A long time acne and mild rosacea sufferer, I considered myself to be pretty in the know about all things pimple-plastering. Whether it be due to new beauty contenders like Deciem’s The Ordinary or because old becomes new and people always need something groundbreaking to talk about, my eyes and ears caught wind of a new acid I had never heard of. Fights acne…acts as an antiseptic…decreases effects of rosacea…and it was like the record scratched and all things came to a halt in my life. What the what? I (and now you) MUST KNOW MORE.
What is it?
Azelaic acid is a naturally-occurring acid that comes from yeast, barley and wheat. Typically found in a white powder, this powerful acid is a triple threat to skin issues due to bacteria-fighting benefits reminiscent of benzoyl peroxide and anti-inflammatory properties similar salicylic acid. Fellow rosacea suffers often get bumps and redness, so the mix of these two could be quite impressive while also cutting down irritation with a multi-functional product. It is also said to possess skin lightening properties which could be an alternative to (albeit not as effective) as hydroquinone which is quite the controversial lightening ingredient depending on who you talk to and has been banned in many countries due to its adverse effects. <— check your lightening products for this ingredient if this is important to you.
Unlike alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic and lactic that help to slough off the top layers of the skin by breaking up the “glue” that holds dead skin cells together so that new skin can emerge, azelaic acid does exfoliate, but think of it as a gunk buster that gets into the follicles and pores to clear out and kill the things that cause moderate to severe acne – Finacea is one of it’s more well-known prescription-strength topicals.
As a natural redhead, I have been working for what seems to be a lifetime to gain as much of a clean slate as I can, but my skin just likes to remind me that I am not worthy. I freckle if I even think of the word sun, my pimples hang around FOREVER and cause PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) after they’ve left for months, and my cheeks have a pink flush to them that is thank goodness mild, but still exacerbated by just about anything. Many of you ReadHead readers with sensitive or fair skin may be experiencing the same. Look for products that contain azelaic acid and watch it work wonders. It may just be the missing piece to your acne-free, glowing complexion.
The Ordinary’s Azelaic 10% Suspension is currently in route to my door and cost me $8 + shipping. I’ll be tearing into that packaging like a kid on Christmas.
Have you used azelaic acid before? Drop us a line in the comments.