If you struggle with blemishes, congested and oily skin, then you may have tried a variety of skincare actives to address these issues. But have you tried azelaic acid for your oily and acne-prone skin? Azelaic acid has been traditionally used to treat rosacea, but it has been found to have benefits for acne as well.
One of the most affordable over-the-counter azelaic acid treatments comes from The Ordinary. The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% helps to brighten the skin and reduce acne and breakouts. Today I will discuss my experience with this product in this The Ordinary Azelaic Acid review.
So let’s start with all the benefits of azelaic acid:
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The Benefits of Azelaic Acid
Azelaic acid comes from grains like barley, wheat, and rye. It is naturally produced by the yeast on our skin and is classified as a dicarboxylic acid. Azelaic acid has multiple benefits for the skin:
- Azelaic acid is an anti-inflammatory. It has been found to be effective at treating skin conditions like rosacea. It can also help to reduce the swelling and redness caused by inflamed acne lesions.
- Azelaic acid is a gentle exfoliant. It sweeps away dead skin cells from the top layers of the epidermis so that new fresh skin cells can emerge. This helps to brighten the overall tone of your complexion and improve skin texture.
- Azelaic acid is antibacterial. It kills acne-causing bacteria like P. acnes on the surface of the skin so that breakouts are less likely to occur and existing blemishes heal faster.
- Azelaic acid reduces keratin production which helps to prevent clogged pores, and minimize whiteheads, blackheads, and acne.
- Azelaic acid is associated with a reduction in hyperpigmentation or discoloration. It is a tyrosinase inhibitor and interferes with melanin production in melanocytes (the cells that produce the pigment melanin) to lighten darkened areas and uneven skin tone. It can also help with melasma and acne scars as a result of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
- Azelaic acid is an antioxidant that reduces the oxidative stress on skin cells caused by sunlight exposure, toxins in the environment, pollution, and other factors. This helps to protect your skin against premature aging.
- Unlike an alpha hydroxy acid like glycolic acid or lactic acid, or a beta hydroxy acid like salicylic acid, there are minimal side effects from azelaic acid. Although you may experience mild irritation if you have sensitive skin, azelaic acid is more gentle than other exfoliating acids.
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% is formulated at a high concentration of 10% to reduce the look of blemishes and acne, even out skin tone, and brighten the skin.
The cream-gel suspension also contains tocopherol, otherwise known as vitamin E. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage by free radicals.
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% is suitable for all skin types but may be slightly irritating to those with sensitive skin. The suspension is oil-free, alcohol-free, nut-free, gluten-free, and like all The Ordinary products, it is cruelty-free and vegan.
NOTE: It is important to apply broad-spectrum sunscreen when using this acid and other direct acids like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs), as direct acids can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% Review
This high purity azelaic acid product comes in a white cream-gel system. It has a thick cream texture that absorbs quickly into the skin. It almost feels like a moisturizer thanks to the silicones like dimethicone in the cream, although it does not contain any moisturizing ingredients.
Due to the silicones in the formula, this suspension leaves a smooth base on your skin. It acts a bit like a primer when used under makeup if you apply a thin layer to your skin. I find that if I apply too much, it pills when used with other products.
If it is too heavy for your skin, consider using this azelaic acid suspension as an evening treatment in your PM skincare routine.
Unfortunately for me, if I use this cream too often, my skin gets irritated. So I won’t use it more than a few days a week. I use it when my skin is feeling congested and it really helps to tame any breakouts.
Where I really like to use this product is on my decollete area. I have hyperpigmentation and age spots on my chest area, which this cream is helping to fade and soften.
How to Use The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
Apply The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% in the morning and/or evening. The Ordinary recommends applying it after water-based serums, anhydrous solutions, and oils.
The order of application is: cleanse -> tone -> water-based serums/treatments -> water-free treatments like oils -> then apply Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%.
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%: Before or After Your Moisturizer?
Depending on the type of moisturizer that you use, The Ordinary notes that you can apply The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% before or after your moisturizer, depending on what works better in terms of texture and comfort. It’s really trial and error to figure out the best way to use this azelaic acid product for your complexion.
A simple The Ordinary skincare routine with The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% is:
- The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser
- The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 and/or The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
- The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
- The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA (can be used before or after Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%)
As with most products that contain high concentrations of active ingredients, be sure to patch test this azelaic acid suspension before applying it to your entire face. This applies to any direct/exfoliating acid. You have a higher risk of irritation and sensitization if exfoliating acids are not used correctly.
If you have sensitive skin, you may consider using The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% once or twice a week or every other day to get the benefits of azelaic acid without irritation or redness.
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% Conflicts
Since this is an exfoliating acid, The Ordinary does not recommend using this product with other chemical exfoliators/direct acids like AHAs or BHAs. You should also avoid using it with strong actives like pure or ethylated vitamin C products and retinoids like retinol.
Other products that you should not use with Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% are peptides, copper peptides, and The Ordinary EUK134 0.1%.
Can you use The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% with niacinamide? Yes, you can but The Ordinary does not recommend using Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% with their 100% Niacinamide Powder, so stick to using azelaic acid with The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%.
Final Thoughts on The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% is a very affordable and effective azelaic acid product. It can be especially helpful for those dealing with hyperpigmentation, dark spots, sun spots, and certain skin conditions like rosacea and melasma.
For oily and acne-prone skin, this is an additional The Ordinary product that you can incorporate into your skincare routine to keep acne in check and help soothe inflamed and reddened skin. It’s a great compliment to The Ordinary’s niacinamide serum, which helps with oil control and reduces the look of pore size.
So if you are looking for a new skincare active to try to address acne, breakouts, and problem skin, this underrated product is definitely worth checking out.
The texture of The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% is not for everyone though, so consider using it at night if it doesn’t play well with your makeup during the day.
Thanks for reading!
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