By now you’ve all learnt your lessons and your skincare lineup is proof of your knowledge and diligence. Should we take a look at your impressive products we are sure to find the vitamin Cs, the retinol, the AHA’s and BHA’s, and the SPF and what not. If you want to remain knowledgeable and quite informed you need to always stay a step ahead of the beauty and skincare game; and for that we’d like to introduce you to azelaic acid. You may have heard of it but it’s okay if you haven’t. What exactly is azalaic acid and how can this often-overlooked acid benefit your skin?
What Is Azelaic Acid?
It is a compound typically found in wheat, rye and barley and is used to soothe and treat inflammation; so it is used for the treatment of rosacea and acne, as well as being used to treat melasma and sun spots.
How Does Azelaic Acid Work?
Azalaic acid is a ‘tyrosinase inhibitor’ meaning that it can nip hyper pigmentation in the bud because it interferes with melanin production. It is also anti-inflammatory meaning that if you’re prone to acne and your pimple marks might linger for weeks using the acid is the antidote for that. Azalaic acid is also used for hair bumps, for congested pores and is an antibacterial antioxidant.
You can find over-the-counter topical azalaic acid in concentrations of less than 15%, however to reap the proper benefits of this acid you need to use prescription strength formulas between 15 to 20 percent.
Who Should Use It?
It is greatly recommended for people with oily or combination skin. It does not make the skin sensitive but you still need to wear SPF religiously. It is safe enough to be used during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. However, if you have super sensitive skin you may want to test it out first.
How To Use It?
It can be used on its own or paired with other more soothing ingredients such as niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and hydroxy acids. If you have acne or rosacea you can use it alongside a sulfur-based face wash or a gentle cleanser, but it does not work well with BHA’s such as salicylic acid as these two will make your skin prone to irritation and dryness. Use it at night as the final step of your nightly routine, however you are advised to wait 15 minutes for full absorption before lying down to sleep for fear of smearing the acid and ending up with a less-than-desired result.