Active Ingredients: Tranexamic Acid

Reyanna Ng Beauty Expert
Active Ingredients: Tranexamic Acid

Here’s everything you need to know about the underdog acid ingredient – Tranexamic Acid.

Active ingredients, especially acids, are currently taking the skincare world by storm and have soon become holy grails for many. Acids like AHAs, BHAs and Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) being some of the most popular. However, there is a new ingredient on the block that is becoming so well-loved by brands and consumers alike for its skin brightening abilities. And that ingredient is Tranexamic Acid.

Tranexamic acid is a synthetic derivative similar to the amino acid lysine and although is still fairly new and rarely found in the skincare world. it has actually been around for quite some time but used for different purposes. It was initially used in the mid-90s in the medical field to help reduce blood loss in patients. However, the revelation of its skin brightening benefits was an accident. Doctors saw that those treated with tranexamic acid resulted in less skin discoloration, which has then led on to research studies and now its usage in topical applications. Now don’t be fooled by the acid in its name, tranexamic acid is not an exfoliating acid like AHA/BHA.



Reduces skin discoloration

  • The biggest benefit of tranexamic acid is its ability to lighten any discoloration that can be caused by scarring, age spots, harsh skin treatments and UV damage. It works by removing the access melanin formed by blocking the hormones that causes the pigment in the skin.

Doesn’t sensitize the skin

  • Unlike other acids like AHAs and Vitamin C, tranexamic acid is easily accepted by the skin and works well in conjunction with other ingredients, even vitamin C, niacinamide and retinol (I know!).

Calms the skin

  • Tranexamic acid also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe the skin and help restore damaged skin barrier.


What to note?

  • Although tranexamic acid is not an exfoliating acid and can be used together with a wide range of active acids, people with sensitive or compromised skin should approach tranexamic acid with caution. Conduct a patch test 24-48 hours either on your wrist or behind the ear.
  • For first-timers, application of tranexamic acid can be applied once a day to slowly allow your skin to develop a tolerance.
  • Use of tranexamic acid must be followed up with SPF!


Products we recommend and where to find them

The INKEY List Tranexamic Acid Overnight Treatment 

the inkey list Tranexamic Acid Overnight Treatment

An all-time favorite and to-go product. This overnight treatment contains 2% Tranexamic Acid, 2% Vitamin C and 2% Acai Berry extract that helps to reduce dark spots and promote a more even skin complexion.

Hada Labo

Hada labo Shirojyun Premium Whitening

The Shirojyun Premium Whitening line by Hada Labo is formulated with Tranexamic Acid, 2 types of Hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C and E. It works to balance out the skin tone, help the skin better retain moisture and soothe any irritation.


Taiwan Magnolia Brightening and Firming Night Gelly EX

naruko Taiwan Magnolia Brightening and Firming Night Gelly EX

Awaken the radiance in your skin with this night cream. It contains an variety of anti-aging, brightening and hydrating ingredients like Magnolia extract that restores the skin’s elasticity, Hyaluronic Acid + Snow Fungus extract for intensive hydration and Tranexamic Acid for brighter looking skin.

Raw Job’s Tears Brightening Series

naruko Raw Job's Tears Brightening

Powered by a fusion of the East and West, this series promises it is the way to glowing, radiant skin. One of its main ingredients is Tranexamic Acid and its Puri Six complex that features 6 Chinese herbs that helps with ridding of a dull complexion for visibly healthier skin. 


I know with all the current favs and up-and-coming skincare ingredients, it's hard to stick to one and even harder to find the right one. But if one of your skin concerns has to do with discoloration and dullness, give Tranexamic Acid a try and it won't disappoint! If you have any questions, do leave a comment down below. 

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