Which Skincare Products Are Best Combined With Oral Tranexamic Acid?

Which Skincare Products Are Best Combined With Oral Tranexamic Acid?

Oral tranexamic acid is an effective hyperpigmentation treatment with the potential to provide long-term skin benefits. Numerous studies have shown that most individuals taking the medication for hyperpigmentation can expect a significant improvement in skin appearance after taking it for eight to twelve weeks (Wang).

Pairing other skincare products with oral tranexamic acid can further improve outcomes by introducing additional skin benefits like moisture retention, free radical removal, and UV protection.

This article discusses the five best skincare products to use with oral tranexamic acid.

The best skincare products with oral tranexamic acid as an adjuvant

1. SPF sunscreen

Exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause sunburn, sunspots, photoaging, and, in some cases, skin cancer. Dermatologists recommend using SPF sunscreen to prevent UV rays from getting to your skin cells, thus avoiding the damage they cause.

Wearing SPF sunscreen while taking oral tranexamic acid helps ensure that the lighter, even-toned skin that the drug promotes does not get damaged by sun exposure. (Also, remember to stay out of the sun during peak hours!)

As the amount of melanin in your skin decreases while taking oral tranexamic acid, the SPF sunscreen will act as a UV barrier, helping preserve your gains.

2. Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone has been used in the United States for over sixty years (Schwartz). As a ‘spot lightener,’ it works best to lighten specific areas of the skin with spots. Pairing it with oral tranexamic acid can be effective because it targets the skin areas that have not lightened or evened out completely.

Since hydroquinone is best applied using a cyclic algorithm, it can also be used as an alternative treatment when oral tranexamic acid has been paused and vice versa.

As of September 2020, hydroquinone is no longer available as an over-the-counter formulation in the US and can be obtained by prescription only.

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3. Ascorbic acid (Vitamin C)

Oral tranexamic acid plus a vitamin C serum can be a potent combo in boosting overall skin health. The benefits of vitamin C serum for the skin include the following (Telang).

  • Hydrates
  • Brightens
  • Reduces redness and evening your skin tone
  • Fades hyperpigmentation
  • Promotes collagen production
  • Protects against sun damage
  • Helps the skin heal faster

With the oral drug working hard to reduce melanin production from within and Vitamin C improving overall skin health from the outside, results can be remarkable.

4. Retinol

Retinol fades spots, evens pigmentation, and increases superficial skin cell turnover, resulting in a more youthful skin appearance. Its ability to stimulate the production of collagen and the formation of new blood vessels make it a wonderful anti-aging compound.

Oral tranexamic acid significantly fades dark spots by reducing the amount of melanin produced. Combining it with retinol can enhance the skin’s appearance by combining an even tone with a more youthful skin quality (Mukherjee).

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5. Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid binds water molecules to collagen, effectively trapping water in your skin for a plumper, more supple skin appearance. It also accelerates skin healing and benefits other body parts like the bones, eyes, and stomach.

Since oral tranexamic acid’s benefits are limited to skin lightening and tone evening, pairing it with the moisture-promoting properties of hyaluronic acid can give a brighter, more vibrant skin appearance.

What products/ingredients to avoid when using oral tranexamic acid

As an acid that can have skin-drying effects, dermatologists recommend pairing oral tranexamic acid with only one other acid. It is also recommended to avoid harsh products with perfume or other irritants during treatment that can increase the skin’s sensitivity.

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Brandon Kirsch

Brandon Kirsch, MD, FAAD, is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in clinical drug development and medical innovation. He is the founder of Kirsch Dermatology in Naples, Florida and is also the Chief of Dermatology at the Naples Community Hospital. Kirsch Dermatology Website Dr. Kirsch started his career as a lawyer and holds law degrees from the University of Western Ontario (LL.B.) and Georgetown (LL.M. Securities and Financial Regulation). Dr. Kirsch completed his pre-medical studies at the University of Pennsylvania, medical school at Brown University, internship at the Mayo Clinic (Florida) and dermatology residency at the University of North Carolina. In partnership with the Mayo Clinic, he filed to patent a novel topical composition for the treatment of skin hyperpigmentation that he co-developed and also oversaw a successful pilot study of the formulation. Dr. Kirsch has experience with therapeutic drug development programs from pre-clinical to Phase 3 studies. He is licensed to practice medicine in California, Colorado, Florida, and North Carolina and law in New York and Ontario.

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