Originally prescribed as a treatment for acne, azelaic acid can also be used to combat redness, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation.
What is the purpose of azelaic acid?
What is Azelaic Acid?
Azelaic acid is a member of the dicarboxylic acids, derived from grains such as barley, wheat, and rye. However, the one found in skincare formulations is primarily synthetic, most often created through fermentation, for reasons of stability and effectiveness. Thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, azelaic acid is particularly known for being an exceptional active ingredient for acne-prone skin. However, other benefits have been attributed to it. It is also a true ally against rosacea or for treating hyperpigmented spots. Moreover, azelaic acid offers an exfoliating effect, comparable to A.H.A. and B.H.A, but much gentler, ideal for sensitive skin. Finally, this natural acid is also an antioxidant to neutralise free radicals, responsible for premature skin ageing.
Note : Azelaic acid is a challenging active ingredient to stabilise in formulation. Indeed, it exhibits low solubility in both water and fats. A pre-mixture often needs to be made with glycerine before its incorporation into the aqueous phase.
Azelaic Acid, an agent against spots.
Azelaic acid is particularly suitable for combination to oily skin types. The overproduction of sebum, a characteristic of oily skin, leads to the emergence of acne which can leave marks. As a natural antibacterial, azelaic acid helps to target the bacteria responsible for inflammation. To reap the benefits of this acid, ensure you choose products of natural origin, with a concentration of at least 10% azelaic acid, and complement your routine with various treatments dedicated to shiny skin and those prone to blemishes.
Azelaic acid, an active ingredient against redness and rosacea.
Sebum regulator and antimicrobial, azelaic acid is also suitable for combination skin. Its application gently exfoliates the skin and helps combat enlarged pores, as well as the formation of blackheads. Under the effect of this acid, the skin will be softer to the touch, the complexion even and without shiny areas.
Azelaic acid, an ally against brown spots.
Hyperpigmentation is linked to a disruption in the pigmentation process : the melanin is overproduced in certain areas, leading to the appearance of brown, red or pink spots that can sometimes be unsightly. These spots vary in size and affect the uniformity of the complexion.
Several studies have focused on the action of azelaic acid on pigmentation spots and itsmode of action has been identified. Azelaic acid reduces the ability of melanocytes to produce melanin by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase and regulating the activity of the enzyme thioredoxin reductase. Moreover, it only targets pigment-loaded melanocytes or atypical melanocytes. As a result, it does not interact with healthy cells. In addition, thanks to its antioxidant properties, azelaic acid protects the skin from free radicals responsible for the appearance of signs of ageing, including brown spots.
LOWE N. J. & al., Azelaic acid 20% cream in the treatment of facial hyperpigmentation in darker-skinned patients. Clinical Therapeutics. (1998).
BANDYOPADHYAY D. Topical treatment of melasma. Indian Journal of Dermatology (2009).