Is Kojic Acid Stronger Than Hydroquinone: The Truth
Preferably, some truths will tell us that hydroquinone has far more superiority than any other whitening products there is in the market nowadays. Of course, hydroquinone has the unique ability to kill melanin-producing cells – which will immediately aid the skin in bagging a lighter shade or two. However, with the whitening possibilities made possible by hydroquinone, comes along staggering effects related to ochronosis and decrease protection against UV rays – a consequential prelude to skin cancer.
Thus, dermatologists and skin experts discouraged the use of hydroquinone among the general public. Hydroquinone must never be used by people with sensitive skin, or by people with extremely white skin – people with fair skin are at high risk for ochronosis, a condition characterized by skin darkening and pigmentation.
A study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology tells that kojic acid is less effective than 2% hydroquinone in the treatment of pigmentation. Pigmentation would mean sunspots, uneven skin tone, discoloration related to acne, and many more.
Moreover, according to Dermatologic Surgery in 2001, it is stated that kojic acid has been seen to have a link to contact allergy and with a high sensitizing potential.
To add, Medscape explored the effects of kojic acid combined with hydroquinone and it has been noted that the same whitening effects can be achieved when kojic acid is combined with glycolic acid. Experts also noted that kojic acid combined with hydroquinone stabilizes the effects of hydroquinone alone. Kojic acid has greater stability compared to hydroquinone and to other products as well, as stated in Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology in 2011. To add, it has also been noted that kojic acid is preferred than hydroquinone. It is for the fact that hydroquinone is often linked to many adverse effects in the skin such as ochronosis. In a study of 1000 hydroquinone users, ochronosis is rare but common among those who have fair skin.
The bottom line regarding this discussion is that one must consult a physician first prior hydroquinone use or kojic-hydroquinone combination.