Kojic Acid vs Vitamin C: Which One Is Better for Brightening Skin and Reducing Dark Spots?

Kojic Acid vs Vitamin C: Which One Is Better for Brightening Skin and Reducing Dark Spots?

And drumroll please…. The answer is yes! Both kojic acid and vitamin c are considered great for the skin and are used in many skincare products. We have heard to use natural vitamin c to brighten skin at home for the longest time, but the concept of kojic acid seems to be a bit new.

So, today a comparison will tell us which is better than the other.  
Kojic Acid Powder on a Board with Sliced Lemons

What is kojic acid? 

The name kojic acid is taken from the Japanese term "koji," meaning "steamed rice."
Kojic acid is a fungi chemical. It was first discovered in the year 1907. A lot of different variants of fungi make this ingredient. However, the most prominent is the Aspergillus (a type of fungi), the strains of which make kojic acid. It can also be produced by fermenting soy sauce and rice wine. A natural preservative, kojic acid is used in the food industry at times. However, the primary use of kojic acid is here in the beauty and skincare industry.

Kojic acid is a natural metabolite that helps in lightening skin by preventing the production of tyrosine. Tyrosine is an amino acid compound that is responsible for the production of skin's pigment or melanin.

Kojic acid has also been found to be a very safe product to be used on the skin. It is not a toxicant. Chronic, acute, and reproductive studies have proven the same. It gets absorbed in the skin slowly and has never been found to reach a health risk threshold. 

Kojic Acid benefits on skin:

1.  Anti-aging –

Kojic acid has an anti-aging effect on the skin. Products containing kojic acid help lighten dark spots and skin regions that have become discolored and look dull. It helps brighten the skin and reduce the appearance of age spots as well. It has an anti-aging effect. 

2. Melasma Treatment –

Darkening of the skin during pregnancy is called melasma. Kojic acid has proven to lighten and brighten skin conditions too. 

3. Antifungal Benefits –

Kojic acid is also considered to have some antifungal benefits. It helps in the treatment of fungal infection as well as curing an infection. Yeast infections can be cured by using kojic acid. 

4. Antibacterial effects –

Kojic acid has antibacterial properties that help decrease the chances of getting common bacterial infections. 

5. Lightening Scars –

Kojic acid helps reduce the skin's discoloration and, thus, lightens scars. However, it does not improve the thickness of scar tissues. It only helps lighten the pigmentation of scars. The lightening of scars depends on the pigmentation that the scars have too. 


Potential Side Effects

  • Even though kojic acid has been declared a safe ingredient for cosmetic use, few people may face mild repercussions/side effects. The most common side effect/repercussion of kojic acid is contact dermatitis. 
  • Noticeable contact dermatitis symptoms are redness, irritation, rashes, swollen skin, & discomfort. People with sensitive skin/ individuals using kojic acid more than the instructed quantity/amount, may contact a dermatologist
  • If you use kojic acid for a long time, your skin may get sensitive to the sun. It is always advised/recommended to wear sunscreen & protective clothing to avoid sun damage. 

Vitamin C Serum Next to Sliced Oranges

What is Vitamin C? 

Vitamin C is an important nutrient for maintaining healthy skin. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to premature aging, dark spots, and other skin issues. Vitamin C also plays a key role in the production of collagen, a protein that is essential for skin health and helps to keep the skin looking firm, smooth, and youthful. Lastly, it aids in your skin's natural regeneration process, which helps your body repair damaged skin cells.

Benefits of Vitamin C: 

  • It acts as a powerful antioxidant for the skin
  • Vitamin C triggers the skin to produce more collagen and elastin to help the skin self heal due to its high acidity. 
  • It helps slow down premature aging as it can make the skin produce more collagen.
  • Vitamin C inhibits melanin production that, in turn, reduces the number of dark spots and discoloration skin that happens. 
  • Vitamin C, if used before dark spots and age spots occur, can prevent the same from forming. 
  • Vitamin C does not alter the natural skin color; it only helps fade out dark brown spots. 

Potential side effects and risks 

Although irritation is unlikely, one should always do a patch test before complete application. It is the only way to realize if your skin will react to the serum.

However, for sensitive skin, avoid products with L-ascorbic acid. Products with magnesium ascorbyl phosphate may be less likely to irritate. 


 Kojic Acid vs Vitamin C Comparison Chart

Kojic Acid or Vitamin C?

Kojic acid is more potent than Vitamin C, it also is considered a stable compound and doesn’t degrade as easily. I know sis, I was shocked too! This is also the reason why we use kojic acid in all our brightening products. 

So know that you have the rundown on what kojic acid is and what it can do, are you going to include it in your skincare routine?

Shop our brightening skincare products that contain this powerful acid and turn your glow up a notch or two!

Comment below if you have used kojic acid and of it worked for you, we’d love to hear your thoughts!


1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3663177/ 
2. https://shop.ora.organic/blogs/news/organic-vitamin-c-synthetic-vitamin-c 
3. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/vitamin-C#:~:text=The%20antioxidant%20properties%20of%20vitamin,ultraviolet%20(UV)%2Dinduced%20photodamage. 

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