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Azelaic Acid: The Grain Ingredient That Is Great for Acne and Rosacea

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Who knew that the same acid found in bread and beer could be so great for your skin?

Azelaic acid is a strong newcomer in the beauty world, and some of its benefits are making waves.

In this article, we will cover the basics of Azelaic Acid, and how it may benefit multiple issues including Acne, Melasma, and Rosacea.

What is Azelaic Acid?

Azelaic Acid is a naturally occurring acid that is found in wheat, barley, and rye.

(If you avoid any of these due to a gluten allergy, you are still fine with Azelaic Acid as it is completely separated from the source grain or produced synthetically in most products.)

It is also naturally produced by a yeast naturally found on the skin.

It is considered a dicarboxylic acid, but it is gentle enough to leave Azelaic Acid containing products on overnight or use multiple times a day.

What does Azelaic Acid do for skin?

Azelaic acid kills certain bacteria strains on the skin that normally play a part in acne development by blocking the bacteria’s ability to make proteins.

Azelaic Acid also helps smooth skin by gently exfoliating thickened, rough areas (keratolytic) and clearing clogged pores (comedolytic).

This mild acid has also been found to have powerful free-radical scavenging abilities, making it a gentle antioxidant and antiinflammatory.

How does Azelaic Acid help with Acne, Rosacea, and Melasma?

For acne:

Azelaic Acid’s ability to reduce inflammation while clearing bacteria helps significantly with inflammatory acne.

If your issue is more blackheads/whiteheads, Azelaic also helps clear those by infiltrating and clearing out the pores.

For Rosacea:

The biggest problems involved in Rosacea is redness, inflammation, and tiny pimples.

Azelaic Acid soothes reddened inflamed skin while mopping up excess bacteria.

For Melasma:

Azelaic Acid is a natural skin lightener that can block or destroy some of the pigment cells causing the overproduction of melanin in Melasma.

How effective is Azelaic Acid?

One study tested out Azelaic Acid in combination with broad-spectrum sunscreen in women with Melasma and found that after 24 weeks 65% of the Azelaic Acid group had good or excellent results.

Another study had 100 participants with Acne apply 15% Azelaic acid cream twice daily for 3-9 months and reported significant acne improvement in every case!

A Rosacea study found twice daily 15% Azelaic Acid to be an effective, safe, and well-tolerated treatment for moderate Rosacea, noting a significant improvement in redness.

How to use Azelaic Acid?

Apply Azelaic Acid to clean, dry skin once or twice daily.

Wash hands after use.

This is very compatible with other cosmetics and beauty products, but very harsh exfoliants, peels, or scrubs may cause irritation.

How long does Azelaic Acid take to work?

For Acne, improvements should be seen within 4 weeks of treatment.

Rosacea may take a bit longer, and you should check with a doctor if you don’t see improvement after 12 weeks of treatment.

Azelaic Acid side effects

Azelaic Acid is mild and well-tolerated for most patients, even with applying multiple times a day.

Mild side effects may occur including:

Itching, burning, stinging, tingling, tenderness, or dryness.

Severe side effects are very rare, but see your doctor if the following occur as this may be a sign of an allergic reaction:

Swelling of the face, tongue, throat, lips, or eyes, difficulty swallowing or breathing, rash, or hives.

Where to buy Azelaic Acid?

Azelaic Acid is available in some over-the-counter products, but only in weaker strengths (generally 10% or less).

For stronger 15%-20% Azelaic Acid products you will need a prescription.

Our Rosacea Formula contains prescription-strength Azelaic Acid in combination with Brimonidine, another validated redness reducer.

Schedule an online consultation with our U.S. licensed physicians today to see how we can help with your skin regimen.

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