A chemical produced by some species of fungi. It is used in some cosmetic products as a skin lightener.

Kojic acid is considered safe, and it has gained popularity as an alternative to hydroquinone (another skin lightening substance recently identified as a probably carcinogen). As is the case with any depigmentation product, kojic acid can make the skin sensitive to sunlight. It may also act as a mild antifungal and antibacterial agent.