Last update: Feb. 10, 2019

Kojic Acid

Very Low Risk for breastfeeding

Safe. Compatible.
Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

A chelating agent produced by fungi, especially Aspergillus oryzae. A by-product of rice fermentation to make sake (Bantley 2006).
It inhibits tyrosinase by reducing the synthesis of melanin (Singh 2016).
Used in the food industry as an additive to preserve the colour of food and in cosmetics for the topical treatment of skin blemishes (Hollinger 2018).
It has been shown to be safe on the skin at concentrations of 2% (Burnett 2010). Injected it can cause convulsions (Burdock 2001).
It lacks toxicity in vivo and in vitro (Da Costa 2018, Singh 2016, Acofarma 2010), although it can cause skin sensitization (Acofarma 2010, SCCP 2008).

Since the last update we have not found published data on its excretion in breastmilk.

The small dose and the low plasma absorption of most topical dermatological preparations means it it unlikely to transfer into breastmilk in significant amounts.

Do not apply to the chest in order to prevent the infant from ingesting it; if necessary, apply after a feed and clean well with water before the next one.

Applying cream, gels and other topically-applied products which contain paraffin (mineral oil) should be avoided so that the infant does not absorb them (Concin 2008, Noti 2003).


We do not have alternatives for Kojic Acid since it is relatively safe.

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM´s pediatricians and pharmacists, and are based on updated scientific publications.
It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.

Other names

Kojic Acid in other languages or writings:


Kojic Acid belongs to this group or family:


Main tradenames from several countries containing Kojic Acid in its composition:


Variable Value Unit
Molecular weight 142 daltons
pKa 9,3 -


  1. Hollinger JC, Angra K, Halder RM. Are Natural Ingredients Effective in the Management of Hyperpigmentation? A Systematic Review. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2018 Abstract
  2. Singh BK, Park SH, Lee HB, Goo YA, Kim HS, Cho SH, Lee JH, Ahn GW, Kim JP, Kang SM, Kim EK. Kojic Acid Peptide: A New Compound with Anti-Tyrosinase Potential. Ann Dermatol. 2016 Abstract
  3. Acofarma. Ácido kójico. Ficha técnica. 2010 Full text (in our servers)
  4. Burnett CL, Bergfeld WF, Belsito DV, Hill RA, Klaassen CD, Liebler DC, Marks JG Jr, Shank RC, Slaga TJ, Snyder PW, Andersen FA. Final report of the safety assessment of Kojic acid as used in cosmetics. Int J Toxicol. 2010 Abstract
  5. Concin N, Hofstetter G, Plattner B, Tomovski C, Fiselier K, Gerritzen K, Fessler S, Windbichler G, Zeimet A, Ulmer H, Siegl H, Rieger K, Concin H, Grob K. Mineral oil paraffins in human body fat and milk. Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Abstract
  6. SCCP-Scientific Committee on Consumer Products. Opinion on Kocic Acid. 2008 Full text (in our servers)
  7. Bentley R. From miso, saké and shoyu to cosmetics: a century of science for kojic acid. Nat Prod Rep. 2006 Abstract
  8. Noti A, Grob K, Biedermann M, Deiss U, Brüschweiler BJ. Exposure of babies to C15-C45 mineral paraffins from human milk and breast salves. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2003 Abstract
  9. Burdock GA, Soni MG, Carabin IG. Evaluation of health aspects of kojic acid in food. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2001 Abstract

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