Kojic acid soap sits at the top of our list for skin lightening products. It’s by far the most popular method used to get a few shades lighter.
And it’s no surprise why – kojic acid soap provides an easy, effortless way to get lighter skin with each wash. They aren’t harsh and provide for gradual, but long-lasting skin lightening.
But what is the best skin lightening soap out there? Below we give you a curated list of the number one kojic acid soaps. First, though, let’s review what exactly is kojic acid and what can it do for your skin?
What is Kojic Acid?
This all-natural skin lightening ingredient is a by-product from the fermentation process of making sake, the Japanese rice wine. Thanks to its effectiveness, kojic acid has quickly made its way up the popularity ladder and is now the second most-common bleaching agent. It’s great at what it does – blocking the conversion of tyrosine to melanin and interfering with the uptake of oxygen required for enzymatic browning – and provides a natural, gentler alternative to synthetic skin lighteners like hydroquinone while being just as effective.
Kojic acid isn’t just good for skin bleaching, though – it’s also classified as an antioxidant and it protects skin cells from oxidative damage and breakdown, ensuring healthier, more youthful skin. On top of all that, kojic acid also makes a potent antibacterial agent and it’s dermatologist-recommended for fighting off bacteria-caused acne and blemishes.
Choosing the Best Kojic Acid Soap
Thanks to all its skin benefits, kojic acid is a popular ingredient in skin lightening, anti-aging, and blemish-fighting skin care products – but our favorite way to use kojic acid is in soap form. The best skin lightening soaps provide a convenient, effective way of gradually lightening the skin on the face – and body! Although kojic acid can be a bit drying, it’s great for lightening facial skin while keeping your pores bacteria-free. Read glowing reviews for using kojic acid soap on both the face and body.
If you’re on the hunt for the best kojic acid soap, keep in mind that kojic acid is an unstable ingredient. It oxidizes quickly and will turn brown if left exposed to air, heat, or light. Even the best skin bleaching soaps based on kojic acid won’t do the trick if they’re old.
Because of this, many cosmetic companies use kojic dipalmitate instead – which is more stable and has antioxidant properties but is not as effective for skin lightening – and market it as kojic acid. The same goes for kojic acid creams.
Below, you’ll find our top 5 picks for best kojic acid soaps – they all contain a high concentration of kojic acid and are the best on the market for skin lightening. If you decide to choose other kojic acid products – read the ingredient list and make sure kojic acid is on it and near the top.
How is Kojic Acid Soap different than Kojic Acid Cream?
When added to beauty soaps, Kojic Acid can assist in lightening skin by inhibiting or stopping the skin from over-producing melanin, which is the reason why people get tans or darker pores and skin when they are exposed to sun. Kojic acid is often added to papaya soaps or other pore-cleansing and skin whitening soaps to complement the lightning that comes from the papaya exfoliating enzymes. Like with the papaya soap, kojic acid too may whiten the skin by way of exfoliation.
Exfoliation as an Added Bonus
The cleaning soap principally operates by eradicating the old and broken skin cells out of your body. This is a wonderful way of eliminating dark spots that cause your dermis to look unappealing. Kojic acid is packed with enzymes that break down the uppermost layer of your skin cells and help your skin shed them more easily.
Convenience of use
Additionally, kojic skin whitening soaps are just really convenient to use. That means, you can easily incorporate them in your evening beauty rituals or daily morning routine – just switch your cleanser with a kojic acid cleaning soap, whereas with the cream, you have an extra step you have to add to your routine.
Less Potent than Kojic Acid Creams
That being said, skin whitening creams with kojic acid can be pretty effective, since you’re essentially leaving the product on your skin (as opposed to washing it off), and the lightening properties have extra time to work their magic and get absorbed by the skin.
How to Use Kojic Acid Soap
Our favorite way to use kojic acid soap is on the body – it makes for a brilliantly simple, yet effective, method of gradually lightening your overall body skin tone and all it takes is a few minutes in the shower. It’s gentle enough for daily use and really effective, especially when combined with other natural skin-lightening soap ingredients like glutathione or papaya extract.
To use kojic acid soap on your body: Work it into a lather, rub all over your body and leave it on for three to five minutes. We highly recommend following your showers with a moisturizer – preferably a deeply moisturizing oil like coconut oil or macadamia oil.
For the face, proceed with caution since kojic acid is an acid and can dry out your skin. It’s good for oily or combination skin but you should make sure to moisturize, preferably with a lightweight, nourishing, skin lightening oil. Regular use helps lighten your complexion day by day, prevent dark spots from forming, and keep your pores bacteria-free and your skin flawless and youthful.
To use kojic acid soap on your face: Start slow and wash your face with this soap only once a day at first. Begin by washing your face, work the soap into a lather and leave it on your face for only 30 seconds. After a couple of days, you can see how your skin responds and then extend the time you leave the soap on your face.
At most, it should not be more than three to five minutes. You might be eager to see changes quickly, but don’t overdo it – rushing it will cause your skin to dry out and become irritated and you’ll have to stop using the soap before you start seeing results.
Best Kojic Acid Soap Review: Top 5 Picks
Marie France Professional Strength Kojic Soap
This is hands-down our favorite kojic acid soap for the face because it’s highly potent – most kojic soaps contain very little kojic acid which leads to very little results.
Marie France uses high concentrations of both kojic acid and papain (they’re listed second and third on the ingredients list), yet is also much more gentle than other, equally potent kojic acid soaps.
Much of this is due to the fact that all the other ingredients in this professional-strength soap have soothing properties: glycerin is a popular emollient that helps seal in hydration, Vitamin E is a deeply nourishing moisturizer and aloe vera is famous for its healing and soothing properties.
Those are the only 5 ingredients in this soap: glycerin, pure kojic acid, papain, Vitamin E, and Aloe Vera – which is another reason we love this soap. It’s the bare essentials – no preservatives, no parabens, nothing but skin lightening or nourishing ingredients.
The way this soap works is two-fold: There’s a strong concentration of pure kojic acid, which is listed as the second ingredient (after glycerin) meaning it’s one of the main ingredients. The kojic acid works as a melanin inhibitor, blocking the tyrosinase enzymes on your epidermis to gradually lighten your skin. At the same time, papain acts as the skin exfoliator, getting rid of dead skin cells and promoting cell turnover so that your new, kojic-acid-influenced, lighter skin can come up to the surface faster.
Expect it to take around 8 to 12 weeks before you see full results. And don’t rush it – this is a high concentration soap. Do what they say and only leave it on your skin for 30 seconds, to begin with.
Kojie San Skin Lightening Soap
This kojic acid soap is powerful – pure kojic acid is the first ingredient, meaning it’s the main ingredient.
Its efficiency is furthered by sweet orange and vitamin C – both helpful for skin lightening. It does have some soothing ingredients like virgin coconut oil and glycerine, but it is more drying than Marie France’s soap.
Overall, we love this soap for the body. Even if you’re not using another lightening product for your body skin, this soap is highly effective in lightening your skin all by itself.
For the face, though – we’re a little reluctant. Not because it doesn’t work – this is probably the most potent kojic acid soap out there – but because it is both drying (you should not use this soap every day on your face, maybe once every other day) and also because it contains citrus oils and virgin coconut oil.
Citrus oils make your skin more sensitive to the sun, which is fine to use on your body since you’re mostly covered up throughout the day, but we’d be wary of using it regularly on your face since facial skin has no protection from UV rays apart from a good sunscreen. Also, virgin coconut oil is soothing but it’s also comedogenic and can clog pores, which is a concern if you have acne-prone skin.
We mostly recommend this soap for the body and for occasional facial use – it’s highly potent and very affordable.
Shouvy Kojic Acid & Glutathione Whitening Soap
Shouvy’s awesome-looking pink soap is relatively new to the market but it quickly shot up as one of the most popular kojic acid soaps. And it’s no wonder why – this little pink bar is pretty great.
Why? It whitens using a potent combination of glutathione and kojic acid that proves super effective in erasing spots and scars.
But our favorite thing about it is how moisturizing it is, which is no surprise considering most of its other ingredients are nourishing oils like almond and coconut oil.
Shouvy is a Japan-based beauty brand focused on top quality medicinal cosmetics that naturally whiten, lighten, and brighten skin. They have a vast experience in the beauty and cosmetics industry, use their knowledge, as well as extensive clinical research to develop the best products. They’re intent on expanding on the world market and it’s going great for them – for a reason. You gotta trust the Japanese on skin whitening, right?
We’re happy we now live in a globalized world where it’s possible to order Japanese beauty secrets to arrive within days on your doormat.
Overall, this is the perfect kojic acid soap if you suffer from dry, easily irritated skin – this will allow you to get the skin lightening benefits without drying out your skin!
A’butee Miracle Premium Whitening Soap
A’butee Miracle Premium Whitening Soap, $34.99 (4 bars)
Here’s another one among the all-natural best skin lightening soaps that does the job well. This natural skin soap is ideal for daily use and 100% safe. Full of the best natural ingredients that are well known for their safe and effective results when applied on the skin – almond oil, coconut oil, grape seed oil, palm kernel oil, kojic acid, glutathione, and Vitamin B3. There are plenty of poor quality glutathione soaps available out there. We suggest you save yourself money and time by going for this formula.
With a combination of effective whitening ingredients and nourishing coconut oil this skin whitening soap cleanses deeply and removes black and whiteheads, helps reduce the visibility of age spots, acne scars, and imperfections, and the continuous use may result in a youthful glow that you will love! Wash your face and body with this natural, whitening soap and get ready to be amazed by its stunning results!
Are you struggling with irritating sun spots, unsightly stretch marks, discoloration, and freckles? Not anymore! Use this product daily to whiten your skin. Our most effective whitening soaps will exfoliate and penetrate deep into your skin to remove dark spots, the discoloration from sunbathing and other skin imperfections. Leaves your skin smooth, soft and even out your skin tone naturally!
Thanks to its luscious, rich texture with coconut oil and hyaluronic acid, this premium quality soap will penetrate deeply into your skin layers to nourish and hydrate the cells giving you back that fresh, youthful glow!
Thanks to its natural formula, our unrivaled whitening soap is 100% safe for your body use and will never harm your skin. Perfect even for a sensitive body and it is beneficial for every skin condition! All that we care about is your maximum satisfaction and in order to achieve that we have chosen the highest quality ingredients for our unique soap. Made under certified facilities and extensively tested before it comes to your door!
Tonique Kojic Acid Soap with Vitamin E
Tonique Kojic Acid Soap with Vitamin E, $20
This is a great product that will effectively tone, lighten and brighten your skin. Reviewers say it’s also good at eliminating acne scars, blemishes, dark spots, and stretch marks. The manufacturer promises that it stimulates cell turnover and overall healing. It should also prevent future breakouts and blemishes.
What’s our experience? It feels great on the skin for one. By massaging the rich lather into the face on your skin and body you are buffering away dark under-eye circles, age spots, and hyperpigmentation. Tonique’s Kojic acid bar will lighten, brighten, and even out your skin tone leaving your complexion glowing.
What’s more – it works. Who knew that you could wash away skin imperfections? We didn’t, until now. Eliminate your acne scars, blemishes, and even your stretch marks. By simply washing your skin with kojic Acid and Vitamin E, you’re stimulating cell overturn and healing, revealing flawless, beautiful new skin. You owe it to yourself to take advantage of this easy solution.
When you use this soap you aren’t just stimulating healing and repair of damaged skin, you are preventing future breakouts and blemishes. Our cleansing formula settles deep into your skin, stripping dirt and exfoliating away dead cells that can clog your pores, leaving your skin ultra clean and silky smooth.
The skin health starts at square one, moisture. The Tonique bar is jam-packed with this free radical blocking super vitamin. Vitamin E prevents wrinkles by providing your skin with the antioxidant properties and moisture that is essential for firm, and healthy looking skin.
To get the best results try by cleansing your skin once in the morning and once at night. Sensitive skin types can leave on for 30 seconds to 1 minute, all other skin types can leave the lather on for 1-3 minutes. After rinsing and patting dry, apply your favorite moisturizer for the perfect smooth finish. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen if you’re going outside!
RUNNER UP: Kojic Acid & Glutathione Dual Whitening/Bleaching Soap
This is the first kojic acid soap we tried because there are so many rave reviews and we loved the combination of glutathione and kojic acid. And it does work – glutathione and kojic acid make for a brilliant combination – but it’s overall not as great as it could be.
First of all – it is quite harsh on the skin. The first – and thus, main – ingredient in this soap is sodium palmitate, which is the stuff that makes soap work up a good lather, but it can also be a skin irritant and cause dryness and cracking – not a good idea to use in combination with kojic acid.
Another thing we don’t love about this is that it contains very little kojic acid – it’s listed as the last ingredient. As for glutathione, it’s the third ingredient listed so it’s a little better.
Our overall verdict for this soap is: Sure, it works. But if you’re looking for GREAT results without drying or irritating your skin, go with the high-concentration kojic acid soaps above (Marie France or Kojie San) and rotate that with a high-concentration glutathione soap. That’s just our 2 cents. See the best glutathione soaps.
If you want to try the Kojic Acid & Glutathione Dual Whitening/Bleaching Soap, it’s the cheapest on Amazon – one bar will cost you $7.00, but you can purchase a 5-pack for $22.40 ($4.50 per bar).