily skin or are prone to pimples and blemishes, you may want to look for a Kojic Acid product.

3. Gentle Results for Sensitive Skin

Have you ever been prescribed topical Hydroquinone to help fade the appearance of your dark spots? Kojic Acid is an all-natural alternative to Hydroquinone and other harsh chemicals. Or, if you currently use Hydroquinone to clear up dark spots, Kojic Acid has been shown to compound Hydroquinone’s skin-brightening effects.

If you have sensitive skin, then harsh chemicals probably cause you some irritation and discomfort. Kojic Acid is a gentle ingredient that may be a better fit for your skin.

Kojic Acid doesn’t absorb into the bloodstream as much as other products do, so it doesn’t come with as many side effects as harsh chemicals like Hydroquinone. The product stays within the top layers of your skin and works its magic from there.

It’s natural to be concerned about the products you put on your face. Thankfully, Kojic Acid doesn’t alter your skin cells. Although it does help prevent hyperpigmentation, it doesn’t have to change your cell structure to do so.

If you’re concerned that your skin might react, it doesn’t hurt to contact your dermatologist or schedule a virtual consultation with one of our Urban Skin RX ® licensed aestheticians. It never hurts to ask!

What Should a Kojic Acid Skincare Routine Include?

Are you ready to incorporate Kojic Acid products into your skincare routine? We get it — what’s not to love? We have a few tips from our experience as hyperpigmentation heroes to help you get started.

Step One: Cleanse

Cleansing should always be the first step of every skincare routine. It’s important to remove the dirt, oil and bacteria your skin accumulates during the day (and overnight). Cleansers and soaps are often formulated with specific skin types in mind, so you should make sure that your cleanser is designed for your specific skin goals.

If you’re in the market for a new cleanser that meets your needs, we recommend our Even Tone Cleansing Bar. This innovative cleanser comes as a bar in a jar that you lather and apply to your face with a sponge for an exfoliating effect. And best of all, one of its main active ingredients is Kojic Acid.

Step Two: Serum

Serums can be applied both in morning and evening routines and can work wonders for uneven skin. Once your skin is dry, you’ll want to gently massage your serum into your skin and let it sit for a few minutes to give the serum time to work its magic.

Your serum is where you’ll want to incorporate the most Kojic Acid. We recommend our Super C Brightening Serum to get the job done. This award-winning formula uses 20% Vitamin C and 2% Kojic Acid to help you have the bright, even-looking skin you crave.

Step Three: Moisturize

Moisturizing is the key part of every skincare routine. We love serums, but oftentimes you can’t see their full effects without moisturizing. Moisturizing helps lock your serum against your skin to keep it working all night and all day.

Moisturizers and creams also help to make sure that your skin is hydrated and flexible to changes in your environment. If your skin is hydrated, it’s better at responding to stress and keeping you healthy.

If there’s one product that you absolutely must tailor to your skin type, it’s moisturizer. Moisturizers designed for oily skin will only irritate dry skin and make it red and flaky. Likewise, moisturizing creams and lotions designed for dry skin will aggravate oily skin and cause excess oil and possibly even blemishes.

If you’re unsure about your skin type, schedule a consultation with your dermatologist. They will help you determine your type and help set you up with a routine that works best for you.

Step Four: Sunscreen

The final and most important part of your daily routine is sunscreen. You should only apply sunscreen in the morning since you probably won’t need much sun protection at night.

Frequent use of Kojic Acid can lead to increased sun sensitivity, so sunscreen is an absolutely essential part of your routine if you plan on using any product with Kojic Acid in it. Since your skin will be more sensitive, it’s also imperative that you pick a sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum coverage, protecting you from UVA and UVB rays.

Apply sunscreen on top of your moisturizer. Better yet, get one product that does both. Our Complexion Protection Moisturizer with SPF 30 not only protects you from UVA and UVB sun damage it also hydrates your skin for a glowing, vibrant look. It’s also good for all skin types! 

Tips From Our Aestheticians

 If you’re excited to start using Kojic Acid, we can’t blame you. We have a couple of final tips to help you get the most out of your new products!

First, start slow. You might be tempted to start using Kojic Acid nightly, but your skin will feel a lot better if you give it time to adjust. Start by using every other night, and slowly work your way up to nightly use.

Second, give it time. Results do happen fast, but they won’t appear overnight. And if you start to notice any irritation, contact your dermatologist for advice on how to proceed. 

In conclusion

 Kojic Acid is an all-natural ingredient that helps lighten the appearance of dark spots and targets blemishes. Not only that, but it’s also a gentle alternative to some of the harsher chemicals out there. Kojic Acid has plenty of benefits when it comes to reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation, whether it be acne scars or sun damage, and can help you achieve younger-looking, brighter skin.

You can incorporate Kojic Acid anywhere in your daily routine, but it works best as a serum for skin pigmentation issues. If you’re ready to get started, take our skin quiz to learn more about how you can get your glow on!

By: Tiesha Bridges Licensed Aesthetician & Customer
Service Representative

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