Have you ever tried a skincare product that has azelaic acid as the active ingredient? If you are a normal consumer, there are chances that you don’t have much information about this ingredient.
It is quite a tricky product that you find in over-the-counter products in very small quantities which may not be sufficient to produce any visible results. Azelaic acid is usually recommended for the rosacea treatment, a skin condition that is characterised by skin inflammation, redness and flushing. It is also effective for treating other skin conditions like acne and hyperpigmentation.
What is azelaic acid?
Azelaic acid is derived from various natural food sources such as wheat, rye and barley and it naturally occurs in our skin. It is used in various skincare products that are meant for treating acne, hyperpigmentation, rosacea and that promote skin healing.
Azelaic acid possesses anti-bacterial qualities which make it suitable for acne treatment. when it is topically applied, it decreases bacterial growth in follicles which reduces inflammation and eliminates dead skin cells for preventing acne breakouts in the future. It also helps in preventing the formation of blackheads, whiteheads and inflamed lesions of acne. It regulates the keratinocytes production so that they don’t build up and cause clogged pores . The research studies have shown that the effects of azelaic acid in fighting acne are similar to that of prescription strength tretinoin . In one o the study, it was also found that azelaic was quite effective in treating adult acne when other treatments failed to give results
In the case of reduction of hyperpigmentation, it selectively targets hyperactive melanocytes while causing little effect on the normal melanocytes. Due to this, it is suitable skin rejuvenation treatment for hyperpigmentation in all skin types.
The science behind working of Azelaic acid
Azelaic acid is industrially produced for use in skincare products. in its natural form, it is found in different grain species especially wheat, barley and rye in which it performs the significant function of protecting plants cells.
When the plant species come in contact with some harmful substance in the environment, they release azelaic acid which stimulates the production of another chemical known as salicylic acid which is necessary for fighting against the potential harm .
Azelaic acid after industrial production is combined with other active ingredients to form lotions, serums, creams and gels. The concentration of azelaic acid used in these products is mentioned in the form of a percentage. Over-the-counter products usually have 10% concentration of azelaic acid while the prescription strength is used in 15%-20% concentration such as in skin peel London treatment.
Chemical properties of Azelaic acid
Following are the chemical properties of azelaic acid:
• It has an anti-microbial effect which is directed towards Propionibacterium acnes and Staphyloccocus epidermis bacteria.
• It is a natural antioxidant that fights against free radicals and has anti-inflammatory properties.
• It helps in creating balance in keratinisation processes of sebaceous glands, stimulates their cleansing from the inside, removes comedones and prevents the formation of black and whiteheads.
• It decreases hyperpigmentation, overgrowth of melanocytes and keratinocytes proliferation.
• It stops the 5-alpha-reductase activity, slows down biological skin fats production while regulating the production of sebum.
• It is also used as buffer cell in some professional or home cosmetics for regulating the level of pH in them.
Azelaic acid as a treatment for acne
Azelaic acid is commonly used the ingredient in prescription acne treatment products. the ingredient is considered to affect the shedding process of skin by reducing the number of dead skin cells which get stuck into skin pores. Additionally, its anti-bacterial properties are also thought to play a role in controlling acne.
Researchers have found that azelaic acid is highly effective in the treatment of acne against other acne treatment drugs such as Accutane with fewer risks and much better tolerability . Azelaic acid holds anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory as well as anti-keratinizing properties.
View this video to understand how keratinisation process works
Azelaic acid decreases the content of free fatty acids in your skin creating an inappropriate environment for the growth of bacteria and fungus. It also starts to accumulate into the follicle with concentrations that is high enough to impede synthesis of protein by Propionibacterium acnes (the bacteria that cause acne) and Staphylococcus epidermis.
Azelaic acid for skin lightening
Another of the significant use of azelaic acid is in lightening and brightening skin tone and hyperpigmentation. This usually happens due to sun exposure and the damage caused by it which clusters the melanin pigment into spots of different sizes. However, the lower concentration of azelaic acid in over-the-counter products may not be effective in producing results to lighten skin tone. Therefore, it is better to choose prescription strength azelaic acid which can be administered through the skin peel treatment of http://www.cosmedocs.com/treatments/peel-to-reveal.php. This skin peels facial revitalising treatment has the amount of azelaic acid with other potent ingredients that produce outstanding facial rejuvenation results.
A research study found that the use of 20% azelaic acid over a period of 24 weeks gave 65% good or outstanding results as compared to 4% hydroquinone with respect to the overall rating including a reduction in the size of the lesions as well as pigmentary intensity. The side effects associated with the use of hydroquinone such as allergic sensitization or exogenous ochronosis were also not observed with the azelaic acid skin rejuvenation facial treatment.
Should I use azelaic acid for treating darker skin tone?
Yes, it can be safely used for treating even darker skin tones due to its selective action on hyperactive melanocytes and not affecting the normal melanocytes. It is more effective in treating even darker skin tone as compared to hydroquinone . Another study verified that the use of 20% azelaic acid cream is not just as effective as 0.05 tretinoin cream but also produced fewer side effects and was well-tolerated .
Is azelaic acid effective for treating rosacea?
Rosacea is a skin condition which is characterised by dilated blood capillaries or erythema that produce an appearance of redness. It is classified into two subtypes. The subtypeI is characterised by facial redness only while the subtype2 is characterised by papules and pustules along with facial redness.
Azelaic acid has been an FDA approved treatment for rosacea. A research study showed that the use f 15% azelaic acid over a period of 6 months significantly reduced erythema, papulopustular rosacea and inflamed skin lesions .
The combined use of antibiotics with 15% azelaic acid showed a rise in the effectiveness of papulopustular rosacea treatment .
Combination of azelaic and glycolic acid
The combination of an azelaic acid with glycolic acid has been found to be a highly effective skin rejuvenation treatment. The best combination of glycolic with azelaic acid and other potent active ingredients is found in skin peel London treatment. The results of a research study conducted on ethnic skin showed that the use of low potency azelaic and glycolic acid topical cream effectively treated melasma in Indian patients . It was also provided with an effective alternative to tretinoin offering better tolerability and rate of satisfaction by the patients . The research studies proved its efficacy in treating hyperpigmentation in dark-skinned patients .
The side effects from azelaic acid depend on its concentration. As over-the-counter products have less concentration of azelaic acid so they are less likely to cause any potential side effects. Some of the common side effects include stinging, burning, dryness and redness that should be closely monitored. There is also a possibility of allergic reactions in some cases.
Azelaic acid in skin peel London treatment
Azelaic acid is one of the significant active ingredients of skin peel facial rejuvenation treatment. The presence of azelaic acid with other potent skin rejuvenating ingredients in skin peel treatment gives it anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities which help in controlling and preventing various skin problems including acne and breakouts. It helps in regulating secretion
of sebaceous glands and works against the resistance of bacteria and fungus producing micro-organisms on the skin and softly lightens skin tone due to which it is used in combination skin peel treatments for the elimination of acne, acne scars, pigmentation, folliculitis and other skin related problems.
Different researches have proved the efficacy of azeliac acid as anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and skin lightening agent. It also helps in treating rosacea but you need to use the right concentration of azelaic acid for achieving the multiple benefits of this less known skin revitalising ingredient.
Have you ever used products with azelaic acid or undergone a skin peel facial treatment that has azelliac acid in it? Did it helped to improve your skin conditions?