Its name may not mean anything to you, but azelaic acid , or azelan, is an essential active ingredient in cosmetics. Scientific studies highlight its numerous benefits for skin with imperfections, to reduce brown spots and even against redness. Discover all the benefits of azelaic acid for your skin and follow our application advice to use it properly in your skincare routine.
What is azelaic acid?
Azelaic acid is a dicarboxylic acid , which exists naturally: it is found in particular in cereals such as wheat, rye and barley. The majority of research on azelaic acid dates from the 1990s.
In fact, this ingredient, very similar to salicylic acid, is not soluble in water or oil. This is why it was difficult to incorporate into cosmetic formulations for years.
But progress in dermatology allows us today to have access to a higher concentration of azelaic acid, and therefore to benefit from all the advantages of this beauty active ingredient, whether to prevent imperfections (including the famous spots black), to even out the complexion or to get rid of redness on the face.
It is particularly recommended for acne-prone skin thanks to its antibacterial and sebum-regulating properties.
What are the benefits of azelaic acid?
This still little-known ingredient is very effective for three skin problems: acne or blemishes, redness and brown spots (or age spots).
For acne-prone or blemish-prone skin
The properties of azelaic acid on oily skin and combination skin prone to imperfections are numerous:
- It acts on the production of sebum , either by regulating it or by splitting free fatty acids. This is what gives a mattifying appearance and reduces the appearance of spots.
- It fights against the proliferation of the bacteria C.acnes ( Cutibacterium acnes), present naturally in the pores of the skin and responsible for acne. It causes the appearance of imperfections when its production is high.
- Azelaic acid also plays a role in skin regeneration , normalizing the process of keratinization of cells and thus avoiding clogging of skin pores.
- Finally, it helps fade the marks and scars left by acne spots, it reduces redness and brown spots.
Azelaic acid is an ingredient of choice for skin prone to blemishes because it acts on the three causes linked to acne : excess sebum, the proliferation of certain bacteria and excess dead cells. Thanks to its exfoliating properties, it gently purifies the skin, without drying the face.
It is therefore an ultra complete and very effective ingredient when used in the treatment of adolescent or adult acne, and in general to fight against excess sebum.
For skin prone to dark spots or hyperpigmentation
All the benefits of azelaic acid that we have just seen make it a very interesting ingredient for significantly improving the appearance of the skin and fighting against pigmentation spots. It evens out the complexion, makes it more radiant and reduces the presence of brown spots on the face and neck.
These marks on the skin are caused by the sun, by premature aging of the skin but also by tyrosinase, an enzyme responsible for the production of melanin. Azelaic acid prevents the appearance of dark spots by inhibiting this enzyme and thus disrupting the production of melanin.
For marked skin or skin prone to redness
Azelaic acid has anti-inflammatory properties , which help reduce redness and associated imperfections: rosacea, rosacea, small pimples, etc. It is often used in treatments for post-inflammatory erythema, the name given to red acne marks that remain on the skin for years.
How to use azelaic acid in your beauty routine?
In cosmetics, this active ingredient is present in day creams, night care, serums and masks at approximately 3 to 15% . The higher the concentration of azelaic acid, the more quickly the product will be effective (concentrations above 15% are reserved for medical use).
This ingredient can be applied morning and/or evening , even on sensitive skin. But we advise you to start with an application every other day to get the skin used to it and limit the appearance of unwanted effects, particularly on reactive skin. It should always be accompanied by sun protection when applied as a day moisturizer.
Use your azelaic acid products on the entire face or on localized areas with blemishes, redness or dark spots.
For even more effectiveness, this ingredient must be combined with other beauty active ingredients targeting hyperpigmentation, such as vitamin C, salicylic acid or tranexamic acid. Nooance-Paris has developed innovative cosmetic treatments for you which integrate azelaic acid into ultra-complete formulas, designed to offer visible results within a few weeks of use.
Our treatments with azelaic acid Nooance-Paris
The clarifying anti-redness treatment is specifically formulated for skin prone to redness, irritation, pigment spots and uneven skin tone.
Its unique formula contains azelaic acid concentrated at 12%, tranexamic acid concentrated at 3%, as well as a complex of lightening, soothing and nourishing active ingredients which offer numerous benefits:
- Reduce inflammation
- Brighten the complexion
- Reduce pigment spots
- Fight against redness
- Reduce imperfections
- Regulate sebum for clear and unified skin
The intensive anti-stain treatment combines two treatments in a single product. We find a vitamin C booster associated with a serum containing azelaic acid, tranexamic acid and niacinamide to:
- Target and visibly reduce imperfections such as dark spots, redness and acne scars
- Smooth the skin texture
- And offer a more uniform, luminous and rejuvenated complexion
- Azelaic acid. A review of its pharmacological properties and therapeutic efficacy in acne and hyperpigmentary skin disorders, Drugs, 1991 May;41(5):780-98. doi:10.2165/00003495-199141050-00007.
- Clinical studies of 20% azelaic cream in the treatment of acne vulgaris, Acta Derm Venerol 1989; suppl 143:35-39
- Real-World Case Studies Showing the Effective Use of Azelaic Acid in the Treatment, and During the Maintenance Phase, of Adult Female Acne Patients, Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2023; 16:515–527, doi:10.2147/CCID.S396023
- Azelaic acid in the treatment of papulopustular rosacea: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials, Arch Dermatol, 2006 Aug;142(8):1047-52. doi:10.1001/archderm.142.8.1047.