A woman applying a serum to her cheeks
Azelaic Acid: Your Guide To The Multi-Purpose Skincare Ingredient
Azelaic acid is a natural acid taken from grain that's been proven to even out skin tone and hyperpigmentation, minimize red scars and dark spots, and treat acne.
Because this mild acid is an antibacterial antioxidant, it's known to unclog pores, which helps with blemishes and fights inflammation. It's ideal for those with sensitive skin.
Experts recommend applying azelaic acid after cleansing as its own layer before any other skincare products are used. This is more effective than directly mixing products together.
To add azelaic acid to your routine, make sure it's the only new product you’re adding, so you know if it causes irritation. Remember to wear sunscreen, as you would with any acid.
Products with 10% of azelaic acid can be bought over the counter, but anything up to the maximum of 20% requires a prescription from your doctor or dermatologist.
While azelaic acid is generally safe for anyone, be careful if you have sensitive skin. It may cause a burning sensation, irritation, redness, or even hyperpigmentation patches.