Kojic Acid Soap: Everything You Need To Know

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.

  • Redness
  • 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)
  •  Peeling
  • 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.

Common Problems:

  • 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:

Step #1:

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.

First Week:

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.

Second Week:

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.

Step #3:

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!

#1. Marie France Kojic Soap: 

Best for skin tones: medium, dark, black

kojic acid soap

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

kojic acid soap

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

kojic acid soap

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.

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Hi i read all your post , i have one question that if using kojic acid soap in future will get any side effects or any skin problems(i:e, Skin cancer) most of them are saying if using strengthening skin lightening products wil get skin problem? its true ? Kindly clarify my doubts after u r replay only i try to use this soap, thanks


Thank so much Taylor


should i use kojic acid soap all over my body or only on affected areas (darkened body parts)


Hello is it ok if il just use it on my problem areas only? I hv only have pimples on my right cheek and jawline . will my face look uneven?


Hi I just ordered the soap. Question, which kind of soap should I use after taking a shower.

dat Boi

Hello! I have been using kojic acid soaps for exfoliating since last year and have been loving the results! Whenever I get a pretty unneven face texture I put it on for a minute or two then wash it off. Yesterday morning I tried lathering the foam longer than usual on my face but instead it made my face bumpier than ever! Should I go for a more gentle facial wash for a while? I’m scared that since my skin has become very irritated from the kojic acid it might not respond well and need to take a bit/some time… Read more »

Niña Patricia Balate

Can I use Kojic Soap only at night and usa a facial wash at day?

charlene almoguera

Where I can buy the Marie France brand?

Can kojic remove my blackheads and pimples?
If so, should I use kojic more often?

I do have pimples and blackheads, and I am living in a tropical country. If I use Kojic soap more often, will it remove my pimples and blackheads?


Hi im using kojic acid with milk soap and this was my fourth week i worry because it cause more acne for me than before…is it normal? or should I stop using it?


Hi im using kojic acid with milk soap… and this was my fourth week… i worry because it cause more acne in my face… is it normal or should I stop using it.?

cristian abram bautista

why i can’t see peeling in my hand skin? i feel the itcheness when the firstweek that i used kojie san,also the kojic acid soap…


I left a comment here but it disappeared I guess. So posting again… Hello ma’am I used to have a flawless skin few years back but due to imbalanced diet (including lots of junk and oily food) and ill environment, my skin has become extremely dull and dark. I am even unable to get what my skin type is. Its sensitive, acne-prone, sometimes oily and other times dry. Moreover, different parts of my body have different complexion (my arms and back are darker while my legs are really fair). I used every possible method to recover the natural glow- aloe… Read more »


Hello ma’am I used to have a flawless skin few years back but due to imbalanced diet and ill environment my skin has lost its quality. It has become dull and very dark. I am even unable to get what my skin type is. Its acne prone, get oily at one time and dry at the other. I used every possible method to recover the natural glow- aloe vera gel, cucumber juice, lemon juice but none of it worked. Its too sensitive and therefore I am scared to use kojic acid soap. Kindly tell what should I do? And after… Read more »


Ive been using kojic soap for a wk and i feel the itchiness for the 1st tym,red bumps started to appear,then i applied petroleum jelly and just disappear couple of hrs..so i decided to go back to my regular soap..but i found kojic effective when it comes to whitening..then aftr couple of wks,im bck w/ kojic again,and as usual ,itchiness started but just disappear after few minutes..should i continue using kojic?coz maybe u said its side effects are normal..maybe my body will used to it aftr few wks of itchness?what do u suggest doc?


Is it same step for face and body? Like you leave it for not more than 15 seconds for the first time?


does using kojic papaya sop increase the chances of getting cancer?

Kojic acid soap or kojic cream… which one is good (kojimax have 5 percentage of kojic acid, should I use it ) and how to use cream ( should i apply it on face before going to bed and should wash it off in morning )


kojic acid or cream ..which is good !!?

Kojic acid or kojic cream. .which should i prefer to use (kojimax contains 5 percentage of kojic acid.. should o use it) and how to use cream ( i mean o have to apply it begore sleep and wash it out on morning )


Can u tell me what to use kojic soap or kojic cream ( kozimax is 5 percentage of kojic acid, should i use it )


Hey …which is good. . Kojic soap or kojic cream (kozimax is 5 percentage of koic acid ,should i use it )…plz tell


Once i start using this soap can i apply makeup if there’s some function or if i go for outing once a week? Will there be any side effect of applying makeup when soap usage has started?


I have heard that kojic acid soap is carcinogenic? It causes cancer! Is that true?


Has marie france kojic acid soap been vegan certified or halal certified?? Plzz reply .

Hi I’m planning to use kojic acid soap but I can be under the sun on the way to my workplace in airport which is air conditioned. And I always use umbrella when I’m outside. Is it alright for me to use it? And can I also apply spf? Will it not damage my skin?

Thank you :D


Plz reply


Hey I started using the soap past two days and I want to bleach my face so can I?
As the soap contains acid in it am confused!

peter carra

HELP!!! i just used kojic acid and my face still burns The way i use it was: Over the bathroom sink I wet my face with regular cold water I rubbed the bar on my face for like 15-20 second I then used my hands to rub the rest in gently then washed it off after like 35 seconds After that i felt a tight tingling sensation Then i did it in my neck. I had to go out to work the sameday and it was hot and sunny so i used 50spf sunblock on Even rubbing sunblock on my… Read more »

hi! may i ask what cream or moisturizer are you using?


Hi. I just start using Kojic soap (Marie France) last April 15 but since then I stopped using my facial toner (neutrogena toner) Can I still used it while I’m using this Kojic soap? Just curious.???? Thanks.


I’d already posted a comment, but it seems to have disappeared. I live in a hot, very sunny tropical country and cannot avoid the sun at all, since I study in university: during the walk to the classroom and in the classroom itself (it has full length windows), direct sun exposure is inevitable :( Do you think sunscreen/sunblock with a good SPF protect my skin enough that I can start using a kojic acid soap? Or will my hyperpigmentation worsen? Thanks in advance!


Hi – I’ve been considering using Kojic Acid soap to lighten hyperpigmentation around my mouth and on my back. I had consulted a dermatologist and was prescribed Hydroquinone, but was given strict instructions to use it only if I could avoid the sun almost entirely – do the same rules apply for kojic acid soap? I am a university student in India, in a very hot and sunny city, and I cannot avoid sun exposure since I walk from the hostels to the lecture halls and back every day in the blazing sun. My classrooms also have full-length windows, so… Read more »

Cyrus siao

I’m trying to use this because I want a lighter skin and pimples. I want my pimples to go away but when I use this soap, a day later I get pimples. Should I keep on using it. I only started this week.

I posted a comment before but I don’t see it so let me try again. I see that you are avidly replying to new comments and I thank you for your diligence. We just wanted your opinion on our routine. My fiancée is black and we have a routine set to get rid of acne scars and to prevent further bumps from appearing. We also want to lighten the pubic area, and outer and inner buttocks. We apply the kojic acid soap all over her body in hopes to get rid of the acne scars. We follow your directions and… Read more »

I have sensitive skin right and I used it yesterday and my body was burning is that normal or what and what good moisturizer to use

Wat a good moisturizer to use


I’m using this soap from past 14 days its working great & my problem is after face wash I see dead skin cells on few places on my face & after 3-4 hours of face wash my skin becomes dull….is it all normal?? Or is der any problem in my diet?

desmond Ocelot

Can I use the Kojic Acid soap with the Kojic cream



Where could i buy MF Kojic Soap in Philippines?




Where can you buy MF kojic soap in Philippines?


I got burn from chemical peel. Looking black then my original color. Can I use kojoic acid soap? It’s been one week after chemical peel and my skin Turing worst. Peeling has coveted.


I currently use Kojie san soap which is very effective too, there are some ways to achieve beautiful glowing skin. – Be an active fitness enthusiast, get a membership, or do your exercise at home this activity helps circulate blood on your skin. As you sweat you naturally sweat out all the impurities in your body! Its like you’re detoxifying naturally! – Drink Tea! the ones that is serve in luke warm freshly boiled water! Green Tea, White Tea and Oolong is a good choice. Remember to buy the brand you trust and likely choose organic they posses the much… Read more »


Hi im gonna try this for the first time….is it safe to use it in inner thighs, butt and my darken underarms??..those areas are hyperpigmented…how long will it take to show the results?? Also can i use it in my waist line?


Hi, is the soap still working for you? what else are you using right now? I am asking because it has been a while since you posted this. :) I started to use the soap once a day on my armpit and like you said I think my skin is not that sensitive because I have not have any reaction. thank you…


Hi Taylor! I like your blog and how you teach natural beauty with life practical of yourself unlike others that just copy and paste. However, i need to be cleared on one thing; can i use this kojic soap once in a week and then use my normal bath/toilet soap the rest 6 days? Will there be any side effects like skin disease using it along my normal toliet/bath soap? I am not mostly interested in whitening but to clear my uneven, dark spots, blemish pimple face and that’s why i ask if using it once a week with toilet… Read more »


Do it work on bikini lines? Im using kojie san with whitenicious dark spot remover as a regimen but I felt no tingling or burn there


hi im using kojie san soap for since a month. stil i dont see a difference..and can i use face creams like olay . also can i apply fruits n home made face facks. pls suggest..


Hey taylor, can i still use this only just before going to bed? bec. i’m always exposed to sun bec. i’m studying. thanks

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