If that wasn't enough, it also acts as a powerful antioxidant to help counteract the effects of pollution on the skin.
Who Can Use Azelaic Acid?
Thankfully, azelaic acid is a largely well-tolerated ingredient, suitable for all skin types with few side effects. "Mild irritation such as burning, stinging, and redness can occur when using high concentrations," said Petrina Nugawela, a specialist aesthetic practitioner and the founder of MBA Clinics. She added it may not mean that the product disagrees with you and rather that you need guidance with application and dosage.
There's also good news for those who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as azelaic acid is one of the few topical acne- and rosacea-fighting ingredients that is widely regarded as safe. "It is not known to be harmful in pregnancy but the recommendation is to only use if the benefits outweigh potential risks," said Dr. Sommerlad, who added that dermatologists are generally happy to prescribe prescription-strength azelaic acid to those trying to conceive and throughout pregnancy. Nugawela said that, while there is no known risk, you should always get confirmation from your doctor and midwife first before starting or continuing treatment.
How Do You Incorporate Azelaic Acid Into Your Skin-Care Routine?
Just like other acids, azelaic acid comes in multiple different strengths. "It can be purchased at concentrations of 10 percent over the counter, but concentrations at 15 percent and 20 percent, which may be more effective for moderate acne, melasma, and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, are available on prescription," said Dr. Sommerlad.