Also known as azelan, azelaic acid is a molecule found in the botanical kingdom. Extracted from wheat, rye or barley seeds, it is used both as a medicinal active ingredient in the topical treatment of acne and rosacea and as a cosmetic ingredient to mattify the complexion and prevent imperfections. Discover the many benefits of azelaic acid here:
What Is Azelaic Acid?
Azelaic acid is a dicarboxylic acid found naturally in wheat, rye and barley. In 1978, Dr. Marcella NAZZARO-PORRO of the Gallicano Dermatological Institute (Rome, Italy) studied the depigmenting effects of azelaic acid. Since then, studies on this dicarboxylic acid have multiplied. Studies have shown that this acid has interesting biological properties to act against certain skin diseases such as acne vulgaris and rosacea. Medicines containing it generally have a concentration of between 15 and 20%.
In cosmetics, the azelaic acid content in a product is generally around 10%. At this concentration, this molecule is still effective and provides numerous benefits to the skin, as described below.
The Benefits of Azelaic Acid in Cosmetics.
Keratinization is also known as cell differentiation. It is a process of skin cells maturing, becoming loaded with keratin and ending up as dead cells constituting the stratum corneum. Thus, azelaic acid regulates this process with the effect of a smoothed skin texture.
To fight against the bacteria:
Azelaic acid has excellent anti-bacterial properties. Several studies have demonstrated its ability to limit the proliferation of bacteria such as P. acnes and S. epidermidis, which are involved in the inflammatory reactions of acne. The Typology mattifying serum is rich in plant-based azelaic acid and bamboo extract to reduce excess sebum and mattify oily skin. Use the serum morning and night before your moisturizer. It is particularly recommended for mixed and oily skins with acneic tendency.
To limit inflammations:
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, azelaic acid reduces redness as well as the marks left by imperfections (we speak about post-inflammatory erythema). Studies have shown that azelaic acid inhibits the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as the interleukins IL-1β and IL-6, and the transcription factor TNF-α. In addition, another study showed that azelaic acid promoted the regulation of kallikrein-5 in epidermal keratinocytes, which in turn lowered cathelicidins, decreasing inflammatory processes.
Fade pigment spots:
Hyperpigmentation-related spots can be categorized into three types: melasma, directly related to hormonal fluctuations; lentigo, small round or oval spots usually caused by UV radiation; and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which results from an overproduction of melanin after inflammation. Azelaic acid reduces melanin production in hyperactive areas where darker spots may appear. It does this by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme necessary for melanin production in the skin.
Note: Studies are controversial as to the effectiveness of azelaic acid on sebum. Some researchers have shown that it does not change its composition or quantity but rather acts by splitting up the free fatty acids on the skin's surface, hence its matifying effect. The skin shines less, looks less oily and the complexion is even and matte throughout the day. Other studies have suggested that azelaic acid reduces sebum levels due to its ability to inhibit 5α-reductase, an enzyme that locally converts testosterone to 5-dihydrotestosterone.
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