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A true multitasking skincare ingredient, azelaic acid is a naturally-derived molecule that has been found to have antioxidant and other beneficial properties. Azelaic acid can help improve the appearance of discoloration, skin clarity, and other skin imperfections.
Azelaic acid is a natural dicarboxylic acid derived from grains such as wheat, barley, and rye1 (although the azelaic acid found in skincare products is generally synthesized in a lab). Though not an alpha- or beta-hydroxy acid, azelaic acid can provide gentle exfoliation to stimulate cell turnover,2 and this ingredient offers additional skin benefits that AHAs and BHAs do not.
Azelaic acid offers a wide variety of benefits for the skin. Research has found that this ingredient has been found to provide improvement in the appearance of skin discoloration and skin clarity1. Azelaic acid also has antioxidant properties and it is recognized as an anti-comedogenic, which means it will not contribute to acne breakouts.2
Azelaic acid can be beneficial for a broad array of skin types and tones.1 As an antioxidant, it helps neutralize the free radicals that lead to environmental damage in all types of skin. Research has shown that free radical oxidation may play a role in acne formation as well, making azelaic acid’s antioxidant properties beneficial for blemish-prone skin.2
Azelaic acid has been proven to be an effective ingredient for improving the appearance of skin discoloration, including dark spots caused by acne scars. In fact, twice-daily use of prescription-grade 20% azelaic acid has been found to be more effective than 4% hydroquinone for discoloration caused by melasma.1
Azelaic acid can be found in over-the-counter as well as prescription-based skincare products, including serums, creams, gels, and foams. Yet one of the most innovative ways to incorporate azelaic acid into your skincare routine is with SkinCeuticals’ Custom D.O.S.E. This cutting-edge, office-based service uses a patented skin-diagnostic tool that allows skincare professionals to create a customized corrective serum that addresses each patient’s unique skin type and concerns. Azelaic acid is often included in formulas for those concerned about skin discoloration, and this ingredient may also be recommended for improving skin clarity as well as the appearance of other types of imperfections.
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