There is a huge population across the world struggling with the acne and dark spots issue. While acne is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition caused when your hair follicles combine with oil and dead skin, dark spots are usually the result of hyperpigmentation when some areas on the skin produce more melanin than usual.
In This Article
What is Azelaic Acid?
Benefits of Azelaic
Acid for uneven skin tone
Azelaic Acid for Acne
How To Use Azelaic Acid in Skin Care Routine
The cause and resultant agony can be less physically demanding, these two conditions can have a long-lasting impact on the way you look or how confident you feel. Our world puts a lot of emphasis on the way we look and we all wish to appear our best in front of people.
And dark spots and acne can not only blemish our appearances but also hit our confidence. So, it is best to treat these skin conditions with the best possible treatments, and Azelaic Acid Serum is one of them.
Most people are aware of glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acids, especially those who are into skincare and cosmetics.
But Azelaic Acid is an unsung hero that very few people are aware of and yet it is something that can be extremely efficient in treating skin-related problems, especially acne.
Azelaic Acid comes with a huge list of benefits for those who have oily skin or hyperpigmentation issues. It has been highly regarded as an efficient way of making the skin blemish-free.
In this article we will tell you everything about Azelaic Acid:
What is Azelaic Acid?
A naturally occurring acid, Azelaic Acid is derived from barley, wheat, and rye. Unlike the other, more popular counterparts like glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acids (these are commonly known groups of alpha and beta hydroxy acids), Azelaic Acid is a dicarboxylic acid.
It has a strong pH value than most other acids and even though it might not have a strong exfoliating effect, it is quite effective in treating uneven skin tone, and removing dead skin cells when used regularly.
Benefits of Azelaic Acid for uneven skin tone
While acne and dark spots are quite common in people of a certain age group (acne affects 3 in every 4 people between the age group of 11-30) and neither are dangerous, it is best to treat them on time for the skin to remain healthy and keep looking good.
Many people resort to home remedies, and there are many of them, using Azelaic Acid can be an efficient method of treating these skin issues. Here are some of the benefits that using Azelaic Acid can provide.
- Azelaic Acid’s main claim to fame is fading dark marks. Whether they are caused by leftover acne scars, sunburn, or melasma, Azelaic Acid can treat the dark marks with effortless ease. It does so by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme that is essential to produce melanin in the skin. Azelaic Acid reduces the production of melanin resulting in a decrease in discoloration from acne pimples and hyperpigmentation. It also prevents the development of discoloured skin cells.
- Even though Azelaic Acid is not known for its exfoliating qualities, it can help in exfoliation to a certain degree. It is keratolytic in nature, which means that it can break down keratin - a protein that is responsible for building and clogging pores. In the simplest terms, Azelaic Acid keeps the pores clean and keeps a tab on the bacteria that cause acne. This is why Azelaic Acid is being seen as a true hero for those who have a varied range of skin issues.
- Azelaic Acid also has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that enable it to treat a lot of different kinds of skin problems. So, it can treat unwanted skin brightening /whitening, minimize skin reddening, and swelling caused by acne or rosacea.
How Azelaic Acid Helps in Acne Treatment?
Azelaic Acid is a lot gentler on the skin than other acids, so, it is not only a great alternative to treat acne but also an effective medium for all those people who have varied types of skin issues, sensitive skin, or rosacea.
It helps in unclogging the pores while treating acne with its efficient antibacterial properties. Its brightening properties also help in minimizing the white spots left by acne and pimples. While Azelaic Acid is a great toner in itself, it works really well in combination with retinoids, and salicylic acid.
Here are some skin-related issues Azelaic Acid can treat effectively:
This is primarily seen as an inflammatory disorder caused by the overactivity of different enzymes present in the skin. These enzymes release peptides causing skin inflammation. The use of Azelaic Acid has proven effective against skin inflammatory issues and reducing skin swelling.
Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation
Thanks to the Azelaic Acid’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, properties in addition to its ability to inhibit tyrosinase, it can reduce hyperpigmentation to a great extent. It also helps in improving skin tone and evening out irregular pigmentation.
While there are several benefits, the only thing that needs to be taken care of is that you should never forget to use sunscreen while using Azelaic Acid. It is after all an acid and it makes skin more sensitive to the sun.
Acne Vulgaris (Bacterial Acne)
One of the best things about Azelaic Acid is that it doesn’t have any side effects. Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it apt for all kinds of skin tones. Till 2007, Azelaic Acid was only used to treat bacterial acne as it has similar properties as found in benzoyl peroxide. Before that, Azelaic Acid was only used to lighten hyperpigmentation.
Azelaic Acid treats acne breakouts by killing the acteria in the pores, considerably reducing inflammation. Not just that, it also reduces the production of keratin, a factor that increases acne-producing bacteria. Simply put, Azelaic Acid not only kills the bacteria but also eradicates the source of it.
How To Use Azelaic Acid in Skin Care Routine?
Only a fingertip full of Azelaic Acid cream is enough to be applied on the entire face. But make sure that you properly cleanse your face before applying it. If you feel any kind of irritation in the skin after topical treatment from Azelaic Acid, use a buffer – i.e apply a moisturizer cream first. It will not reduce the effectiveness of the acid in any way, instead, will help your skin feel better.
Also, more is not always better, especially in the case of Azelaic Acid. So, introduce it to your skin care routine in a graded manner and patch test first. A recent study found out that applying just 20 percent of Azelaic Acid cream is sufficient to provide similar kind of results as would applying it twice a day would after three months.
It is also advised to use 15 percent Azelaic Acid gel instead of the cream as the gel has a lower lipid concentration. It requires fewer emulsifiers and other ingredients that can result in irritated skin.
How Soon Does Azelaic Acid Provide Results?
Azelaic Acid is quite an efficient agent of treating different skin issues and it starts showing the results in a very short period of time. A study was recently conducted involving 1200 patients who used 15 percent of Azelaic Acid gel and there was a considerable change within the first 35 days. The number further rose to 93 percent in 73 days. More than 80 percent of the patients were said to be satisfied by the treatment at the end of the research cycle.
Side Effects Of Azelaic Acid
As compared to all other acids, Azelaic Acid is a lot gentler on the skin.
It is always recommended that you start slowly every time you start using a new product. While using Azelaic Acid twice a day is normal and doesn’t create any side effects, it is better to start with applying it once a day and then move on to do it twice once your skin gets used to it.
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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Azelaic Acid
What is the ideal percentage of Azelaic Acid to be used?
Studies suggest that 10% azelaic acid face serum proves to be effective at ensuring even skin tone, brightening dark spots, and improving hyperpigmentation. In concentrations more than 10%, azelaic acid may cause stinging and redness in people with sensitive skin.
Is it a good choice to use Azelaic Acid during pregnancy or breastfeeding?
Azelaic Acid is completely safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding. It is one of the few anti-acne acids that can be used during these two conditions by women. Having said that, it is advised to consult the doctor before starting this treatment.
What is the best way to use Azelaic Acid in a routine?
Whether you are using prescription products or choosing over-the-counter products, it is best to use Azelaic Acid twice a day. Make sure that you cleanse your face and apply it to dry skin. Even though Azelaic Acid works just fine on its own, you can also pair it with other soothing and brightening products like niacinamide and vitamin C. Being consistent is also the key to best results. Use only one kind of product for a prolonged period of time instead of changing the products in a hurry.
Can you mix Azelaic Acid and Niacinamide?
Yes, in most cases, there is no problem in mixing Azelaic Acid and Niacinamide together. If, however, you face any redness or irritation, it is best to stop using both and consult your dermatologist before moving forward.
What are the other supplements that should be avoided being used along with Azelaic Acid?
Most dermatologists suggest that mixing Azelaic Acid with Beta Hydroxy Acids should be avoided. Products like salicylic acid as BHA and AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) can increase the chances of experiencing dryness and skin irritation.
Can Azelaic Acid be used on a daily basis?
It is completely safe to apply it twice a day on a daily basis. In fact, it is believed that Azelaic Acid works best when used daily. If you have some condition like rosacea or POD, you can use Azelaic Acid on alternate days.
Is it possible to combine Azelaic Acid with Vitamin C?
Yes, it is safe to use Azelaic Acid along with Vitamin C. But what needs to be taken care of is that if you are using both these items for your skincare routine, use Vitamin C in the morning and Azelaic Acid at night for better results.
How does Azelaic Acid work and how it helps with skin problems?
Azelaic Acid is an acid that occurs naturally and thus helps skin to regenerate and renew itself quickly. This helps in reducing the formation of pimples and blackheads. It also helps in killing acne and rosacea-causing bacteria. Not just that, Azelaic Acid also cuts down on the factors that increase the growth of bacteria.
Is it true that Azelaic Acid is itchy?
Even though Azelaic Acid is a naturally occurring acid, it is an acid after all and has some kind of reaction on the skin. It is completely safe to use this acid, but in certain cases, it can react with some skin types and cause itching, burning, or stinging sensation. But these can also be brought under control by using a buffer – a moisturizing cream. This will help reduce any irritability your skin is experiencing.
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