What is Kojic Acid?
Kojic acid is produced by several species of fungi, especially Aspergillus oryzae, which has the Japanese common name koji. It is a by-product in the fermentation process of malting rice, for use in the manufacturing of sake, the Japanese rice wine. It was discovered as a natural product derived form a mushroom in Japan in 1989. It has been successfully used to lighten pigment spots and skin discoloration and considered as a kind of popularly specialized inhibitor of tyrosinase which is responsible for the production of melanin (e.g. Kojic acid dalpalmitate).
Kojic Acid for skin care?
Kojic acid can produce excellent effects in even toning the skin, fighting age spots, pregnancy marks, freckles as well as general skin pigmentation disorders of face and body. It is a pure (98%) and natural material. It also is widely used in the field of medicine and food since it can eliminate free radicals and strengthen cell activity.
As compared to hydroquinone (which is also popular for its whitening effects), Kojic acid is much safer. Hydroquinone is a synthetic agent and may cause irritation on the skin (e.g. edema, erythma, etc). On the other hand, Kojic acid is absolutely safe and has a better tyrosinase inhibitory effect.
Kojic acid preparations can be in a form of a soap, astringent, lotion or cream. It has a micropeeling effect which makes skin smoother, whiter-- with a pinkish glow.