Azelaic acid deals in the treatment of skin conditions. It is formulated in prescription form and is also used as an ingredient in a number of different cosmetic and industrial products. It works effectively with acne, inflammation and hyperpigmentation. How it works, how it is used and some of the best products available are questions any potential user would have concerning Azelaic acid, and some of those answers are included here.
What Is Azelaic Acid?
Azelaic acid is an organic compound that is identified as a dicarboxylic acid (organic acid that contains two carbon atoms), which is produced in white powder form. It appears naturally in the skin. We can also find it in wheat, rye and barley. Within a plant, the acid acts as a defense mechanism when infection is present. It signals the production of salicylic acid that is part of a plants defensive response.
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How Does Azelaic Work?
Azelaic acid works as an anti-bacterial as it destroys bacteria that infects the pores of the skin. It also reduces the production of keratin (protein component of skin, hair and nails). As a natural substance, keratin can stimulate the growth of acne bacteria and Azelaic acid counteracts those effects.
Azelaic acid reduces inflammation, bumps and swelling through a process that involves the restriction of overactive protease activity (the enzyme that breaks down protein).
In addition, Azelaic acid acts as a tyrosinase (oxidizing enzyme) inhibitor. This means that it reduces and helps control the production of melanin (pigment found in the skin) and reduces the appearance of dark spots.
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What Is Azelaic Acid Used for?
Azelaic acid is used for the treatment of mild to moderate acne that includes comedonal inflammatory and rosacea acne. It calms and reduces the inflammation that comes with these skin conditions.
It is also prescribed for rosacea. This is a chronic skin condition that causes ongoing redness over areas of the face, particularly around the cheek, nose and other facial areas where blushing would normally occur.
Azelaic acid has been used for the treatment of skin hyperpigmentation whether from acne scars, melasma or other dark patches that occur on the skin.
Benefits of Azelaic Acid
The benefits of this acid are dramatic. They include its ability to treat and eliminate skin flakiness around the nose and mouth areas of the face as well as to smooth skin and reduce inflammation.
Azelaic acid decreases the growth of the bacteria that causes acne. It is also beneficial in regulating the production of skin cells (keratinocytes), which lessens the build up and clogging of the pores. It helps in the removal of dead skin cells and inhibits future acne breakouts.
Azelaic acid is also helpful in fading dark areas, spots, and areas of hyperpigmentation on the skin.
Best Products Containing Azelaic Acid
The best products that contain Azelaic acid that are available without a prescription include:
GIGI Bioplasma Azelaic Cream is one of the most powerful Azelaic acids available without a prescription. It contains a concentration of 15 percent Azelaic acid, which puts it close to a prescription strength product. The cream is more effective than other similar creams. This is due to its potency as well as its ability to work well with acne, rosacea, hyperpigmenation and scarring. It has a smooth and creamy texture, is easy to use, and is gentle on the skin. Dryness, flakiness and sensitivity are minimal with its use. In price, it averages around $35.
The Ordinary contains 10 percent azelaic acid, which is slightly less than the strongest of our creams on this list. Its formula is free of alcohol, oil, nuts, and gluten. It is also vegan and made 100 percent cruelty-free. The pH value is within 4.00-5.00, which is well within reason to keep your face clean without removing precious moisture.
Besides azelaic acid, it also contains a few other ingredients which are beneficial to your skin. One of them is dimethicone, a type of silicone used in cosmetics to lock in moisture. Another component (tocopherol) is a form of Vitamin E derived from vegetable oil which protects the skin from harmful UV rays and combats inflammation. This moisturizer works on all skin types to improve skin evenness, reducing the severity of blemishes, and brightening the skin. It costs an average of $15.
Jan Marini’s Bioglycolic Bioclear is a multi-purpose solution that utilizes a combination of glycolic, salicylic and Azelaic acids for attacking a wide-range of skin conditions. It not only provides for smoother and clearer skin, but brings a glow factor to troubled skin. As a resurfacing solution, the benefits of this combination of three acids outweigh other comparable products as Bioclear is able to function as a fine line and wrinkle reducer. It’s also an acne, scarring, and large pore and uneven skin texture innovator. Multi-function properties make this solution a product for many skin uses and any irritating effects are minimal. In price, it averages around $68.
Melazepam Cream is a fragrance and allergen free, affordable emollient cream. It is often used in place of its prescription counterpart Finacea. The cream contains a high concentration of the acid. Other ingredients include herbal extracts and other hydrating ingredients, such as safflower seed oil and petrolatum. These provide barriers to the skin that lock moisture in while promoting elasticity and luminosity.
Melazepam Cream relieves cystic acne, regulates acne flareups, fades dark spots and is effective with different aspects of rosacea. In comparison to other products, it provides almost the same benefits of a professional grade Azelaic acid while doing so with little irritation or discomfort to the skin. It is a blend that deals with skin conditions yet leaves the skin smooth and supple. In price, it averages around $12.
Evologie Serum is another multi-purpose blemish solution with a YS3 delivery system. This makes it different from other products in that it carries its ingredients below the outermost layer (epidermis) of the skin. This advanced clinically researched skin care system is free of gluten, parabens, fragrance, hydroquinone, benzoyl peroxide and other chemicals. It provides the help needed to rid the skin of pimples, blemishes, acne scars, dark spots, and rosacea related indicators. In addition, it significantly hydrates the skin and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles without irritating or drying the skin. Evologie offers a money back guarantee on its product. In price, it averages around $35.
Azelaic acid is a wonder worker in its ability to resolve a number of skin issues. It is a natural antibacterial, which is great for the treatment of acne. Azelaic acid is also effective in reducing skin flakiness and inflammation with conditions like rosacea. Furthermore, it is able to lighten acne scarring and dark patches along with other hyperpimentation issues. People with any skin type can use it. However, like any other skin treatment, it can be irritating to skin, cause itchiness, redness, stinging, burning, dryness and other inflammatory issues. Before using Azelaic acid, it is best to consult with a dermatologist before committing to any of the products reviewed here and elsewhere.
Some users of this little miracle worker notice immediate differences in their skin. If you have tried or used Azelaic acid on a regular basis in any of these products or others, what do you think? It’s a hard to beat product especially in combination with other natural skin beautifiers. Do give some input as to what works for you.