Kojic acid (501-30-4)

Kojic Acid Chemical Structure

What is Kojic Acid?

Kojic acid is an organic compound with the formula HOCH2C5H2O2OH. It is a natural derivative of a fermented fungi, especially Aspergillus oryzae, which has the Japanese common name koji. It is also a by-product of fermented soy sauce and rice wine. Chemically, it is a pyranone. It is primarily known and used for its skin-lightening properties.

Macsen Laboratories is the leading supplier of Kojic Acid with ISO certification.
Name of Product Kojic Acid
IUPAC Name 5-hydroxy-2-(hydroxymethyl)pyran-4-one
Synonyms acido kojico; 5-Hydroxy-2-(hydroxymethyl)-4H-pyran-4-one; Kojisaeure; 2-hydroxymethyl-5-hydroxy-γ-pyrone
CAS No 501-30-4
Molecular Formula C6H6O4
Molecular Weight 142.11 g/mol
Pubchem CID 3840

Chemical Properties

SR. No Criteria Limit/Specification
1 Appearance (Form) Solid crystalline powder
2 Appearance (Color) White
3 Melting Point 152 to 155 °C
4 Solubility Soluble in ethanol, ethyl ether, acetone, DMSO
Slightly soluble in benzene, water
5 Loss on Drying ≤1%
6 Residue on Ignition ≤0.2%


Kojic Acid has the following primary uses –

  • It is best known for its ability to inhibit the production of melanin and is often used to lighten visible sun damage, age spots, or scars.
  • As a skin lightening agent, it is also used to treat melasma.
  • It has antifungal and antibacterial properties and is thus incorporated in creams and lotions to treat certain skin infections.
  • Owing to its antimicrobial properties, it can help treat acne caused by bacteria in the skin.
  • Kojic acid can be utilized on sliced fruits to inhibit browning due to oxidation and is also used in seafood to maintain their pink and red hues.

Side effects

The possible side effects which may occur due to the use of Kojic acid are as follows-

  • Skin irritation, leading to redness, itchiness, discomfort, or a burning sensation
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Increased Sensitivity to Sunlight
  • Skin Dryness


Q. Does kojic acid cause cancer?

As of now, there is no sufficient evidence to suggest that kojic acid causes cancer in humans.

Q. What does kojic acid do?

Kojic acid inhibits and blocks the formation of tyrosine, which is an amino acid that is needed to produce melanin. This results in decreased melanin production, thus exhibiting a skin-lightening effect.

Q. Is kojic acid safe during pregnancy?

Kojic acid has been reported to pose no risks to mothers or cause harm to the developing foetus. However, one should consult a healthcare provider or a dermatologist before starting any new skincare product during pregnancy.

Q. Can you use kojic acid with retinol?

Kojic acid can be used with retinol, but with caution and proper planning in your skincare routine to minimize potential irritation.

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