Tuesday, 10 May 2022

How Over-the-Counter Azelaic Acid Can Help Your Skin

Written by Cristina Par
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Alesia Kozik

Azelaic acid, a by-product of wheat, is an uncommonly used ingredient in anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing cosmetics and creams.

Azelaic Acid can treat several skin conditions and brighten up dull skin. Just like another anti-ageing ingredient, retinol, azelaic acid is available over-the-counter.

How Azelaic Acid Can Help Your Skin

Although azelaic acid isn’t as well-known as retinol, it can pack just as much punch. You can buy azelaic acid at most drug stores or cosmetic counters in a 10% concentration.

Azelaic Acid Can Work For All Skin Types

Azelaic acid works by killing the bacteria on your skin, slowing down skin protein production, and breaking the connection between oil production and testosterone. All of those factors play a big role in the formation of acne and rosacea, two skin conditions that appear during puberty.

Although azelaic acid can work for all skin types, you need to make sure your body gets used to it. Burning and itchiness are common side effects of its use, but these issues should go away.

Azelaic Acid Can Help Solve Several Skin Conditions

There are four main conditions treated by azelaic acid: rosacea, hyperpigmentation, melasma, and acne. Since azelaic acid is anti-inflammatory, it can decrease swelling and soothe redness. Azelaic acid is also great at reducing the appearance of dark spots, scars, and dry patches.

Even a little bit of azelaic acid can decrease the build-up of dead skin cells and encourage cell turnover, making it one of the best acne fighters around. It’s one of the most effective ingredients for skin conditions that may lead to surface scarring, dullness, or inflammation.

Azelaic Acid Is A Great Exfoliator For Clogged Pores

Most skincare routines should include an exfoliator. If you don’t currently use a manual exfoliator or a chemical peel, your azelaic acid product can double as one. It’s still a good idea to get a proper exfoliator for a once-a-week treatment, as you can use azelaic acid every single day.

While not as strong as a chemical peel, azelaic acid still works hard to go deep into your pores and remove dead skin cells. This cleans clogged pores and brightens up dull skin patches.

Azelaic Acid Is The Perfect Gluten-free Alternative

Although azelaic acid is derived from wheat, there’s no evidence that it’s absorbed through the skin. It also avoids the gastrointestinal tract altogether, so it won’t trigger a gluten sensitivity or reaction. That means people with celiac disease can still benefit from the effects of azelaic acid.

However, it’s still a bad idea to actually ingest azelaic acid, so don’t get it in a pill form. Most over-the-counter products will come as a cream, foam, or gel, which you can still use.

Azelaic Acid Is The Best Option For Pregnant Women

Your skin goes through significant changes when you’re pregnant, but doctors recommend keeping skincare off the table. Since most skincare treatments are absorbed through the skin, there’s a big chance that what you’re putting on your face will affect your child.

However, only 4% of azelaic acid is absorbed through the skin, and what’s absorbed doesn’t harm the fetus. That means pregnant women can add azelaic acid to their skincare routine safely. Even so, you should still speak to your doctor before using one of your products.

Azelaic Acid Could Be Beneficial For People With Alopecia

More research is needed on the effects of azelaic acid and hair growth, but there’s a chance that this ingredient can help people with alopecia. Since azelaic acid helps to block DHT, a hormone that makes your hair fall out, it’s possible it could stimulate hair growth in humans.

While not a skin problem per se, azelaic acid may be put on the skin to grow hair. Plus, if you take care of the skin on your scalp, you decrease hair shedding and improve follicle thickness.

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