Published on October 12, 2022 at 12:00 p.m.
In the family of acids, I ask for azelaic. Unknown to the general public, this active ingredient has many benefits, particularly on imperfections linked to youth. It is also very useful for correcting certain skin problems (such as rosacea) as well as for reviving the radiance of all skin types.
What is azelaic acid?
Azelaic acid is a dicarboxylic acid from cereal seeds such as wheat, barley or rye. Little known, it is both a cosmetic ingredient and a drug. “As a cosmetic ingredient, it is used in a concentration usually less than or equal to 10%. In medicine, it can go up to 20% concentration for local treatments”, explains Dr Nadine Pomarède, dermatologist at DermoMedicalCenter.
How does azelaic acid work on the skin?
Azelaic acid acts as an enzymatic exfoliant (gentle for the skin and without rinsing) like salicylic acid (BHA) or fruit acids (AHA). “It is anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, hence its use in local treatment for fight against acne and the inflammatory lesions of rosacea”, comments our expert. Indeed, azelaic acid acts directly on imperfections (such as acne scars) and inflammatory reactions by limiting the proliferation of bacteria and regulating the production of sebum. “It also has an antioxidant action”, specifies the dermatologist. In particular, it reduces redness, facilitates the exfoliation of epidermal cells – and therefore evens out the complexion, smoothes skin texture and reduces pore size.
What are the benefits of azelaic acid?
Given its multiple actions, azelaic acid used in cosmetics, improves:
- Dilated pores and blackheads
- The skin texture
- Sensitive or reactive skin
- Uneven skin tone
- Pigmented spots
Does azelaic acid have any side effects on the skin?
Good news: azelaic acid is suitable for all skin types. “It is very well tolerated in cosmetology because its concentration is lower,” explains Dr Nadine Pomarède. In the first times, it is advisable to apply it every other evening before using it daily. Important point: the expert specifies that it is possible to notice feelings of burning, tingling or itching (even drying of the skin or desquamation). If these problems persist, do not hesitate to consult your dermatologist.
With which other active ingredient can azelaic acid be mixed?
The pro’s answer: “You can combine it in your skincare routine with AHAs or BHAs, especially for oily skin that have blackheads or dilated pores. It can also be mixed with retinol to improve the radiance of her skin and unify her complexion.