Tranexamic acid is a skincare term and/or ingredient that most people are not familiar with. It is one of the newer kids on the block and if you know your skincare you must have heard it once or twice. I briefly worked at a pharmacy and I always knew tranexamic acid tablets was something you took to control bleeding. I didn’t understand how said tranexamic acid made its way to skincare. But apparently it is a thing and based on real life results I have seen, it is here to stay.
How Tranexamic Acid Works and Its Benefits
Tranexamic Acid is a synthetic derivative of the amino acid lysine which works to decrease hyperpigmentation by interfering with melanocytes. It disrupts excessive melanin production and curtains the uptake of pigment-producing cells in the upper layers of the skin.
Benefits of Tranexamic Acid
Tranexamic acid is very useful in treating melasma, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and age spots. Tranexamic acid also decreases blood vessels in affected skin thereby helping to heal erythema.
Oral tranexamic acid is also useful in treating hyperpigmentation but there is a big risk of blood clots involved which is why topical tranexamic acid is mostly recommended for skincare issues.
Tranexamic acid is most effective at 3-5% concentration. You can achieve better results when there are other cool brighteners like kojic acid, licorice extracts, and niacinamide in the formulation. Studies have shown that 3-5% tranexamic acid produces similar results as 2-4% hydroquinone with fewer side effects.
How to Use Tranexamic Acid
I have a tranexamic acid serum and a tretinoin formula with 5% tranexamic acid in it. So while it may be relatively new on the scene and not as omnipresent as niacinamide, it’s still easy to get. But it is mostly available in serums and can be used up to twice daily.
Luckily for sensitive skin folks tranexamic acid is one of the gentlest out there. There is little to zero risk of irritation with tranexamic acid as I’ve come to find out after using my Naturium Topicals Tranexamic Acid 5% serum for almost 3 months.
Are you using any tranexamic acid products? Let me know how effective they are in the comments!