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Kojic acid is a key ingredient in many commercial skin lightening products like creams, gels, and serums and it is mixed at different percentages between 2 and 4%. These products claim to be effective in skin lightening, but the question is “can kojic acid permanently lighten skin?” Or are the results just temporary? The answer is both “no.” Why do we say that? Read on further to find out how kojic acid works and how long the results last.
Kojic acid brightens and lightens skin tone by inhibiting melanin production. Melanin is the pigment that gives color to the skin, eyes, and hair. Our body produces melanin with the help of an amino acid called tyrosine, so kojic acid inhibits the function of tyrosine, which, in turn, effects and reduces melanin production, and as a result, skin appears light and bright. But your skin will appear light as long as you continue using kojic acid. The brightness will not reduce as soon as you stop, it will take a few month for your skin to remove to its normal skin tone.
The results are temporary in the case of the usual volume of melanin that is pre-programmed right from our birth, but there is also a case when melanin is produced by our skin for protection as a result of skin damage, from excessive exposure to sun, from a cut or as a consequence of acne or spots. Sun tan is also a sign of damage. If your skin has become dark due to damage or hyperpigmentation, then using kojic acid would help you lighten your skin tone for a long time.
As with most products, there can be some side effects that can occur when using kojic acid:
- It May Cause Contact Dermatitis: People who suffer from any particular skin condition should avoid using kojic acid because using it on sensitive skin can cause itching and painful rashes known as contact dermatitis.
- Might Make Your Skin Sensitive to Sun: Be careful when you step out into sun while on kojic acid. As kojic acid inhibits the production of melanin which is also responsible for saving your skin from sunburn, so your skin will be now more susceptible to sun damage.
Desired results with kojic acid may vary from person to person, depending on the skin type and the severity of the condition. Some may get results in a few weeks while some may not see results for a few months. Try to use kojic acid only for a brief period until you get the desired results. Kojic acid is not cytotoxic (that is not harmful to living cells) and therefore cannot permanently lighten your skin tone. However, you can enjoy the results as long as kojic acid or kojic acid dipalmitate are used. Also, it can permanently lighten skin tone when skin darkening has been caused by temporary skin damages like acne and hyperpigmentation.