What is it and how will it benefit my skin?
There are so many ingredients out there in skin care products that sometimes great things get overlooked. Azelaic acid does not get the credit it deserves. Found in wheat, rye, and barely, it is naturally occurring compound that is also produced by the skin’s microbiome. Azelaic acid is a dicarboxylic acid that has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, and is also rich in antioxidants.
Benefits for the skin include:
- Keeping pores clear. Azelaic acid is a comedolytic which means blackheads will be broken down and easily cleared, plus keeping new ones from forming.
- Gently exfoliating. Azelaic acid is also a keratolytic which means it’ll keep dry, flaky skin from building up on the skin’s surface. It’s much gentler than other topical exfoliants like retinoids.
- It kills acne-causing bacteria.Azelaic acid kills Propionibacteria acnes, the bacteria that cause inflamed acne breakouts, which in turn reduces redness and inflammation.
- It reduces hyperpigmentation.The ability to improve post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a huge benefit. Complexions will be more even and a reduction in hyperpigmentation will be noticeable.
When should I apply Azelaic Acid?
It can be applied day or night. It can be drying so apply a good moisturizer if you experience dryness. And as with any skin care routine always follow with SPF if you wear it during the day.
Where do I get this product?
You can get a prescription from a dermatologist. Azelaic acid is available in 2 strengths, 15% and 20%. Higher strengths are helpful for clearing up acne or treating rosacea. It is also available in some over the counter products in strengths up to 10%. The lower strength is great for anti-aging and skin brightening.
How soon will I see an improvement?
You should see changes within a week of adding azelaic acid to your skin care routine. As with any new regimen there may be an adjustment period. Your skin may purge or you could experience dryness. Wait at least a month to see if it truly works for you.
As you can see, azelaic acid is a powerful ingredient that can be used by anyone for many skin concerns. If you aren’t seeing the results you want from products you currently use, you might try switching to this underrated ingredient.