Ingredients

Last Updated Jan 29, 2024

Azelaic Acid :: Ingredient Review

Author
|
Board-Certified Dermatologist
Dr. Muneeb Shah

Overall Ranking:

 

What is azelaic acid?

Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring dicarboxylic acid found in grains, rye, and barley.

What are the benefits of azelaic acid? 

Improves acne, hyperpigmentation, and rosacea. It also has mild exfoliating benefits, although it is not an alpha hydroxy acid. 

 Acne Evidence Rating Grade A
Hyperpigmentation Rating Grade A

 

What concentrations of azelaic acid should I look for?

Up to 10% is available over the counter in the United States. Most studies on azelaic acid have been done with concentrations between 15-20%, which is only available by prescription. As a dedicated product, look for 10% azelaic acid. If compounded with other ingredients, look for 2-10%.

How do I use azelaic acid? 

1. Cleanse Use a gentle cleanser. Remove all make-up / sunscreen. 
2. Treat After cleansing, apply over the entire face. Azelaic acid is gentle enough to be used twice a day.
3. Protect

Follow with moisturizer at night or sunscreen in the morning.

 

Is azelaic acid pregnancy safe? 

Yes. Azelaic acid is one of the few acne fighting ingredients considered to be safe in pregnancy.

    Doctor's Note

    Azelaic acid is an underrated ingredient that dermatologists love!

    Treats acne, rosacea, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation 

    Pregnancy-safe

    The Research

    Searle T, Ali FR, Al-Niaimi F. The versatility of azelaic acid in dermatology. J Dermatolog Treat. 2022. PMID: 32730109

    Dr. Muneeb Shah

    Board-Certified Dermatologist

    Dr. Muneeb Shah headshot

    Dr. Muneeb Shah

    Board-Certified Dermatologist

    Dr. Muneeb Shah is a double Board-Certified Dermatologist and Micrographic Dermatologic Surgeon in Hudson Yards, New York. He is passionate about educating the public on common skin issues and has accrued a following of 21+ million across his social media platforms on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.

    Location: New York City, NY

    Doctor's Note

    Azelaic acid is an underrated ingredient that dermatologists love!

    Treats acne, rosacea, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation 

    Pregnancy-safe

    The Research

    Searle T, Ali FR, Al-Niaimi F. The versatility of azelaic acid in dermatology. J Dermatolog Treat. 2022. PMID: 32730109

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