The simple answer is quite good actually. Azelaic Acid is on a par with Vitamin A when it comes to controlling acne. But..and this is a big but…there is more to this simple answer. We need to look at some numbers to really compare these two mega ingredients.
(Wish I could reach for a slice of apple tart now ☺)
I know you want to skip the maths but bear with me. I think it is important to know, especially if you are struggling with acne and are looking for an effective solution.
Azelaic Acid comes in two forms: prescription medicine and normal skincare. The difference lies in the percentage of Azelaic Acid used in a formula. Prescription products contain azelaic acid 20% and skincare products usually have around 10% in the case of wash-off products and 3% for leave-on products.
If you have grade III-IV acne, cystic acne or uncontrollable fungal acne I would recommend a speedy trip to your doctor to discuss prescription Azelaic Acid cream e.g. Azelex® - as a possible option. According to numerous studies, the results are the same if you use 15% Azelaic Acid or Accutane or 0.05% Retinoic Acid.
If you want to continue with long term maintenance after the use of either Accutane or prescription Azelaic Acid or simply want to control sporadic hormonal breakouts or blackheads, look no further than SKOON’s OH SHERBET! 10% Azelaic acid exfoliating mask. (PS: Just launched!).
Like I said at the beginning of this blog – you can’t go wrong with this multi-tasking on-trend ingredient.…and our lovely, 100% natural mask is such an easy way to incorporate this powerhouse exfoliant in your beauty routine.
Let’s have a quick peek at some of the other superb benefits.
Reduce visible redness in rosacea
No one is completely sure of the exact cause of rosacea but it appears to be hereditary and is related to how easily you blus! Makes sense then that it is more prominent in people with fair skin.
Rosacea is primarily an inflammatory disorder and symptoms may include extensive flares of redness, acne-like bumps and distended capillaries. You can have either “dry rosacea” or a type of “acne rosacea”.
It will come as no surprise then that the most effective ingredients to address rosacea symptoms (nope, there is no cure!) are those with significant anti-inflammatory properties. Enter our multi-tasking hero ingredient “Azelaic Acid”.
As I have previously mentioned Azelaic Acid has migrated over to skincare from medicine due to the fact that it has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity in addition to being an effective anti-acne agent. Prescription products to treat rosacea will contain around 15% azelaic acid.
Skincare products containing 3% Azelaic Acid are perfect for long term maintenance treatment when your flares are in remission. Don’t forget to boost your topical Azelaic Acid with antioxidants like Vitamin C (WOW-WOW WONDER 3-Hyaluron + C serum) for more effective results – there is a link between damage from free radicals and rosacea.
Boosting tone and reducing pigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is both a long- and short-term cosmetic problem caused by the sun (and we certainly do have lots of sun in sunny South Africa!). It manifests as dark splotches on your skin and may appear suddenly, especially if you are a woman, after years of sun exposure. Even if your hyperpigmentation is caused by hormones or medicine, sun exposure is still the major factor determining whether your pigmentation will improve or worsen.
In general, hyperpigmentation is treated with 3 basic steps:
❶ Exfoliation, to remove existing splotches.
❷ Use of melanin-suppressing ingredients to stop the formation of new splotches.
❸ Effective sun care to minimise the formation of new splotches.
Let’s have a look at what Azelaic Acid can do for pigmented skin.
Besides being an effective exfoliant (sure do hope you know this off pat by now), Azelaic Acid also blocks the melanin-producing enzyme tyrosinase – making it a double-duty guy. This makes Azelaic Acid a keratolytic (exfoliator) and a melanin-suppressant.
Hyperpigmentation is what I call a “long hauler”. There are no quick solutions but with some perseverance and a multi-tasking ingredient like Azelaic Acid in your beauty toolkit there is certainly scope for improvement.