In the fast-changing world of skincare, one ingredient has recently taken centre stage for targeting hyperpigmentation. Promising fantastic results, tranexamic acid is becoming a go-to ingredient for dermatologists and skincare brands, with some studies indicating it can perform as well as hydroquinone to fade melasma and hyperpigmentation. In this blog post, we’ll explain the science behind this ingredient, explore its efficacy and tell you how to add it to your regular routine.

Understanding Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a common skin concern that – though harmless – is also stubborn to treat. It shows up as darkened brown or grey patches on the skin. Scientists believe these patches appear because of an overproduction of melanin—the pigment responsible for skin colour. Factors like sun exposure, inflammation, hormonal changes, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne are all known to be triggers.(1)

The Science Behind Tranexamic Acid & Hyperpigmentation

Tranexamic acid was originally used in medicine to control blood loss in major surgery, and also for women who have heavy periods. But it’s also been found to be an effective skincare ingredient to tackle hyperpigmentation, either taken topically or orally.

Tranexamic acid is believed to work by constricting small blood vessels in the skin and reducing melanin (pigment) production. It alters communication between skin cells called keratinocytes and melanocytes and this disruption could decrease the activity of an enzyme called tyrosinase involved in melanin synthesis.

By disrupting this process, tranexamic acid leads to a brighter and more even complexion.

The Efficacy of Tranexamic Acid

One of the standout features of tranexamic acid is that it’s shown very promising results in targeting various forms of hyperpigmentation, whether you’re dealing with melasma, sunspots, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It’s been shown to lighten dark spots, reduce pigmentation intensity, and improve overall skin tone(3). Studies have found most participants saw a difference in their skin as early as 8 weeks, with a reported success rate of up to 89%.(4)

Tranexamic acid is also well-tolerated and suitable for a wide range of skin types – including sensitive skin. This makes it another great gentle yet effective addition to your hyperpigmentation routine, or for long-term hydroquinone users during their recommended break. (5)

How to add Tranexamic Acid to your Skincare Routine

Whether you prefer over-the-counter serums, treatments or creams, there are products with tranexamic acid to suit your needs. And if you’re trying to fade melasma on your skin, our dermatology team suggests adding tranexamic acid to both your morning and evening routines for optimal results.

For example, using tranexamic acid alongside a personalised retinoid formula can enhance its efficacy. It can also be used as part of a routine that includes Vitamin C 15% Fresh Batch Ascorbic Acid or niacinamide (like in our Nourishing Ceramide + Peptide Moisturiser). It’s crucial, however, to introduce new products gradually to avoid potential irritation and check if it’s compatible with your skin.(6)(7)


With its proven ability to inhibit melanin production and promote a more even complexion, it’s no wonder this ingredient is getting more noticed in the skincare community.

As always, individual results may vary, and consulting with our dermatology team – or a licensed skincare professional – is recommended to tailor a routine that addresses your unique skin concerns. Everyone’s skin and experience is different, so if you’d like to receive bespoke advice and products that suit your skin, start a consultation with Dermatica today to get a personalised treatment plan that’s perfect for you.


1. Desai SR. Hyperpigmentation therapy: a review. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2023 Dec 8];7(8):13–7. Available from:
2. Ebrahimi B, Naeini FF. Topical tranexamic acid as a promising treatment for melasma. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences : The Official Journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences [Internet]. 2014 Aug 1;19(8):753–7. Available from:
3. Kanechorn Na Ayuthaya P, Niumphradit N, Manosroi A, Nakakes A. Topical 5% tranexamic acid for the treatment of melasma in Asians: A double-blind randomized controlled clinical trial. Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy. 2012 Apr 16;14(3):150–4.
4. Tranexamic acid | DermNet [Internet]. [cited 2023 Dec 18]. Available from:
5. Schwartz C, Jan A, Zito PM. Hydroquinone [Internet]. PubMed. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020. Available from:
6. Kaikati J, El Bcherawi N, Khater JA, Dib SM, Kechichian E, Helou J. Combination Topical Tranexamic Acid and Vitamin C for the Treatment of Refractory Melasma. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology [Internet]. 2023 [cited 2023 Dec 8];16(7):63–5. Available from:
7. González-Molina V, Martí-Pineda A, González N. Topical Treatments for Melasma and Their Mechanism of Action. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology [Internet]. 2022 May 1;15(5):19–28. Available from: