What is Kojic Acid?
Kojic Acid is one of the most successful recent and natural skin whitening agents. It is a natural product derived form a fungus (mushroom). Kojic Acid has been successfully used to lighten pigment spots and skin discoloration.
Kojic acid (5-hydroxy-2-(hydroxymethyl)-4-pyrone) is used in skin care formulations to lighten the skin, like another agent, hydroquinone. However, while hydroquinone works by inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase by acting as a melanocyte cytotoxic inhibitor and by increasing the cytotoxicity of melanocytes (melanin-producing cells), kojic acid lightens the skin solely by suppressing tyrosinase activity (by inhibiting catecholase activity of tyrosinase) in a non-traditional way. Kojic acid is revered worldwide for its skin-lightening abilities, and is commonly used in topical formulations to treat dark spots.
Kojic acid is a by-product in the fermentation process of malting rice for use in the manufacture of sake, the Japanese rice wine. There is definitely convincing research, both in vitro and in vivo, and also in animal studies, showing that kojic acid is effective for inhibiting melanin production (Sources: Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, August 2002, pages 1045–1048; Analytical Biochemistry, June 2002, pages 260–268; Cellular Signaling, September 2002, pages 779–785; American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2000, pages 261–268; and Archives of Pharmacal Research, August 2001, pages 307–311). Both glycolic acid and kojic acid, as well as glycolic acid with hydroquinone are highly effective in reducing the pigment in melasma patients (Source: Dermatological Surgery, May 1996, pages 443–447).
Why aren't there more products available containing kojic acid?
Kojic acid is an extremely unstable ingredient in cosmetic formulations. Upon exposure to air or sunlight it turns a strange shade of brown and loses its efficacy. Many cosmetics companies use kojic dipalmitate as an alternative because it is far more stable in formulations. However, there is no research showing that kojic dipalmitate is as effective as kojic acid, though it is a good antioxidant. Research shows that Kojic Acid is best presented and stored in glass ampoules.
What is pigmentation?
Pigmentation is a disorder of skin complexion and color due to the increase in production of melanin. In females, pigmentation often occurs due to hormonal changes in the body (in pregnancy, menopause etc), and appears as brown patches on the face. Sun exposure causes this type of pigmentation increase, and also causes dark irregular patches on the exposed skin, like the upper lip, eye contour and body. Another type of pigmentation is freckles.
How does it work?
Kojic acid can inhibit tyronisase activity, thus inhibiting skin melanin formation. Kojic acid and it's derivatives are widely used in high-quality skin lightening cosmetics, bath preparations and mouth or teeth care products. Cosmetics containing kojic acid can treat freckles, acne and pigmentation effectively without any toxic and bad results.
To get the best results out of Kojic Acid it is recommended to buy from a pharmacy the concentrate presented in glass cosmetic ampoules, as the Kojic Acid will be very concentrated, active and free from impurities.
Dermastir Kojic Acid skincare ampoules by ALTA CARE Laboratoires can be applied alone on the face without the need of mixing it with anything else. Otherwise it may also be added to your night cream. Since the Dermastir Kojic Acid Ampoule is a concentrate it may be applied on the face once every three days since kinetic studies show that the ingredients remain present and active in the skin for up to 3 days. It is highly recommended to use sun blocks all the year around especially during treatments with Dermastir Kojic acid ampoules.