What Is Kojic Acid?
Kojic acid is a derivative of Japanese fungi that is mainly used in the preservation of food. Used in skin whitening agents, kojic acid is a relatively safe, non-toxic agent that does not contain many side effects, but it may make skin sensitive if used regularly.
Kojic acid prevents pigment coloration, due to environmental exposure. It prevents browning in fruits, loss of color in seafood and prevents darker skin tones in humans.
Kojic acid is drawn from the Koji fungus, commonly found in eastern Asia.
Kojic acid is white, consisting of fine granules. Its consistency is similar to sugar.
It does not have any adverse effects in plants, but it does in humans. According to a study conducted by the Kawai Medical Laboratory for Cutaneous Health, women who used kojic acid experienced facial dermatitis within 12 months (see link in Resources).
Many people avoid using kojic acid because they believe it is toxic. Kojic acid is not toxic, but it can irritate the skin.