I have uneven tanning and hyperpigmentation. Can I use Tranexamic acid, Kojic acid, and Alpha arbutin to improve my skin tone?

Q. Are Tranexamic acid, Kojic acid, and Alpha arbutin safe to use on the face to improve the skin tone?

Answered by
Dr. Sandhya Narayanan Kutty
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 09, 2022 and last reviewed on: Dec 12, 2022

Hello doctor,

I have been facing issues with uneven tanning and hyperpigmentation. I do not have melasma but I was thinking of using products that contain Tranexamic acid, Kojic acid and arbutin. Are they safe to use?

Please help.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

I went through your query and understood your concern.

Uneven hyperpigmentation and tanning are due to multiple reasons and most often are caused due to genetic susceptibility wherein a similar condition runs within one's family, which then gets transmitted genetically due to hormonal fluctuations within one's body, especially during puberty. The condition can also be commonly seen among young, pregnant, post-pregnancy, and post-menopausal women. They can occur due to sudden fluctuations in hormone levels, due to climate conditions, due to dietary factors, stress, excess sun exposure, and intake of any medications for any underlying medical conditions. I suggest you follow the instructions mentioned below,

1. Use a mild face wash containing Kojic acid and Vitamin C in the morning and at night to cleanse the face. Apply sufficient quantity, massage gently in circular motion for one minute, and wash it off.

2. Use any good vitamin C serum and apply three to four drops all over your face after cleansing your face in the morning. Vitamin C has antioxidant properties, which protect your skin from further hyperpigmentation, which may be caused due to sun exposure.

3. Use any good cream containing Kojic acid and arbutin. It may be used in the cream form. Kojic acid is a moderately-acting medication that helps reduce hyperpigmentation intensity. Use it at night only on the affected area, and it is not recommended to be used as a cream all over the face. In areas where the pigmentation is the most, a very small quantity of the medication may be applied in a very thin layer on the affected area at night. You can continue this cream for months.

4. Use a good broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or more in the morning to protect your skin. Sunscreens always need to be applied between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM on a day when the UV (ultraviolet) radiations are the most. At least a teaspoon quantity must be applied to the face and neck 20 minutes before going out or as a last step of the skincare routine at home. Sunscreens lose their effect every two hours and need to be reapplied on the already applied layer earlier every two hours till 5:00 PM in the evening. This helps protect the skin and reduce the chances of further hyperpigmentation.

5. In addition, I suggest you not take any medication containing Tranexamic acid.

6. I suggets you undergo procedures like chemical peels for better results. Glycolic acid with Kojic acid chemical peels are peeling agents in the form of a solution that is usually applied on the face and is left for five to ten minutes before washing them off. These procedures are done in sessions of at least six every one to two weeks at a dermatologist clinic. This is a very effective treatment to reduce the intensity of hyperpigmentation. They are safe and do not require any pre-procedure or post-procedure care.

7. I also advise you to include a lot of vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet, including oranges, capsicum, and tomatoes, which help reduce the chances of hyperpigmentation due to their antioxidant properties. Consuming a good and balanced diet would help in having great skin.

8. I also suggest you drink lots of water daily.

Hyperpigmentation takes a long time to reduce in appearance; therefore, consistency is key with the medication.

Kindly consult a specialist, talk with them and take the medications with their consent.

I hope this has helped you.

Thanks and regards.

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