Yes, there has been a lot of chatter about acids over the past year or so, and yes, there always seems to be a new one that you should be using. But, Azelaic Acid genuinely should be on your radar regardless of your skin type or concern because it has an impressive skill set and helps to soothe and smooth skin.
So, what is Azelaic Acid?
It is found in wheat, barley and rye and is used in skincare as a leave-on exfoliant. Unlike glycolic and lactic acids, Azelaic Acid is not an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) and it’s not a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) like salicylic acid either. Azelaic Acid is produced by a yeast that occurs naturally on our skin and as a result it has an array of skincare benefits.
What are the skin benefits of Azelaic Acid?
While it is an exfoliator that helps to smooth lumps and bumps on your skin, there are many strings to this particular acids bow. Azelaic Acid is most commonly used to treat acne, as it has impressive anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. For these reasons it’s also been used to help ease rosacea. It is also good for smoothing and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Pigmentation is another skin concern that Azelaic Acid can help with as it can penetrate your skin’s surface and slow down the production of excess melanin, which can lead to the formation of dark circles.
How often should you use Azelaic Acid?
It’s a relatively gentle acid and can be used daily depending on your skin’s tolerance levels, or two-to-three times a week. Studies have shown that the skin absorbs around 5-8%, so looking for formulas that contain 10% Azelaic Acid should offer you noticeable results. Garden of Wisdom Azelaic Acid, £14, is a good place to start if you battle with rosacea or acne.
We recommend using it as part of your evening routine and to always apply SPF the during the day when you’re using acids in your skincare regimen.
Can you use Azelaic Acid with other acids?
Absolutely. If you battle with breakouts and blackheads, incorporating a salicylic acid into your routine as well as Azelaic Acid will offer results. We suggest using them on alternating days though to avoid overloading your skin or increasing your chances of irritation, or opting for a formula that combines the acids together at lower percentages. For this, look to LixirSkin Night Switch BHA/AHA 10%, £20, which includes Azelaic Acid, as well as salicylic and lactic acids.
It goes without saying that both hyaluronic acid and niacinamide work well with Azelaic Acid. While hyaluronic acid helps to hydrate your skin, niacinamide refines your pores and strengthen your skin barrier.