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26 June 2019, 11:37 | Updated: 1 July 2019, 11:24
Azelaic acid is the beauty ingredient that not many people know about but once you start using it prepare to see results.
I love using an acid exfoliant in my skincare routine, and for a long time my one of choice was Salicylic as it not only helps to refine the skin's surface, but it's also great for unclogging pores.
It's a really great choice if you tend to have oily skin which I suffer from on my nose.
However, Dr Sam Bunting (one of my favourite dermatologists) recently introduced me to an acid that had totally escaped my attention. It's called Azelaic Acid and whilst giving the same skin resurfacing benefits as other acids, it also does a host of other great things.
According to Sam, it's fab at preventing acne blemishes as it helps to unclog pores and acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.
She explained: "It inhibits the skin’s production of excess melanin so is also useful in many patterns of hyperpigmentation including those pesky dark marks that blemishes leave behind and it's useful in melasma.
"As if that’s not useful enough, it’s also considered safe in breastfeeding and pregnancy. It’s suitable for use day or night and layers well with other Actives like vitamin C and niacinamide.
"Expect improvement in redness, blemishes, pigmentation and texture over the course of 3 to 6 months."
Sam added that she likes prescribing this ingredient for rosacea.
To apply, Dr Sam recommends using it after your cleanser. It can sting at first so perhaps start by using a moisturiser underneath it., or start with a 5% and move up to a 10%.
Eventually this acid can also help improve your skin's tolerance to other ingredients like retinol.
If you'd like to swap your usual acid for Azelaic, here are some products to look out for:
Paula's Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster: £37 here
Dr Sam is a big fan of this one and I personally really rate Paula's Choice products.
This one is combined with Salicylic acid and liquorice and should really help if you're prone to breakouts.
Sesderma Azelac Moisturising Gel: £29 here
Dr Sam also likes this product and I can see why. I love the fact that they've combined the Azelaic Acid with other skin heroes including niacinamide, a brilliant ingredient that can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, skin tone and blemishes, and moisturising glycine.
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%: £5.50 here
It's cheap, cheerful and has the right percentage of Azelaic for you to see results. No it's not an exciting product with lots of frills but if you want to give this acid a go, this is a great place to start!