Tranexamic Acid

The key to targeting stubborn discoloration

Widely used in dermatology to address skin discoloration, tranexamic acid is a powerful ingredient recognized for its ability to brighten skin complexion and improve the appearance of discoloration.

What is tranexamic acid?

A synthetic derivative of the amino acid lysine, tranexamic acid has been used by physicians to address skin discoloration via topical application. This ingredient has been shown to diminish the appearance of discoloration and improve stubborn brown patches.

Tranexamic Acid Explained

What is tranexamic acid used for?

Listed in the World Health Organization’s list of Essential Medicines1, tranexamic acid was originally used to reduce blood loss in patients experiencing menorrhagia and during open-heart surgery. However, in 1979, physicians accidentally began noticing that patients who had been treated with tranexamic acid were seeing visible improvement in skin discoloration.

More recently, tranexamic acid has been introduced as a topical skincare ingredient aimed to reduce the appearance of stubborn forms of discoloration. It is also used as adjunct therapy to in-office procedures such as laser or intense pulsed light (IPL).

Visit your skincare professional to learn more>

1 "WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (19th List)" (PDF). World Health Organization. April 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 December 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016

What are the benefits of tranexamic acid in skin care?

When shopping for products that target skin discoloration, it is important to look for well-studied ingredients backed by clinical results. Tranexamic acid is one such ingredient. Used and recommended by dermatologists, it works by addressing the appearance of discoloration at its onset. Studies have also demonstrated its ability to address hard-to-treat forms of discoloration including post-acne marks and stubborn brown patches. Tranexamic acid can be combined with other discoloration-fighting ingredients that work synergistically to create a multi-action approach targeting discoloration.

SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense is a layerable, daily-use serum formulated with 3% tranexamic acid, 5% niacinamide, 1% kojic acid, and 5% HEPES. This clinically-proven formula improves the look of discoloration, brightens skin, and evens skin tone in as early as 2 weeks. For the most comprehensive 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.

How does tranexamic acid help brighten skin?

To understand how tranexamic acid helps brighten skin, it is important to understand why skin discoloration occurs in the first place. Everyday elements—including UV exposure, prescription drugs, and some professional treatments—can trigger the skin discoloration process by activating inflammatory mediators within the skin. This results in a chain reaction that causes skin to produce melanin, the naturally-occurring pigment that gives skin its color. While the purpose of melanin is protective, when produced in excess, it can form deposits in the skin that manifest as dark patches, isolated spots, or an overall darker facial appearance.

Tranexamic acid is a potent ingredient that helps reduce the appearance of discoloration and improves the look of stubborn brown spots, resulting in an overall brighter appearance.

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    Discoloration Defense


    Daily dark spot corrector targets visible skin discoloration for brighter, more even-looking skin
    skin types
    • Dry
    • Normal
    • Oily
    • Combination