There are a couple cool things you should know about kojic acid: it’s not a typical skincare ingredient in the U.S. (it’s big in Korea, the world capital of skincare); it’s derived from a mushroom (for real); and it’s got properties that inhibit the production of melanin, so this stuff works on a deep cellular level.

Read on to learn how kojic acid can help with those annoying dark under eyes.


In this article you’ll learn:


  1. What is kojic acid?
  2. What does kojic acid mean for skincare?
  3. If kojic acid is good for dark circles.
  4. How Geologie can help your under eyes.

kojic acid

What is Kojic Acid?


Kojic acid (5-hydroxy-2-hydroxymethyl-4-pyrone for the nerds out there) is lauded in K Beauty as an anti-aging whitener and skin tone evener, capable of keeping the skin on your face smooth and alabaster.


In biomedical studies Kojic Acid has been identified as:

  • A chelating agent (it helps protect valuable ingredients from oxidation).
  • A tyrosinase inhibitor capable of stunting the production of melanin (hence “whitening” and “evening tone” function).
  • A radical-quenching antioxidant.


For these reasons, we use Kojic Acid as part of our gentle yet effective Nourishing Eye Cream for guys with darker under eyes.

Take the diagnostic now!


What does Kojic Acid mean for skincare?


In skincare products the efficacy and safety of each of these functions depends on several factors, including the concentration of Kojic Acid used, the nature of the other ingredients in the formulation —whose physical properties can alter Kojic Acid’s reactivity and skin bioavailability, among other things—and your skin’s particular microbiome and potential sensitivities.

All this to say, making a direct yet generic statement about the function of Kojic Acid in skincare products is tricky. We do know how it generally works: Like most skincare ingredients, the levels of Kojic Acid’s inclusion dictate the type and degree of function in the product and on the skin. At higher levels Kojic Acid is often used in combination with AHAs (alpha-hydroxy acids) in bleaching and chemical peels, and at lower levels as an anti-bacterial and antifungal in numerous skincare products.

Bottom line: We do know that it’s safe to use, which is the most important part.


kojic acid

Is kojic acid good for dark circles and under eyes?


We use 2% Kojic Acid in our Nourishing Eye Cream to help reduce the visible signs of aging, namely fine lines, wrinkles, and dark under-eye bags. When applied topically, Kojic Acid is a small enough molecule to penetrate the top layers of dead skin cells and act amongst new cells.

For dark circles and under eyes caused by an overproduction of melanin, kojic acid can help. As a tyrosinase inhibitor, Kojic Acid may effectively stunt your body’s natural melanin production. Aesthetically this means it appears to even skin tone and fade dark spots. For that reason it’s often referred to as a skin “lightener.” The key is to be patient. You might see some initial results in the first couple of weeks, but it also might take three to four months for results to fully express themselves.

But beware: For under eyes caused by a decrease in fat around the eyes, which causes that sunken look, which happens as we age, kojic acid will have minimal effect.


How Geologie can help your under eyes


Go personalized! Take our skincare quiz for a complete personalized skincare routine just for you.

Not ready for a full routine? If you just want to tackle your under eyes try one of our best selling eye creams. For dark circles & bags, go with Dark & Puffy Under Eye Cream. For crows feet & fine lines, go with Anti Wrinkle Eye Cream.

Still not sure? Browse our entire catalog of skincare products for under eyes.

Take the diagnostic now!

Our Products