Tranexamic Acid is here to save 2020.
Listed in the World Health Organization’s list of Essential Medicines, tranexamic acid was originally used to reduce blood loss in patients experiencing menorrhagia (abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding) and during open-heart surgery.
However, in 1979, physicians accidentally began noticing that patients who had been treated with the acid were seeing visible improvement in skin discolouration.
A synthetic derivative of the amino acid lysine, tranexamic acid has been used by physicians to address skin discolouration via topical application.
When applied topically, the derivative delivers a powerful and specific anti-inflammatory action, inhibiting the tyrosinase synthesis in melanocytes.
At the same time, it blocks the transfer of pigment from melanocytes to keratinocytes in the epidermis while also calming the skin and restoring the skin barrier.
As a result, the brightening powerhouse has been shown to diminish the appearance of discolouration, improve stubborn brown patches and address hard-to-treat forms of acne scarring.
It is also especially good for anyone suffering from melasma, hyperpigmentation or red-splotched complexions.
To get the full benefits of the ingredient as well as a comprehensive skin regimen, it is always recommended to pair with a vitamin C serum and broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect and prevent UV-induced skin damage that can contribute to an uneven skin tone.
And for those (rightfully) concerned about exposure to sun, tranexamic acid does not increase skin sensitivity – it's growing popularity across Asia is a testament to that.
For those looking to try out 2020's latest hero-product, you're in luck as a whole host of cosmetics lines have added it to their newer products in attempts to calm redness. It's worth noting, however, anyone trying these out should notice a difference within three weeks of continued application while also simultaneously using sunscreen.
A new launch, this elixir is worth a try for anyone bothered by lingering sun damage, acne scarring, melasma, and/or hyperpigmentation. Featuring tranexamic and kojic acid as well as an extra dose of niacinamide for good measure, it's one of the best serums on the market for combating unwanted discolouration.
Discolouration Defense, €90, Skinceuticals
This celebrity-loved brightening eyemask features tranexamic acid as one of its main ingredients. It also boasts matrixyl, allantoin, and liquorice root extract to pump extra hydration into skin while simultaneously diminishing puffiness.
Bright Eye Hydrating Mask, €55, Joanna Vargas
This Shiseido number is packed full of vitamin C to ward off environmental precariousness (like UV pollution and dehydration) while supporting cell turnover and hydration simultaneously.
White Lucent Brightening Protective Emulsion W SPF, €79, Shiseido
Main image by @fransummers