One of the top Japanese skincare ingredients, kojic acid is a byproduct in the fermentation of brewing sake (Japanese rice wine) or mushroom extracts. This ingredient is hailed for its skin brightening abilities in treating sun damage, scars or age spots. Kojic acid has the ability to block the formation of the amino acid tyrosine that is needed in melanin production. The results? A natural decrease of pigment in the skin which displays its extreme lightening effects. For those suffering from melasma (darkening of the skin due to hormonal changes), this gentle acid has been shown to drastically help.
Kojic acid is antibacterial and antifungal, which acts as a gentle acne fighter for the skin. Although an acid, it is extremely mild and doesn’t have an exfoliating effect like AHAs and BHAs.