Cosmetic Trivia: Why Kojic Soaps are Orange in Color?

Monday, February 17, 2020

Cosmetic Trivia: Why Kojic Soaps are Orange in Color?
Image Credit: Kojie San 

In the Philippines, one of the most popular skin lightening soaps in the market is Kojic soap (the other one is Glutathione soap). It’s so easy to spot them in beauty stores due to their attention-grabbing dark orange color. I used to be a fan of Kojic soap because it’s really effective in reducing skin hyperpigmentation with daily use. However, I’m not a big fan of Kojic soap’s orange residue on our bathroom tiles and soap dish. Because of that, I decided to go to several groceries and beauty stores in search of plain white Kojic soap and to my surprise I saw none.

After further research, it turns out that there is a reason why orange is the favorite color of choice for Kojic soaps. It’s because Kojic Acid – the primary ingredient for making Kojic soaps, tends to oxidize easily when exposed to light and heat. The oxidation of Kojic acid causes the soap to have brown and/or orange discolorations. Because consumers wouldn’t like to buy soaps with brown/orange spots, soap makers have decided to just camouflage the discoloration with darker colorants. Of course, they can just use any dark colors like black or brown but these colors are not that aesthetically appealing to the consumers. Eventually, orange becomes the official color of Kojic soaps. I believe this is due to the fact that the orange color is often associated to papaya soap which is also a popular skin lightening soap in the Philippines.

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