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Kojic acid: A new miracle for your skin?

by ona
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Kojic acid is an organic compound produced by several species of fungi, especially the species Aspergillus oryzae, which can be found in Japan under the common name – koji. This is where the name of this acid came from, and thanks to that we don’t have to worry about the long pronunciation of its chemical structure. Kojic acid is also produced as a byproduct of fermentation in the production of sake, Japanese rice wine, and soy sauce. Furthermore, this acid is used in the food industry, where it helps to prevent the color change of various substances and acts as a preservative.

Why kojic acid?
In the cosmetics industry, this acid is used (not only) to lighten the skin and can help, for example, when trying to make pigment spots invisible, skin damaged by the sun or lighten scars. It manages all this by regulating the production of melanin. Melanin is a pigment found all around us and even in us. In the human body, it is found, for example, in the skin, in the hair, in the iris or in the retina – everywhere it protects against light damage. The enzyme tyrosine is required for melanin to function properly, and in the presence of kojic acid, a situation occurs where the acid blocks the formation of tyrosine, which then prevents melanin production.

So how does this compound benefit our skin?
As an antioxidant, kojic acid has the ability to effectively fight the signs of aging. It is also very effective in the treatment of a skin disease called „melasma“, when the disease causes colored, usually brown or blue-gray spots and dots on the skin and most typically affects the face. Kojic acid is an excellent helper in the treatment and lightening of scars, where it helps their discoloration. Unfortunately, it does not help to reduce the thickness of the scar, anyway, if the scar is lighter, it is less visible. Many use kojic acid for its antibacterial and antifungal effects. With its help, bacterial or fungal skin infections or acne are reduced.

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