How Does Kojic Acid Products Treat Melasma?

Kojic acid is a product often used in beauty and cosmetic products that is derived from certain species of fungi. The usual concentration form of kojic acid in products is from 1% to 4%.

Kojic acid treats melasma by acting as a tyrosinase inhibitor. Tyrosinase is a special enzyme located in melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin, a substance that gives color to your eyes, skin, and hair. Kojic acid prevents the formation of tyrosine, an amino acid converted by tyrosinase. You can also look for kojic acid soap results via

This reduced production of tyrosine results in less melanin production, which in turn means an improved complexion and fewer dark patches caused by melasma. 

However, treating melasma is not an easy process. It can take months to get your desired results. On top of that, exposure to the sun can extend the recovery period – or make melasma worse – since UV rays can trigger melasma flare-ups. In order to effectively treat your melasma, any treatment must be combined with the consistent use of sun protection products to help maintain results. 

How Effective Is Kojic Acid Compared To Other Treatments?

Kojic acid is considered a second-line treatment that can help lighten melasma when other methods do not improve this condition. If a patient has shown low tolerance to other treatments, kojic acid may be a suitable alternative with comparable results.

A study of 40 women who had melasma showed that combining glycolic acid and hydroquinone with kojic acid improved the efficacy of these treatments alone, with 60% of the women reporting significant improvement by the end of 12 weeks (Lim).