Kojic acid is great for treating hyperpigmentation on the face and body so it is logical to assume we can also use it for under-eye circles and wrinkles too.
But the catch is that kojic acid is very potent. So the question becomes, can it safely be used under your eyes?
Can You Safely Use Kojic Acid For Under-Eye Circles & Wrinkles
Kojic acid can be safely used under the eyes. However, it should be used with caution in that area.
Remember that the skin under your eyes is thinner and much more sensitive than anywhere else on your face. That area is also very close to your actual eyes.
So, your aims when using kojic acid under your eyes should be to:
- Use a concentration of kojic acid that is safe and suitable for your thin, sensitive under eyes
- Avoid getting any formulation of kojic acid in your eyes
- Monitor your skin to prevent and quickly manage any side effects
- Effectively and safely fade your dark circles and wrinkles
I recommend consulting your dermatologist or a skincare professional for advice on how to use kojic acid under your eyes. They will also be able to inspect your skin and determine whether kojic acid is right for you and what formulation and concentration would be best.
To explore your options to lighten dark circles check out my article on The 10 Medical & Home Remedies For Under Eye Dark Circles
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Can Kojic Acid Effectively Remove Dark Under-Eye Circles
If used correctly, kojic acid can effectively fade dark circles from under your eyes.
Kojic acid works by inhibiting the formation of tyrosine in the skin. Tyrosine plays a major role in the production of melanin (pigment) in the skin. So, by inhibiting this process, the old cells are eventually replaced with new skin cells that have less pigment.
Over time, the area of skin being treated will be lighter in tone.
You can also use Kojic acid to treat dark underarms click here to learn more.
Some natural ways that can help lighten your under-eyes are:
Can Kojic Acid Treat Under-Eye Wrinkles
Kojic acid alone will not “fix” your wrinkles, but it will provide anti-aging benefits that will help your skin age slower and look younger over time.
Kojic acid is rich in anti-oxidants which hunt and get rid of free radicals in the skin. These free radicals come from exposure to things like the sun, pollution, and other environmental stressors that affect the skin.
When this happens, the skin ages faster and it shows! Kojic acid reduces this effect by getting rid of the free radicals and allowing the skin to heal and regenerate healthier and firmer.
For wrinkles, along with kojic acid, you can use things like retinol, vitamin C, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid. However, while I love to use hyaluronic acid, I find that retinol is too much for my under eyes.
Remember that everyone’s skin is different. If you are combining other ingredients with Kojic Acid under your eyes, I strongly recommend that you seek professional advice first.
Some other great natural ways to treat dark circles and wrinkles are:
How To Safely Use Kojic Acid For Under-Eye Circles & Wrinkles
What Type/Formulation of Kojic Acid to Use for Under Eyes
Kojic Acid is available in many forms. There are powders, serums, creams, and soaps.
I recommend using a formula that was specially designed for sensitive skin. This would most likely be a serum or cream.
Many eye creams that are formulated for dark circles and wrinkles have kojic acid in them which is the right concentration for that part of your skin. They also usually have other ingredients that soothe the skin and even enhance the results.
Try to use brands and products that are recognized, trusted, and dermatologist-approved.
Kojic acid powders and soaps may be too intense for the skin under your eyes and there’s a higher risk of these getting in your eyes when applying them.
Related Article – Milk to Treat Dark Circles: Will it Work & How to Use
What Concentration of Kojic Acid to Use For Under Eyes
The concentration of Kojic acid you will find on most skincare products and cosmetics is between 1 and 4 percent. However, the approved percentage is 1% or less (The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel).
To avoid side effects and to be safe, I recommend that you choose products with a concentration of 1% or less Kojic Acid.
Keep in mind that your under-eye area is thin and sensitive. Treatments in this area should be gentle and gradual. Using a strong concentration of kojic acid will damage the skin more than it will help.
However, if your skin can withstand stronger concentrations, then you can use them at your own pace and preference. However, be sure to always patch-test your skin with the product first. Also, always start with a low concentration and gradually work your way to higher ones.
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How often can you use Kojic Acid on the Under Eyes?
Kojic acid can be used a few times a week, now exactly how often will vary for every person, based on:
- Condition of your under eyes,
- Your skin’s reaction, and
- the kind of product you are using.
This will be a trial-and-error situation. I changed my Kojic acid formulation and the timing of use for a month before I found a routine that worked for me. It took a little longer to see the results I wanted but eventually, I did!
Everyone’s skin is different and will need a tailored approach.
Most eye creams and serums are designed to be used daily. But, if you notice that your skin is reacting badly, lessen the amount of the product that you are using and how often you are using it until your side effects ease up.
However, keep in mind that kojic acid is not a product that you should use under your eyes forever. My dermatologist and many others recommend using it for a short-term period (a few months) and then giving your skin a break, especially if you have sensitive skin.
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Best Products With Kojic Acid For Under-Eye Circles & Wrinkles
1- Nasola Kojic Acid Cream
This cream is gentle enough to be used on the under-eye area as well as the other parts of the face. It’s made of kojic acid, Vitamins C & E, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid,
Shea butter, aloe vera, and squalane. These ingredients work together to tackle hyperpigmentation while moisturizing the skin and soothing it.
2- MonétBeauty Kojic Acid Serum
This serum is gentle and soothing which makes it great for the under-eye area. It is formulated with 1% kojic acid, alpha arbutin, niacinamide, and squalane.
This serum is also great for sensitive skin and is fragrance-free. It is also vegan, cruelty-free, and free of parabens, phthalates, and sulfates.
Other Benefits of Using Kojic Acid For Under-Eyes
Other than the skin-lightening and anti-aging benefits of kojic acid, some other great ones include:
1- Antimicrobial properties
Researchers believe that kojic acid could have antimicrobial advantages. It could aid in lowering the probability of getting frequent bacterial skin diseases.
2- Anti-fungal Properties
Kojic acid is believed to have specific anti-fungal advantages. Certain fungal illnesses, such as yeast infections and athlete’s foot, may be prevented or treated with it.
Side Effects of Using Kojic Acid For Under-Eye Circles & Wrinkles
Since Kojic acid is so potent, it can easily trigger a few side effects. Here are the ones you need to look out for:
1- Contact Dermatitis
The most frequent negative side effect of kojic acid is contact dermatitis. This can lead to redness, irritation, itching, rashes, swelling skin, soreness, and discomfort are just a few of its symptoms.
Those with sensitive skin or those who use products with a greater concentration of kojic acid than 1% are more likely to develop contact dermatitis. If you are responding to a kojic acid-containing product, stop using it.
2- Increased Sensitivity To Sunburns
Long-term use of kojic acid seems to make the skin more easily sunburned when exposed to direct sunlight in many people. Always use sunscreen when using this ingredient and avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible.
If you’re looking for more natural ingredients to avoid side effects, check out these articles:
Final Report of the Safety Assessment of Kojic Acid as Used in Cosmetics – Christina L. Burnett, Wilma F. Bergfeld, Donald V. Belsito, Ronald A. Hill, Curtis D. Klaassen, Daniel C. Liebler, James G. Marks, Ronald C. Shank, Thomas J. Slaga, Paul W. Snyder, F. Alan Andersen, 2010