What is tranexamic acid?

We speak to Murad’s Education Manager for the lowdown

BEAUTYcrew Beauty Editor / September 14 2021

Occasionally in our line of work, we come across ingredients that can leave even us beauty aficionados scratching our heads. One such ingredient that has left us particularly puzzled recently is tranexamic acid.

The reason for our confusion? Well, we simply don’t understand why this ingredient hasn’t had more air time?

Because not only does this amino acid treat discolouration, dullness and pigmentation, but it also plays well with just about every ingredient under the sun.

We spoke to Murad’s Education Manager, Katy Bacon, about tranexamic acid; one of the key ingredients in their best-selling Murad Replenishing Multi-Acid Peel ($95 at Adore Beauty) and their new Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum (which will be available from April 2022) to get the lowdown on this lesser-known amino acid and its benefits.



What is tranexamic acid? 

“Tranexamic Acid also known as TXA is a bio-engineered amino acid,” explains Bacon, noting that it’s predominantly used “in dermatology for the treatment of pigment disorders.”

“Unlike Alpha and Beta Hydroxy acids, TXA is a non-exfoliating acid which works on skin issues such as discolouration, dullness and pigmentation.” These abilities make it the perfect ingredient for “anyone wishing to restore their natural glow or even skin tone,” says Bacon.

What are the skin care benefits of using this ingredient?

According to Bacon, tranexamic acid can be used to “soothe, brighten, revive dull skin and even skin tone,” because it is a “tyrosinase inhibitor and anti-inflammatory ingredient”. In layman's terms: “[it] works to inhibit the transfer of pigment to the surface of the skin, [calming and soothing skin] that is prone to inflammation [which] can lead to pigmentation.”

Additionally, tranexamic acid “has also been shown to help restore the moisture barrier of the skin,” Bacon explains.

Which skin types can benefit the most from tranexamic acid? ​

While Bacon insists that tranexamic acid works for a variety of skin types, it particularly benefits those who suffer from “skin concerns such as discolouration, dullness and pigmentation.”

“[It’s] the perfect ingredient for anyone wishing to restore their natural glow or even skin tone.”

How can we incorporate this tranexamic acid into our routines?

In terms of ingredient efficacy and absorption, Bacon prefers serum formulations that penetrate deeper into the epidermis, however, you can still see benefits from introducing a tranexamic acid-infused moisturiser or toner into your routine too – it’s really all about consistency with this one.

“Depending on the other actives you are using,TXA can be applied twice a day, or once daily in combination with regenerating heroes such as retinol,” she shares.



What ingredients work well with tranexamic acid?

We know, we know, learning about a new skin care ingredient is all fun and games until you actually have to find a way to insert it into your routine without disturbing any other actives that you’re currently using. 

But according to Bacon, that’s the beauty of tranexamic acid, because it’s “a very compatible ingredient and works well with exfoliating acids, retinol, niacinamide and vitamin C, [namely] as these ingredients also have clinically proven brightening benefits.”

“TXA has an excellent safety profile,” Bacon goes on to say. ”It works well on its own and is very compatible with a variety of cosmeceutical ingredients.”

Bacon does, however, recommend fervent use of SPF following application, saying, “​​of course all skincare should be partnered with an SPF in the daytime to prevent future damage [to skin].”

Ready to introduce this impressive ingredient into your routine? Here are a few tranexamic acid products we recommend:

Murad Replenishing Multi-Acid Peel ($95 at Adore Beauty); facetheory Exaglow Serum S10 ($35.99 at facetheory); and Swiss Line by Dermalab Cell Shock Age Intelligence Peace Booster ($116.80 at swissline-cosmetics).

Murad Replenishing Multi-Acid Peel

facetheory Exaglow Serum S10

Swiss Line by Dermalab Cell Shock Age Intelligence Peace Booster

Another sensitive-skin friendly acid you should probably have on your radar? PHAs are the gentle hydroxy acid you need to know about.

Main image credit: @muradskincare

Briar Clark got her start in the media industry in 2017, as an intern for Marie Claire and InStyle. Since then, her keen interest in fashion and beauty has landed her gigs as a Digital Content Producer and Beauty Editor with titles like Girlfriend, Refinery29, BEAUTYcrew and beautyheaven. She loves the way seemingly innocuous topics like skin care and style have the ability to put a smile on people’s faces or make them think about themselves a little differently. A big believer in self love and experimentation, Briar has made a point of becoming the Australian beauty industry’s unofficial guinea pig for unusual treatments and daring hair trends. When she’s not testing out the latest beauty launches, Briar is big on broadening her horizons, mostly in the form of food but she’s also partial to travelling to new destinations both near and far (and of course, allocating an extra bag to bring their best beauty offerings home with her).