If you have been looking for ways to tackle hyperpigmentation, melasma, sun spots, and dark lips, then you might have heard about kojic acid.
Kojic acid inhibits the production of melanin in the skin, which lessens pigmentation.
Therefore, when applied topically, Kojic acid has the potential to lighten skin because it prevents melanin from being produced when it is absorbed into the skin.
But can Kojic acid be used on your lips?
Can You Use Kojic Acid On Your Lips
You can use Kojic Acid on your lips. However, this should be done cautiously.
Kojic acid is relatively strong. The recommended concentration that is approved for use by the FDA and the American Dermatology Association is 1-2% for those who have never used it before and up to. And 4% for seasoned users.
However, for the lips, I recommend that you do not use products or mixtures with more than 1%.
You see the skin of the lips is much thinner and more sensitive than the other parts of the body. It is easier for ingredients to penetrate the lips and also for them to cause irritation and side effects. To avoid this, it is best to start with small concentrations and gradually work your way up if necessary.
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Benefits Of Kojic Acid For Lips
Kojic Acid poses similar benefits for the lips as it would for the skin.
1- Lightens Dark Spots on Lips
Because of its ability to inhibit melanin production, Kojic acid can gradually fades dark spots on the lips by preventing the hyperpigmented skin cells from being replaced by more hyperpigmented cells.
Instead, they are replaced with regular skin cells. Over time, the spots will no longer be dark. This means that Kojic Acid can effectively lighten dark lips.
Other ways to lighten dark lips:
2- Treats melasma on Lips
Melasma is a common issue related to pregnancy in women and shows up as dark patches on the face and body (even the lips!). It can be quite stubborn and resistant to less aggressive treatments.
However, kojic acid has proven to be effective that getting rid of these dark patches. It is also safe to use during pregnancy, unlike many other skin-bleaching treatments. However, you need to be careful not to ingest it.
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3- It is anti-aging
Kojic acid is UV protective. It helps the skin to protect itself from free-radical damage and sun damage. When used with a good SPF, it allows your skin to regenerate without too much environmental damage. This will make the skin of the lips look and feel younger.
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4- It is antibacterial and antifungal
Kojic acid has some antibacterial and antifungal properties that make it helpful in preventing bacterial acne, skin infections like candida, athlete’s foot and other bacterial or fungal skin conditions.
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How to Use Kojic Acid on Lips
When using Kojic Acid on your lips, it is best to use pre-formulated products that are designed specifically for the lips.
While Kojic Acid is available in various forms (powders, soaps, serums, lotions, etc.), the safest thing for your lips will be a lip product.
However, if you cannot find lip products, you can use face creams or kojic acid powder mixed with a lip treatment. Just ensure that what you are using is safe for your lips and does not contain harsh ingredients. Also, ensure that it is not stronger than 2% concentrated.
Remember that the skin of your lips is very thin and much more sensitive than other areas of your body. Using a product that is too harsh will irritate your lips and make them worse rather than better.
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How Often Can You Use Kojic Acid On Your Lips
Most Kojic Acid lip products can be used daily or twice daily.
It depends on the product itself and how your skin will react to it. Be sure to follow the product’s instructions and pay attention to your lips for the best results.
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Tips For Using Kojic Acid On Your Lips
- Make sure your lips are clean and free of makeup and cosmetics.
- Do not over-exfoliate. This can cause micro-tears in your lips that can become very irritated from Kojic Acid.
- Start with a patch test. If your lips tolerate the treatment, start gradually and work your way up in frequency.
- Start with a low concentration of Kojic Acid and then work your way up if necessary.
- Be careful of what other ingredients you are using. While Kojic Acid generally works great with AHAs, Vitamin C, Retinol, Arbutin, etc, remember that your lips are super sensitive.
- Use ingredients that you are sure will not irritate your lips. If you are trying other new ingredients, it is best to try them separately.
- After applying your kojic acid lip treatment, let it completely dry before layering any other products over it.
- Always use SPF. Your lips may become even more sensitive to the sun so UV protection is very important.
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Recommended Lip Products With Kojic Acid For Lips
1- Omorfee Organic Lip Lightening Scrub
This lip scrub contains Microcrystalline Spruce Wood Cellulose beads and potent Kojic Acid in a rich creamy base to exfoliate lips with utmost gentleness. It also contains Mango Butter and Vitamin E for added moisture and softness.
2- Glutathione Lip Balm Cream
This lip balm tackles hyperpigmentation of the lips with a combination of Glutathione, Kojic Acid and Alpha-Arbutin.
It also contains Organic Mango Butter, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Vitamin C, Hyaluronic, Rose, Strawberry, Hibiscus Extract, Bearberry Extract, and Vitamin E to heal and soothe the lips.
3- Pure Kojic Acid Powder
Kojic Acid can be added to existing lotions and soap bases, or combined with Hyaluronic Acid Serum to create a gentle and effective skin-lightening serum.
Products containing Kojic Acid can be applied to your face, chest, hands, elbows, thighs, or anywhere you have discoloration.
It can also be added to lip balms or lip butters. Be sure to follow the instructions to ensure that you mix the powder to the right concentration (not more than 1% for your lips for starters).
Side Effects Of Using Kojic Acid On Lips
While The Cosmetic Ingredient Review Expert Panel has confirmed that Kojic Acid is most safe to use in concentrations of 1% or less for the least side effects, some people still experience reactions.
Some common side effects may include:
If you notice any of these reactions, then stop using Kojic Acid, wash your skin with clean water, and consult your doctor, especially if the symptoms become more than mild.
Also, never use Kojic Acid on broken skin or already irritated or inflamed skin.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you use hydroquinone and kojic acid for lips?
There are no studies that indicate how safe or effective hydroquinone and kojic acid together are for the lips. Using this combination should be done under the guidance of a dermatologist.
They have been known to be effective when used separately. However, one 2013 study has shown that 1% Kojic acid combined with 2% hydroquinone is a superior skin-lightening agent when used to treat melasma.
But, keep in mind that this study investigated melasma on the skin of the face and body, not on the lips. And, your lips are much thinner and more sensitive. Using these ingredients together without a doctor’s guidance could lead to irritation and side effects.
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Will Kojic Acid permanently lighten my lips?
If the cause of your lip darkness has been controlled, then the lightening effects of kojic acid can be permanent.
However, if your lip darkness is being caused by something that is constantly occurring (smoking, chronic health conditions, foods, unprotected sun exposure, etc), then it will more than likely come back after you stop your kojic acid treatment.
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Can you use Kojic Acid when pregnant?
Kojic acid is generally considered safe to use in small, cautious doses while pregnant.
However, please consult your doctor before using this acid at any stage of your pregnancy.
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Can you use Kojic Acid while breastfeeding?
Kojic acid is generally considered safe to use in small, cautious doses while breastfeeding.
However, please consult your doctor before using this acid at any stage of your breastfeeding journey.
Also, avoid putting it where your baby might be able to ingest it (around or close to your breasts and nipples, or on your lips if you kiss your child a lot).
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3- KOJIC ACID