Azelaic Acid Skincare: Everything You Need to Know

Today we’re going to give everybody an overview of a super underrated skincare ingredient – Azelaic Acid!

Don’t feel too bad if you’ve never heard of Azelaic. But trust us when we tell you that soon, it’ll be the talk of the skincare industry! Azelaic acid skincare is picking up steam – with all of the skin-refining benefits it brings, how could it not?

We sat down with Isomers’ Co-Founder and Lead Cosmetic Chemist, Manuela, to get the low-down on Azelaic acid skincare! Unless you happen to have perfect skin, listen up – because chances are you could benefit from having this ingredient in your life.

Whats is it?

Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring acid found in grains such as barley, wheat, and rye. So, get yourself a frosty beer or a glass of Canadian whiskey, and watch your skin glow! Just kidding – as you probably already know, alcohol is a big no-no for the health of your skin. Not only is Azelaic acid found in these various forms of wheat – but it’s also naturally occurring on our skin!

Neither an AHA nor a BHA, Azeliac is an acid in a category of its own! We use it in skincare because it has incredible natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Those abilities make the ingredient super effective at exfoliating and unclogging pores. Skincare products that use Azelaic can treat a number of skin concerns, and really refine the texture of your skin. More on that later, first let’s start with the most common and effective use of Azelaic acid skincare…

Azelaic Acid For Acne

Azelaic is one of the absolute best acne fighters in the skincare game. Skincare products with Azelaic as an active can eliminate all traces of acne on your skin; past, present and future! It encourages cell turnover to heal old acne scars, reduces inflammation to diminish the visibility and irritation of current blemishes, and it exfoliates deep in the pores to clear our excess sebum and/or bacteria that can cause future breakouts. There are a lot of options out there; salicylic acid, AHAs, retinol, tea tree oil, and so on. All great and effective, but for a holistic approach to targeting your acne and surface blemishes, it doesn’t get much better than Azelaic acid.

More Benefits Of Azelaic Acid Skincare

Azelaic acid is one of those swiss army knife kinds of skincare ingredients – we can use it in formulas to treat a number of skin concerns and reap the rewards of so many different benefits! Here are a few of our other favorite benefits you can expect from Azelaic acid skincare:

  • Combats hyperpigmentation: Azelaic is a tyrosinase inhibitor which means it slows down the skin’s overproduction of melanin – leaving us with a clear, even skin tone.

  • Calms melasma: this slowing down of the overproduction of melanin feature that the ingredient has also made it a fantastic treatment for melasma!

  • Treats rosacea: because the ingredient effectively clears clogged pores and soothes inflammation, it is great at treating rosacea.

  • Boosts cellular turnover: this comes with several fantastic skin benefits – some of the primary ones are the wonders it can work for giving you smooth, bump-free skin texture.

  • Reduces redness, swelling, and irritation: thanks to those wonderful anti-inflammatory properties of Azelaic acid!

Tips For Using Azelaic Acid Skincare Products

First off, Azelaic acid skincare products can leave you with some mild side effects such as slight irritation and redness. However, these reactions are pretty uncommon and are normally only seen in people who have hypersensitive/reactive skin – overall it’s definitely a milder acid.

Another tip for using Azelaic acid skincare products – use another acid before it to help with its absorption. We recommend using glycolic acid, lactic acid, salicylic acid, or retinol because they help to open up the skin and prepare it for a higher rate of absorption. Azelaic is a stable molecule, so it pairs very well with many other effective ingredients!

You can also use an Azelaic acid skincare product as a spot treatment for dark spots, inflamed areas, and acne – just apply a pea-sized amount to the desired area, and voila! Azelaic acid is safe to be used by pregnant women and can be incredible for treating some pregnancy-related skin concerns.

Finally, as is the case with many potent ingredients, if you want to use Azelaic acid skincare products and reap all of those texture-refining rewards – you better layer with a hydrating moisturizer and a strong sunscreen!