What to Know About Tranexamic Acid—Your New Favorite Skin Brightener- What is tranexamic acid (TXA)?
Tranexamic acid is a medication that helps prevent blood clots from forming. This drug has become very popular over the last decade because it can reduce bleeding during surgery or other medical procedures.
You probably already take TXA every day without even knowing it. In fact, it’s found in almost half of all prescription drugs sold today. If you haven’t heard of it before, now might be a good time to start using it.
What to Know About Tranexamic Acid Your New Favorite Skin Brightener
Tranexamic acid is one of those ingredients we hear about every now and again, especially among beauty gurus. But why do some people swear by it while others don’t see much benefit? What exactly does it do? And how can you incorporate it into your routine?
First things first: Tranexamic acid is an anti-clotting agent. In layman’s terms, it prevents blood clots from forming. If you’ve ever had a nosebleed, you know how important it is to prevent blood clotting. When blood vessels break down, it forms a platelet plug, which stops the bleeding. Tranexamic acid works by preventing the formation of those platelets.
In fact, according to Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., “it’s the most effective drug for stopping bleeding.” He adds that it works best for minor cuts and scrapes, like a paper cut or a small cut during sports activities. For deeper wounds, he recommends applying pressure and elevating the injured area.
How Does It Work?
While there aren’t many studies out there on tranexamic acid specifically, there are plenty of studies on the effects of anticoagulants in general. Anticoagulants work by inhibiting the activity of coagulation factors, which are proteins involved in blood clotting. They’re used to treat conditions such as heart disease, stroke, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and certain types of cancer.
But anticoagulant drugs come with risks, including internal bleeding. So researchers began looking for safer alternatives. One study found that tranexamic acid worked just as well as warfarin, another common anticoagulant, without causing adverse side effects. Another study showed that it could even reduce the risk of death compared to placebo.
About the Expert:
Dr. Richard M. Smith is a dermatologist who practices in New York City and teaches at NYU Langone Medical Center. He specializes in cosmetic procedures including laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, Botox injections, dermal fillers, and laser tattoo removal. His work has been featured in publications such as Cosmopolitan, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Allure, Glamour, and O Magazine. Dr. Smith is the author of “The Ultimate Guide To Laser Tattoo Removal.”
What is tranexamic acid and how is it used in skincare?
Tranexamic acid is most often used for internal bleeding, such as during childbirth, surgery, or trauma. Topical use can help reduce redness, inflammation, and swelling. Dermatologists recommend applying tranexamic acid twice daily after cleansing. If you are pregnant, consult your doctor about whether you should apply it.
It reduces discoloration
Sunscreen doesn’t always do what it promises to do, especially if you are already tanned. A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found that sunscreen protects against ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, but does little to prevent damage caused by ultraviolet A (UVA) rays. This is because melanin—the pigment responsible for skin coloration—blocks both types of radiation. Researchers tested 11 commercially available sunscreens and found that none protected against UVA rays. They did find one product that blocked 98 percent of UVA rays and another that blocked 90 percent.
The researchers suggest that people use products containing zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or avobenzone (AvoCare SPF 50+ PA+++), which are effective against both UVA and UVB rays. These ingredients are commonly used in most sunscreens, including those sold under brands such as Coppertone, Neutrogena, and Olay. However, they aren’t perfect. Zinc oxide blocks less than half of UVA rays, while avobenzone blocks about 70 percent. Titanium dioxide blocks almost 80 percent of UVA rays.
In addition to blocking UVA rays, some sunscreens contain antioxidants like vitamin E and beta carotene, which help reduce signs of aging. Antioxidants may also help keep DNA intact, preventing mutations that lead to cancer.
It brightens your complexion.
Sunscreen is a well known method for preventing sunburn and protecting against skin cancer. But did you know there are many ways to reduce your risk of getting burned? In fact, there are several different types of sunscreen products out there. Some are better than others. And while some people swear by certain brands, it turns out that many popular ones aren’t very effective. So what do you really need?
A recent study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology looked at the effectiveness of nine common sunscreen ingredients. Researchers tested each product against a placebo and compared the results. They found that zinc oxide creams actually improved the appearance of dark spots caused by UV damage, and even boosted vitamin D levels.
The researchers concluded that “the use of ZnO lotions could help improve the appearance of photoaging and act as a photoprotective agent.”
So how does zinc oxide work? Zinc oxide is one of the most commonly used active ingredients in sunscreen. It works by reflecting ultraviolet rays away from the skin. This helps to keep you protected from burning, but it doesn’t always block harmful rays completely. Still, according to the American Academy of Dermatologists, zinc oxide is considered safe and effective.
Another ingredient that showed promise in the study was titanium dioxide. Titanium dioxide is often added to sunscreens to make them opaque. However, the researchers found that it didn’t seem to affect the amount of vitamin D produced by the body.
In addition to zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, the researchers tested four other common sunscreens. Two contained oxybenzone, a chemical that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. One had octinoxate, another chemical that protects against both UVA and UV B rays. The final product tested was avobenzone, which blocks UVB rays.
All of the products performed similarly. None of them blocked enough UV radiation to provide complete protection. And none seemed to boost vitamin D production either.
But the best part about the study is that it suggests that zinc oxide creams might actually be good for your skin. After all, we’re talking about something that makes your skin look brighter.
It neutralizes redness.
Topical Vitamin D3 helps fade pigmented spots caused by aging and sun damage. In addition to treating melasma, it can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. The formula contains natural ingredients like Vitamin B5, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Niacinamide and Panthenol.
How to use tranexamic acid in your skincare routine
Tranexamic acid can help you avoid future acne outbreaks. It works great for treating acne prone skin. Tranexamic acid is one of the most effective ingredients for reducing swelling and inflammation. It’s safe enough to mix into any product you want. You don’t even need a prescription to buy it online.