By now, you’ve probably heard of various acids that are used in skincare. From hyaluronic acid for hydrating and smoothing the skin to salicylic acid for exfoliating and clearing the pores, acids are everywhere in the world of skincare products right now.
But a relative new kid on the block is tranexamic acid for skin problems. Tranexamic acid might be familiar to you if you’ve ever taken medication to control excessive bleeding, such as with very heavy periods. That’s because it’s a drug that’s taken orally that helps to clot the blood, helping to relieve heavy periods and heavy bleeding after trauma or surgery.
Therefore, it was only a matter of time before someone thought about its benefits as a topical preparation that can be applied to the skin to help reduce areas of darkened skin and hyperpigmentation, including melasma.
So, what does tranexamic acid do, how does it work and how might it benefit your skin?
What does tranexamic acid do to benefit the skin?
Unlike other acids that target signs of aging or skin problems such as acne breakouts, tranexamic acid works within the skin to reduce patches of discoloration and lighten dark spots.
In a nutshell, tranexamic acid brightens the skin, helping to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, melasma (patches of discoloration on the face, also known as the “mask of pregnancy” when it affects pregnant women) and acne scars.
It’s a derivative of the amino acid (the building blocks of protein) lysine, and helps to brighten the complexion. Even if you don’t have areas of discoloration, then it’ll help to give your complexion a brightening boost.
How does tranexamic acid work?
Tranexamic acid for skin problems works by reducing the production of melanin in the skin. Melanin is the pigment in our skin responsible for our skin tone – the more melanin, the darker our skin. Sometimes, melanin is produced in higher quantities in patches on our skin, no matter our skin tone, resulting in areas of darker skin, or hyperpigmentation.
Exactly how tranexamic acid works to reduce hyperpigmentation is still unclear. However, it’s thought that it interferes with the ability of UV light to stimulate melanin production, hence blocking the link between the melanin producing cells and the skin cells deep within the lower layers of skin in the epidermis.
Despite it being unclear, tranexamic acid is being touted as the wonder ingredient to use to help reduce skin discoloration, whatever its cause.
Is tranexamic acid for the skin safe?
Yes, tranexamic acid is well tolerated by all skin types, even sensitive skin types, and all complexions. It’s also considered safe to use during pregnancy but it’s probably best to check with your doctor or midwife first.
You can also use tranexamic acid along with other skin brightening ingredients such as retinols and vitamin C.
However, as with all new skincare products and ingredients, we suggest using it once a week to begin with, to make sure your skin can tolerate it, before upping your skin brightening game to two to three times a week.
How do I know if my skin would benefit from tranexamic acid?
If you have patches of discoloration on your face, then using tranexamic acid will benefit your skin.
Acne prone skin can also be prone to scarring, leaving behind dark patches of skin after the angriness and redness of an acne breakout has gone, sometimes leaving the skin with a purple tone. Using tranexamic acid on acne scars can help to reduce discoloration and also fade areas of hyperpigmentation.
If you don’t have acne scars, but after a breakout, your skin experiences dark post-spot blemishes, then tranexamic acid will also help to fade these too. Age spots don’t escape either, as this powerhouse ingredient can also help to fade skin discoloration caused by natural skin aging processes.
How to use tranexamic acid in your skincare routine
We’re super proud to have developed a new addition to our range of microneedle dissolving skin patches. The Vice Reversa Pigment Fader microneedle dark spot patches contain tranexamic acid along with other effective skin brightening active ingredients such as niacinamide and vitamin C.
Our dissolving patches contain 500 serum infused microneedles in a precision delivery system that targets the areas of skin that need treating the most. Despite their name, our patches are actually developed using microcrystals that painlessly penetrate the skin, dissolving deep within the layers of skin.
We don’t add carriers such as oil or excessive amounts of water, instead relying on our ground breaking microcrystal technology to treat the skin without diluting the active ingredients. They also help to soften and restore the texture of the skin which is a serendipitous added bonus.
Tranexamic acid for skin problems such as hyperpigmentation, acne scarring, melasma and age spots is about to become your new skincare best friend!