Applying acid on your skin appears to be something your chemistry teacher would vehemently oppose. However, we know that some acids can help brighten and even out your complexion when used in beauty products. You are probably familiar with some of the most prevalent ones: salicylic, glycolic and lactic acid. But there’s another acid you might consider adding to your cosmetic cupboard that’s a little less well known. Azelaic acid, well it may not sound so flashy, but for skin professionals, it's a shadow hero when it comes to treating skin breakouts including acne scars and rough skin.
Azelaic acid was once regarded as one of skin care's best-kept secrets, only being widely known in medical and professional circles. Now, undeniable research shows how it significantly reduces the appearance of scars and diminishes hyperpigmentation and other discolourations. It refines the surface of the skin, and even reduces the sensitivity of the skin. Thanks to it, it is one of the most popular ingredients. In a nutshell, azelaic acid is an ingredient you should be aware of.
In this article you will find:
- What is Azelaic acid
- How it works
- Benefits of Azelaic acid
- Side effects of azelaic acid
What is Azelaic acid?
It is a naturally occurring acid that belongs to the family of medications called dicarboxylic acids. This is found in whole grains such as barley, rye and wheat. Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties make it effective for treating skin diseases such as acne and rosacea. In addition to preventing future rashes, this acid can remove acne-causing bacteria from the pores. Skin-care products containing this acid are available in the form of gels, foams, or creams.
How does it work?
Azelaic acid destroys acne-causing germs on your skin. Experts have advised that applying 15% to 20% cream to the skin can reduce the number of bacteria on the skin surface. It's also an antioxidant that can counteract or neutralize the effects of free radicals. Your body contains substances that could irritate your skin and cause acne. Azelaic acid helps reduce inflammation by neutralizing free radicals.
Benefits of Azelaic acid:
Till today, azelaic acid has not gotten an awful interest as alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) which include glycolic acid or lactic acid. However, the benefits of this nicely tolerated acid should earn a huge following.
Listed below are some amazing benefits of azelaic acid:
- Fights Acne:
Preparing for an occasion and noticing acne and acne scars all over is one of the worst nightmares for a large number of us. You can take relief as azelaic acid can help you to get rid of acne scars and stop the occurrence of acne and pimples in the coming future. Acne scars and spots of hyperpigmentation after inflammation are common in people with brown complexion tones.
Azelaic acid kills the bacteria that infect pores and reduce the production of keratin (a substance that leads to the development of acne). An everyday topical application of azelaic acid on these scars helps in treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and reduces the appearance of acne scars.
- Treats Hyperpigmentation:
Hyperpigmentation is usually a harmless skin problem, but it causes black spots throughout the skin. Melanin is the pigment that darkens the skin due to increased production.
Hyperpigmentation is a condition that affects an individual’s whole body and occurs in small spots. It occurs in three types: post-inflammatory pigmentation, melasma, and sunspots. These three types of hyperpigmentation are caused by a variety of causes that can be increased by exposure to sunlight. Free radicals and tyrosinase (an enzyme responsible for the production of melanin) are inhibited by azelaic acid.
Regular application of azelaic acid to hyperpigmented spots helps reduce their appearance and further tighten the skin by reducing the function of pigmented cell melanocytes.
- Reduce Inflammation:
Skin inflammation is generally caused by a reaction in the immune system. When certain foreign substances, microorganisms, or infections are recognized by the immune system, they cause inflammation. Because the skin is an important part of the body involved in the functioning of the immune system, inflammation of the skin generally causes rashes caused by allergic reactions, infections, or certain illnesses. Inflammation of the skin can cause itching, bumps, redness, scaly, and cracks on the skin.
Add azelaic acid to the skincare routine and applied to inflamed skin to help soothe the skin, reduce redness and reduce inflammation. The tropical application of azelaic acid can fight inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
It is a skin condition that normally influences the face and causes swelling, redness and lesions. Azelaic acid is FDA approved treatment for rosacea. Rosacea side effects like inflammation, redness, and rashes can be treated with acid because it has anti-inflammatory properties. Azelaic acid additionally forestalls spots by killing skin microbes and keeping pores unblocked. Over the long run, it will soothe skin and reduces redness.
As an antioxidant agent, this acid can kill the free radicals that harm skin cells and irritate related to rosacea. It is viewed as a first-line treatment in killing Demodex vermin, a typical trigger of rosacea.
- Exfoliation properties:
Pores are small holes on the skin's surface that are responsible for transporting sweat and oil from their respective glands to the skin's surface. Because of the barrier caused by dead skin cells, the secretion is prevented from reaching the surface. Skin disorders such as blackheads, whiteheads, acne, and pimples develop as a result of these clogged or blocked pores.
Azelaic acid is a gentle exfoliant and a comedolytic, which means it, helps to break down pore obstruction. It eliminates dead skin cells that produce dull skin tone and congested pores by going deep within the pores. This not only helps to clear out the pores and remove dead cells, but it also helps to prevent future blockages.
Side Effects of Azelaic acid:
The most common side effects you may experience are:
- Burning of the skin
You can use hydrating moisturizers to combat these side effects. If the side effects become severe, such as swelling of the face, difficulty swallowing or breathing, or hives, you should contact your doctor, since this could suggest an allergic reaction.
Acne scars are the biggest bad dream for people with acne-prone skin, particularly for Indians whose skin is inclined to hyperpigmentation. Azelaic acid is a strong ingredient that packs an effective punch. Some dermatologist suggests that this acid is much milder than other chemical exfoliators like BHAs, AHAs. Azelaic acid benefits all types of skin. However, it takes time to give results, so be regular and you may see the difference in a few months.
Q. Does Azelaic acid lighten skin?
Ans. Azelaic acid is a skin-lightening agent that's useful for fading post-acne marks and inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Q. Can vitamin C serum be used with azelaic acid?
Yes, they are safe to use together in the same routine. However, they are potent ingredients so it is preferable to space them out between your morning and evening routine.