In your search for active skincare products, you might have noticed azelaic acid on the label. This has become an increasingly popular ingredient in skincare products, but there is not as much hype about it as other active ingredients. If you are wondering if it is suitable for your skin type, we’ve got the 101 for you here.
What is Azelaic Acid?
It is a natural compound produced by a yeast and can be found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. In skincare, the lab-engineered form is often used versus the natural form, as the engineered form gives it more stability.
What is Azelaic Acid Used for in Skincare?
Azelaic acid is used in creams, gels & foams as a topical treatment to help with a variety of skin conditions such as:
It can Help with Hyperpigmentation & Skin Brightening
After you suffer from an acne breakout, inflammation can occur leading to dark patches or hyperpigmentation. Azelaic acid encourages cell turnover which can help to break this process. It is a tyrosinase inhibitor, meaning it can help to prevent hyperpigmentation because it interferes with melanin production. It is also said to help reduce existing pigmentation.
It has anti-inflammatory properties that help with acne and because it blocks tyrosinase, this enables it to lighten skin that’s discoloured by melanin.
It can Help Reduce Bacteria Multiplying on the Skin
Azelaic acid is an antibacterial antioxidant that can help to it reduce the growth of bacteria in the follicle (Propionibacterium acnes and Staphylococcus epidermidis). It can also help to fight free radicals and decongests clogged pores.
It can help People with Rosacea
Because azelaic acid can help to reduce inflammation, it can help in the treatment for symptoms of rosacea. According to clinical studies, azelaic acid gel can continually help to improve the appearance of swelling and visible blood vessels caused by rosacea.
How to use Products Containing Azelaic Acid?
If you are introducing a product containing azelaic acid into your beauty routine, it can be useful to follow these steps:
- Wash your hands.
- Wash the area you are going to apply the product to very thoroughly with warm water. Steer clear of strong cleansers, use a gentle cleanser such as AMPERNA® Ultra Gentle Soothing Cleanser, a light gel cleanser that helps remove makeup while balancing the skin. It contains an infusion of sage and cucumber extracts to help cool, soothe and nourish skin. Make sure the area is clean.
- Pat the skin dry.
- Apply a small amount of product to the target area, rub it into your skin and let it dry. If you don’t suffer from any side effects, continue use.
- Apply AMPERNA® Lightweight Soothing+ Emulsion [HYDRATE]
- Apply an SPF like AMPERNA® Pro+ Bio Soothing Day Mineral CC SPF15 [HYDRAPROTECT] during the day
In general, products containing azelaic acid should be applied to the area affected initially daily, then if tolerated building up to twice daily. It can take up to six months to see results.
Are there any Side Effects?
For people suffering from sensitive skin as well as eczema, products containing azelaic may be too strong and cause irritation or more severe reactions such as scaling, burning or atopic dermatitis have also been known to occur.
Mild side effects include:
- Skin dryness
- A burning or tingling feeling on your skin
- Peeling skin
More extreme less-common side effects include:
- Swelling skin
- Blistering skin
- Flaking skin
- Atopic dermatitis
- Difficulty breathing
The best approach to take is to conduct a patch test to understand if you have any side effects. You can read more on how to perform a patch test here.
If you suffer from sensitive skin, you may also benefit from help from AMPERNA®. The AMPERNA® range is suitable for people suffering with acne and rosacea. The range works to help rebalance and transform the appearance of even the most sensitive skin by protecting the skin’s surface whilst delivering active ingredient to the lower epidermis. The hero ingredient in the AMPERNA® range is the active probiotic complex, Lactococcus ferment lysate. This probiotic complex helps to support the skin barrier; helping to protect you from aggressions such as environmental pollutants, helps keep your immune system in check and helps reduce inflammation. There are no known side effects.