Ingredient Spotlight: Tranexamic Acid

Tranexamic Acid is an underrated ingredient that is becoming more prevalent on the skincare scene!

It can be applied topically as well as taken as an oral supplement.

In a study where Tranexamic Acid 5% was compared to 2% hydroquinone tranexamic acid decreased visible pigmentation comparably to hydroquinone without negative side effects experienced by hydroquinone. The suggested amount of tranexamic acid topically is 3-5%.

"Orally tranexamic acid works via shrinking of dermal vasculature and reducing melanin synthesis by altering the interaction of keratinocytes and melanocytes and reducing tyrosinase activity. Topically tranexamic acid inhibits the synthesis of melanin (skin pigment) and the transfer of pigment to the topmost layer of the skin."

"Studies showed a duration of four months of oral tranexamic acid therapy consisting of twice-daily 250 mg doses, patients reported a 50-percent lightening in melasma patches."

Here are a few pigmentation correcting products that contain tranexamic acid:

Skinceuticals Discoloration Defense

Image Iluma Intense Facial Illuminator

Paula's Choice Discoloration Repair Serum


  • Srinivasan & Soundarya (2020): Tranexamic acid and dermatology Oct 2020 Vol. 23 Issue 15

  • Dermatology Times, Dermatology Times, April 2021 (Vol. 42, No. 4), Volume 42, Issue 4

  • Dr Faisal R Ali, Consultant Dermatologist, Dermatological Surgery and Laser Unit, St John’s Institute of Dermatology, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom. DermNet NZ Editor in Chief: Adjunct A/Prof Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand. Copy edited by Gus Mitchell/Maria McGivern. August 2018.

  • Atefi, N., Dalvand, B., Ghassemi, M. et al. Therapeutic Effects of Topical Tranexamic Acid in Comparison with Hydroquinone in Treatment of Women with Melasma. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb) 7, 417–424 (2017).


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