In the world of skincare, “acid” is a common word that we often encounter and most people frequently associate the word acid with the term active ingredients, in particular with ingredients like Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA), Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) and Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C). These active ingredients have a tendency of breaking the skin barrier when used incorrectly or in excess.
However, just like all skin types are not created equally, there are active ingredients that can cause significant changes to the skin without drastically affecting the integrity of the skin barrier. Here is one that is quickly becoming an essential ingredient in many skincare routines - Tranexamic Acid. If you are struggling with sensitive skin and hyperpigmentation, this ingredient is your must-have in your skincare routine to tackle your skin concern. Let’s learn more about why adding tranexamic acid to your skincare routine could benefit your skin.
What is Tranexamic Acid
Tranexamic acid is a synthetic amino acid derivative of the amino acid lysine that has been a primary medication to treat a variety of medical conditions including abnormal bleeding, heavy menstrual bleeding, postpartum hemorrhage and clotting disorders. In recent years, the use of tranexamic acid has expanded into the world of dermatology with research showing promising results in treatments of hyperpigmentation and anti-inflammatory functions.
How does Tranexamic Acid work on the skin
Melanocytes are cells that produce skin pigmentation known as melanin and the process to produce melanin is known as melanogenesis. The production of melanin can be triggered by many factors and one of them is inflammation as seen in post-acne, psoriasis and eczema. When inflammation occurs in the skin, the chemical factors that are involved in triggering an inflammatory response in the skin also regulates the production of skin pigmentation. Tranexamic acid works by intervening in the release of these chemical factors and blocking the interaction between melanocytes and keratinocytes, which are the skin cells on the surface of the skin. As a result, there is a decrease in hyperpigmentation of the skin.
What are the Benefits of Tranexamic Acid
Tranexamic Acid for Melasma
Melasma is a condition where patches of discoloration occur on the skin from long term exposure to the sun and can be caused by hormonal changes as well. Melasma is considered one of the most notoriously difficult skin conditions to treat. Research has shown that Tranexamic acid has the ability to reduce the production of melanin by inhibiting the production of the enzyme tyrosinase. In a study done in 2019, it was found that the use of 5% of tranexamic acid in skincare formulation can produce effective treatment results on melasma similar to that of 3% of hydroquinone.
Tranexamic Acid for Anti-inflammatory Effects
Inflammation is a common reaction in skin conditions such as acne and rosacea. One of the benefits of tranexamic acid on the skin is its ability to disrupt the inflammatory pathway within the skin. A recent study done in 2022 showed that 10% of tranexamic acid when applied topically to the skin can effectively reduce acne related inflammation and significantly reduce skin redness.
Tranexamic Acid for Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) and Post Inflammatory Erythema (PIE)
One of the biggest challenges for post-acne treatment is the attempt to reduce acne-related discoloration. Some of the esthetically undesirable conditions of the skin may include darkness, redness or purplish discoloration on the site of where the blemish once was. In a research review done in 2022, it was found that topical treatment with tranexamic acid when used with laser treatments are potential combination treatments to reduce symptoms of PIE without any severe side effects.
Tranexamic acid for Skin Barrier
Strengthening and protecting the skin barrier is the key foundation to creating healthy looking skin. Several studies have shown that the use of tranexamic acid can help accelerate the recovery of damaged skin barrier as well as, to reduce and prevent the migration of potentially harmful chemicals or contaminants into the skin as seen in skin conditions like rosacea.
What are the Side Effects of Using Tranexamic Acid
Tranexamic acid is generally an ingredient that is well tolerated by all skin types. However, there are some individuals who have reported mild side effects such as flaky skin, skin irritation and dryness with the use of tranexamic acid in higher dosages. However, as with any new ingredients that you include into your skincare routine, it is always best to do a patch test around your jawline or at the back of your ears to test for sensitivity.
How to Incorporate Tranexamic Acid in Your Skincare Routine
The best way to incorporate tranexamic acid into your skincare routine is to look for products that contain this ingredient as a main component. Tranexamic acid can be found in many cleansers and serums, as well as some moisturizers. Here are some of our favourite combinations with tranexamic acid in skincare.
Tranexamic Acid and Glutathione
Glutathione is an antioxidant made from amino acids glycine, cysteine and glutamic acid that occurs naturally in the skin. It offers ton-improving benefits to the skin and helps the skin defend against environmental damage. When combined with tranexamic acid, both of these ingredients can help improve and reduce effects of hyperpigmentation in the skin.
With tranexamic acid as one of its star ingredients, this Mary & May Tranexamic Acid + Glutathione eye cream works well to resurrect lifeless, shadowy under eye hyperpigmentation.
Tranexamic Acid and Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid is one of the most common ingredients to boost hydration in the skin when used correctly. When paired together with tranexamic acid, the combination of ingredients can help improve and strengthen the skin barrier.
Our favourite hyaluronic acid serum to go with tranexamic acid is the RNW Der. Concentrate Hyaluronic Acid Plus serum. It is a serum that includes 8 different types of hyaluronic acid molecules to target different layers of the skin, keeping your skin hydrated from the inside out.
Tranexamic Acid and Ceramide
Ceramides are the mortar of the skin barrier which are essentially the glue that help hold the skin cells together, keeping the skin barrier intact. When combined with tranexamic acid, these two ingredients help restore the skin barrier and protect the skin from environmental aggressors such as pollution and harmful bacteria.
If you are looking for a ceramide serum to go with your tranexamic acid, look no further than the RNW Der. Concentrate Ceramide Plus serum. It contains 5 different types of ceramides that absorb easily into the skin.
Tranexamic Acid and Vitamin C
Vitamin C is the gold standard in slowing down the signs of aging. The antioxidant benefits found in Vitamin C helps prevent the damage caused by free radicals and brightening of the skin. When used together with tranexamic acid, this combination can help maximize the brightening power of this duo.
The Sollalla Multi-vitamin C serum is the perfect serum to include in your skincare routine with tranexamic acid. This vitamin c serum combines 13 different types of antioxidant complex sourced from natural ingredients and 8 types of peptides is gentle to be used on those with sensitive skin. You’ll get the brightening effects with this alternative option for vitamin c.
Are you ready to include tranexamic acid in your skincare routine? Which combination will you choose to include in your skincare routine? Let us know in the comments below!
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