Taking care of your skin has never gone out of fashion. Certain active ingredients and acids are integral to many skincare products, which have proven beneficial for our skin. One such ingredient is Azelaic acid.
Azelaic acid is found naturally in wheat, barley, and rye. It has excellent anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties and is applied to the skin to treat and prevent acne breakouts. Azelaic acid is available in various preparations, such as cream, gel, or foam. However, Azelaic acid takes some time to give full effect, so it is not the first choice of most dermatologists. But it can be a great pick for people with a sensitive skin type since it is not very harsh.
Uses Of Azelaic Acid
- Azelaic acid treats and prevents acne breakouts due to its anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. (Elsa Fitria Apriani, 2019)
- It also reduces the appearance of acne scars and blemishes since it increases cell turnover.
- Azelaic acid use has been documented to reduce hyperpigmentation due to its skin-lightening effect.
- It also has gentle exfoliating properties that improve your skin’s condition and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Benefits Of Using Azelaic Acid
Various benefits of Azelaic acid have been documented in skincare. They include:
- Prevents acne breakouts:
Azelaic acid helps clear up skin pores of debris, dirt, and dead skin cells, thus increasing cell turnover. Moreover, it reduces inflammation, redness, and itching. In this way, it helps treat acne breakouts, and inflammatory acne and prevent future breakouts. (Peter W Hashim, 2018)
- Reduces the appearance of acne scars:
Since Azelaic acid increases cell turnover, it proves beneficial in reducing acne scars and blemishes.
- Treats hyperpigmentation:
Azelaic acid has a skin-lightening effect and helps treat hyperpigmentation, age spots, sun damage, and melasma. (Inbal Rachmin, 2020)
- Treats Rosacea:
Azelaic acid has anti-inflammatory properties and helps treat a skin condition called rosacea.
Side Effects Of Using Azelaic Acid
Azelaic acid use has the following side effects:
- Skin irritation
- Dry patches on the skin
- Skin peeling
- Skin tingling
- Blister formation
If you notice any of these symptoms or a change in skin color, stop using Azelaic acid and consult your dermatologist or healthcare provider.
Precautions And Warning
Always consult your dermatologist before adding Azelaic acid to your everyday skincare regimen. Your dermatologist will guide you on whether these acids will suit your skin or not, depending on your skin type. Before using Azelaic acid in your everyday routine, some precautions should always be considered.
- Before using Azelaic acid, do a skin patch test. Apply to a small skin area and wait for a few minutes. If you notice any redness or skin reaction, drop the idea of adding Azelaic acid to your skincare routine.
- Follow the directions properly that are mentioned on the product packaging.
- Avoid contact with eyes, nose, lips, and mouth.
- Always inform your dermatologist if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to conceive before seeking advice for using Azelaic acid.
- Do not use the products in toxic amounts as it can result in the formation of skin blisters.
- Always use sunscreen before stepping out into the sun after applying Azelaic acid.
How To Use Azelaic Acid?
Before using Azelaic acid, thoroughly cleanse your skin with a good cleanser and then pat dry. Apply a small amount of Azelaic acid-containing product to your skin and let it dry completely. After it has dried up, you can apply your moisturizer and/or cosmetics. There is no need to apply a bandage to the affected area.
A Little Apprehension:
Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring organic compound found in certain wheat, barley, and rye. It has excellent anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the appearance of acne and prevent further breakouts. Moreover, it also reduces the appearance of acne scars, blemishes, and areas of hyperpigmentation. But it is always advisable to consult your dermatologist or healthcare provider before adding Azelaic acid to your everyday skincare regimen.
Elsa Fitria Apriani, Y. R. (2019, April-June). Formulation, characterization, and in vitro testing of azelaic acid ethosome-based cream against Propionibacterium acnes for treating acne. Retrieved from National Library of Medicine: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31041186/
Inbal Rachmin, S. M. (2020, June 01). Topical treatment strategies to manipulate human skin pigmentation. Retrieved from National Library of Medicine: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32092380/
Peter W Hashim, T. C. (2018, June 01). The Efficacy and Safety of Azelaic Acid 15% Foam in the Treatment of Facial Acne Vulgaris. Retrieved from National Library of Medicine: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29879251/
Watson, K. (2018, December 19). What is azelaic acid? Retrieved from Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/azelaic-acid-acne
Zielinski, L. (2021, November 04). Azelaic acid: benefits, side effects, what does it do. Retrieved from Health guide: https://ro.co/health-guide/azelaic-acid-uses-benefits-and-side-effects/
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Nouha is a passionate journalist and a beauty lover with valuable knowledge in the health and wellness industry. Nouha worked closely with nurses and doctors treating patients with diabetes, sleeping disorder and anxiety. Nouha is currently studying to become a nurse at the University of Glasgow, Scotland.