In the world of acne treatments, things like salicylic acid, tea tree oil, and benzoyl peroxide reign supreme. But not all skin types can tolerate these ingredients. If you have sensitive skin that’s prone to breakouts, this could be a problem.
But don’t fret because there’s way to control your acne without disrupting your skin and it’s been flying under the radar for a long time. In this blog, we’ll be talking about azelaic acid and its many skin benefits. Let’s get started!
Understanding Azelaic Acid
Azelaic acid is a dicarboxylic acid that can be derived from a number of sources including our own skin and grains and cereals. It is a mild exfoliant that prevents comedones, exfoliates deep within the pores, decreases keratin, provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits to the skin.
This multifunctional ingredient works by decreasing the swelling and redness of the skin which is great for skin conditions like rosacea. It also kills bacteria and decreases the production of keratin which helps treat and prevent acne.
It is available in prescription concentrations of 15% and 20%. However, you can also find over-the-counter products containing 10% concentration of this ingredient. Azelaic acid is often found in leave-on treatments like gels, foams, and creams.
Benefits of Azelaic Acid
Azelaic acid offers. Any benefits to the skin. Primarily, it exfoliates deeply yet gently. It seeps deep into the pores to remove dead skin cells clog pores and make the skin look dull. It dissolves old and flaky skin cells to reveal younger and brighter skin cells. Unlike topical retinoids, however, it won’t irritate the skin as much.
It also acts as a tyrosinase inhibitor which means it can even out your skin tone. Azelaic acid is great for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne breakouts. Research suggests that it is also suitable for melasma.
Along with its pore-decongesting properties, its antibacterial nature makes sit useful for keeping acne breakouts at bay.
Furthermore, it can soothe irritation and redness caused by inflammation. It can reduce the appearance of red bumps on sensitive skin and it can also address some of the secondary infections caused by rosacea.
Since it is such a gentle ingredient, azelaic acid is safe for use on all skin types. Even people with sensitive skin have shown that they can tolerate it.
How to Use It
Regardless if you’re using an OTC formula or you’ve got a prescription from your dermatologist, you need to practice proper application for this ingredient to effectively work its magic.
Apply a thin layer to clean and dry skin once in the morning and again at night. But if you have particularly sensitive skin, it’s best to use to once every other day.
To improve its absorption into the skin, it can also help if you apply an AHA, a BHA, or a retinol product first. Follow this up with a hydrating moisturizer and a sunscreen with SPF 30 during the day.
One of the key things to know about azelaic acid is that it is slow acting. You’ll be able to see its effects if you use it consistently over the course of a few months.