Will kojic acid soap work for you? An easy-to-ready guide on what the soap does and doesn’t do, who should and shouldn’t use the soap, side effects, safety and information on how to use it to see faster results.
What is kojic acid soap?
Kojic acid soap or sometimes called “kojic soap” is made of active ingredient called kojic acid, a by-product of Sake (Japanese rice wine.) In 1989, Japanese women discovered that kojic acid have the ability to make their skin look lighter.
How kojic soap works:
The soap works by aggressively exfoliating the top layer of the skin to reveal a much lighter and even skin underneath. By removing dead skin cells, kojic acid will then penetrate the skin deeper, which will make the skin look lighter and even-toned.
Will kojic acid soap work for me?
Kojic acid soap is a very powerful soap that can lighten skin tone and remove dark spots in the body. I’ve used it myself many times and it has always worked for my skin problems.
However, before you buy one, you may want to what I wrote below so that you can give yourself an idea on whether it will work for you or not.
What kojic acid soap does:
- Evens skin tone.
- Lightens skin.
- Helps lighten medium, dark to black skin.
- Helps remove acne/pimples and acne scars.
- Removes hyper pigmentation.
- Lightens the appearance of melasma.
- Lightens the appearance of dark spots in the inner thighs, underarms, knees, knuckles.
- Gets rid of acne scars.
- Exfoliates and deeply cleanses the skin to get rid of blackheads.
- Gives a natural-looking fair skin.
- Works on black skin.
- Removes eczema scars
- Gets rid of strawberry legs
What kojic soap doesn’t do:
- Doesn’t give a “bleached-looking skin.”
- Doesn’t remove stretch marks.
- Does not contain hydroquinone
- Lighten lips
- Doesn’t permanently lighten skin. Contrary to what you’ve read or heard before, the soap (and no skin lightening products) can permanently lighten the skin. Your skin will return back to its natural tone when you stopped using the product.
Where you can and cannot use kojic acid soap:
The soap can be used on face (except eyes, lips and mouth) and body (except nipples, genitals, anal and other sensitive areas).
Please DO NOT use the soap on the areas above as it’s harmful when ingested. In addition, it will cause severe burning and irritation if it’s used on sensitive areas.
Who should use kojic acid soap:
If you’re searching for products that can get rid of dark spots, uneven skin tone or if you just want to lighten your skin, then kojic soap is right for you. This is a very powerful soap that delivers results.
Who should NOT use this soap:
- Individuals who stay under too much sunlight should not use this soap at all. The reason for this is because this soap contains kojic acid, a very powerful skin lightening ingredient that can produce adverse effect when used under direct sunlight. Note that if you plan on using any kind of lightening products (soaps, creams, toner, etc.) you should not stay under the sun anyway.
- Also, if you’re the kind of person who wants to see results in about 1-4 weeks, then this soap (and any other products that promises an even skin tone) is not for you. Why? Because it might take sometime before you see any results on your skin especially if you have medium to dark skin. However, keep in mind that there are some people who would see results earlier than most of us.
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- Do not use this soap if you have super sensitive skin.
Side effects of using kojic acid soap:
Please note that all of the side effects listed below will not be experienced by everyone since we all have different skin types. Also, these side effects might last between 1-3 weeks depending on your skin sensitivity.
- Itchiness (use a heavy cream or lotion to prevent this from happening)
- “Tight Feeling”
- Breakout (happens most of the time if you’re acne-prone)
- Dry skin (use a heavy lotion or cream)
- Burning/Tingling Sensation
Note: Don’t panic if you experience these side effects because it will eventually go away. It’s temporary.
Is kojic acid soap safe?
According to this safety assessment report, kojic acid soap is safe to use in cosmetics.
Is kojic soap safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women?
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use kojic acid soap. It’s too strong.
Does kojic acid cause cancer?
There’s no indication that kojic acid causes cancer as of this writing. According to this report, kojic acid is safe to use within certain levels.
Real vs Fake Kojic Acid Soap:
Over the years, kojic acid soap became really popular due to to its effectiveness. Unfortunately, due to its popularity, a lot of fake soaps have been circulating the market.
Here are some things that you can do to make sure that you’re buying a real kojic soap:
- ALWAYS buy directly from the source. For example, if you’re thinking about buying Marie France Kojic Acid Soap, then I would go directly to their site rather than buying it off on Amazon or other marketplace.
- Buy from a reputable seller. If you still want to buy from Amazon or eBay, then make sure that you’re buying from a reputable seller. Check their feedback first.
- Avoid buying unlabeled kojic soaps. Most of these are just plain soaps with orange color in it.
- Go to the brand’s official social media page or website and ask if the seller where you bought the soap from is an authorized distributor.
- Examine the overall appearance of the soap. Go to the brand’s official site or social media page and compare the soap that you bought to the pictures of the soap posted on their site. If you notice any difference, then contact the brand first. Brands do change their packaging every few years for marketing purposes.
- Kojic soap doesn’t work – you have to give the soap about 8 weeks before you see results. You have to allow kojic acid to penetrate your skin before seeing results.
- Burning/itching feeling – use the soap less often and use a heavy moisturizer afterwards.
How to use your kojic acid soap to see faster results:
Always wet your face with warm (NOT hot) water. It’s always better to use your kojic soap when your pores are open (warm water opens pores) so that it will unclog it. Wash your face like how you would normally wash it with a regular soap but be aware of the timeframe I listed below.
If this is your first time using a kojic soap, then you should only use it once a day for no more than 20 seconds. You have to let your skin get used to the kojic acid. Leaving the soap on your skin for more than the time stated above might cause redness and irritation.
You can now use it twice a day for no more than 20 seconds each time.
Third Week and so on:
It’s now ok to leave it on for 1-2 minutes and use it twice daily.
Sensitive combination skin:
For those who have sensitive/combination type of skin, you may feel some kind of “tingling sensation.” In addition, micro peeling will occur. This is a good sign. Whenever the skin peels, it means that it’s removing the dead skin cells and replacing it with a brand new one so that it’s going to look younger, whiter and smoother.
Step #2 (this is an important step):
Wash your face with very cold water for about 2 minutes. Why is this important? Simply because since you opened your pores with warm water, you now have to close it with cold water. I noticed that when I finish washing my face with cold water, my pores are less visible and my skin feels a lot smoother. In addition, there’s less peeling. Maybe it’s just my skin but you should try it to and see what happens.
Dry your face and apply a heavy moisturizer – preferably a heavy skin whitening cream for your face and a whitening lotion for your body. Please note that kojic soap causes skin peeling. Yes, that’s that “dry skin” that you’re seeing. Don’t worry as it’s not really “drying” your skin, it’s actually peeling it to remove the dead skin so that kojic acid can penetrate your skin deeper. It also helps give you that smooth and radiant-looking skin.
IMPORTANT TO KNOW: If you plan on using another skin lightening product (creams, serums, lotion) while using kojic acid soap, it’s better to avoid a product that contains kojic acid. For example, do not use kojic acid lotion with kojic acid soap because this will create too much exfoliation. It’s better to stick with another active ingredient like alpha arbutin or niacinamide while using the soap.
When you’ll see results:
Results vary depending on your skin type and how fast your skin adapts to the active ingredients. However, it normally takes an average of 8 weeks before you see results.
Do’s and Don’ts:
- Don’t stay under the sun.
- Avoid rubbing the skin if it’s itchy (add more moisturizer is the solution to itchy skin).
- See recommended usage time and don’t leave the soap longer than the time frame listed below.
- Do buy a heavy moisturizer before using the soap.
- Don’t use on broken skin.
Best kojic acid soaps for your skin tone:
Medium to dark skin tones: If you have a medium to dark skin tone like myself, I can assure you that very few brands of kojic acid soaps will work for you. Why? It’s because we have more melanin on our skin compared to our light skin counterparts. What you need to do is to use a kojic soap that’s specifically made for darker skin color.
Light to Fair skin tones: For those with light or fair skin, you can use the soaps below but be warned that they may be too strong for you. You have to be very careful using these brands. The good thing is, you’ll probably see results faster compared to people with darker skin. Lucky duck!
Best for skin tones: medium, dark, black
This is what I’m currently using. So far, it has exceeded my expectation. Like what I said, I’ve tried so many different brands of kojic soap but this brand is the strongest by far. I’m currently using it on my butt, bikini and underarm area every day.
In addition, this kojic soap is made specifically for medium to dark skin tones. I have many African-american (black), Indian and Hispanic friends who swear by this soap. Most of them use it to get rid of dark spots and hyper pigmentation and it works for them. If you are under this skin tone category, then you’re lucky.
Warning: This is also a very strong lightening soap. The soap box says “maximum strength” and they’re right – it’s maximum strength. I’ve used it on my face before and one of my co-workers asked me, “why is your face so much whiter that the rest of your body?” That was funny but that’s when I realized that it really works when it comes to lightening the skin.
#2. Diana Stalder
Best for skin tones: Fair to Medium
I used this soap for maybe six months. This has kojic acid and papaya extract in it. It did help lighten my skin but I felt that it’s kinda slow so I decided to try a different brand.
#3. Likas Papaya
Best for skin tones: Fair
I remember using this soap when I was in 6th grade. Back then, I had severe acne and one of my friends who had used this brand told me to try it myself. Unfortunately, it broke my skin out ever more! I know that my skin type (sensitive) has something to do with it as well. We didn’t have air conditioner when I was growing up so it was hot. I stopped using this soap after a few days.
Common kojic soap ingredients:
Kojic acid, Papaya extract, Glycerine, Virgin Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera, Orange scent and Color
Questions and Answers:
- Who can use kojic acid soap?
Anyone can use it, however, people who stay under the sun should refrain from using this soap.
- Can I use it on my areolas?
No. I would not suggest to use a kojic soap in this very sensitive area. It’s way too strong.
- How long before I see results?
It depends on your skin. Results vary individually, therefore, no one can tell how long before you’ll see its lightening effect. However, this particular soap has to be used every single day (preferably twice a day) to see maximum results.
- Can I use kojic soap on my underarms or inner thighs?
Absolutely. However, please be careful when using it in your inner thighs as you do not want the soap so be in your intimate part.
- Once I achieve my desired results, can I stop using it?
I wouldn’t suggest to completely stop using it. What I would do is to use it as a maintenance. For example, if you’re using it 2x a day, everyday, then you should just use it 2-3 times a week for maintenance. Remember that this is a topical skin whitening product and the result isn’t permanent.