This Article is About
natural skin
melanin production
harmful uv rays
countries in the european union
food and drug administration
dark patches
skin lightening products
skin spots
new discovery
skin care products
fermentation process
natural solution
Hydroquinone Vs Kojic Acid - Chemical Or Natural Skin Lightening?
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Hydroquinone Vs Kojic Acid  -  Chemical Or Natural Skin Lightening?

Due to the rising demand in the skin lightening market, hydroquinone and kojic acid are coming under ever increasing scrutiny. Both of these ingredients are very effective in reducing hyperpigmentation and lightening the skin, the only choice we have to make as a consumer, is make an informed decision as to which side of the fence we stand - the chemical or the natural solution?

  • Let's look first at the case for hydroquinone.

Hydroquinone has been used as a main ingredient in skin lightening products for many years, it works by reducing melanin production in the skin. Melanin is responsible for creating the color or pigment in your skin, thus lightening dark patches and evening skin tone. It has been very popular in many skin care products because of its proven effectiveness.

The main concern with the use of hydroquinone, are that studies done with rodents have found that it may have carcinogenic properties (cancer forming). Because hydroquinone reduces the production of melanin in the skin it also reduces the skins to ability to protect itself from the sun and harmful UV rays. Hydroquinone has also been linked to a condition known as ochronosis. This is a condition where the skin becomes thicker and darker, and in darker skin tones this condition can cause the formation of yellow or grey skin spots. Because of these concerns hydroquinone has been banned in all countries in the European union, Australia and Japan. A proposed ban of over the counter sales by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been put forward, until further research is done.

Although concerns about the use of hydroquinone in cosmetic products are valid, it still remains one of the most popular choices for lightening the skin.

  • The case for Kojic Acid.

Kojic acid is a relatively new discovery, made in Japan in the 1990's. It is derived from a type of fungus, and can be extracted from many types of plant species. It can also be extracted during the fermentation process of rice, which produces the popular Japanese rice wine - Sake. It works in a very similar way to hydroquinone, reducing the production of melanin in the skin, but not to such a degree that it effects the deeper layers of skin, allowing your skin to still protect itself from harmful UV light from the sun. It has been proven very effective for lightening dark pigmentation.

It has been noted that in high doses and with regular and extended use, kojic acid can cause contact dermatitis, to avoid this, kojic acid is typically available as a pigmentation cream that will combine other natural ingredients that minimize this problem.

Although probably not as popular as its chemical counterpart, kojic acid will achieve the same results.

Hydroquinone still remains the top seller for skin lightening, but in light of the concerns and ongoing research into the effects of hydroquinone, many are turning to a more natural approach to treating pigmentation. Armed with the facts hopefully you can make your own decision as to what you put on your skin.


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