Azelaic acid has gained significant popularity in the skincare community for its countless benefits. From reducing hyperpigmentation to managing acne, this versatile ingredient is a favorite among dermatologists and skincare enthusiasts alike. However, does azelaic acid cause purging? This is a common concern among those considering to add azelaic acid to their skincare regimen.
In this article, Registered Dietitian Gaby Vaca-Flores dives deep into azelaic acid, explaining its purpose and effects on the skin, and address the question: Does azelaic acid cause purging?
What is Skin Purging?
Skin purging occurs due to the quick rate of skin cell turnover brought on by certain active ingredients. This faster turnover helps bring underlying impurities to the surface, leading to the temporary appearance of worsened skin.
Before diving into the relationship between azelaic acid and skin purging, it’s crucial to understand what skin purging entails. Skin purging is a temporary reaction that can occur when introducing certain skincare products to your routine. It typically manifests as a temporary worsening of your skin condition, often in the form of breakouts, congestion, or flaking.
Does Azelaic Acid Cause Purging?
The short answer is that azelaic acid generally does not cause skin purging. Unlike other skincare ingredients, such as retinoids or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), azelaic acid works differently and has a milder exfoliating effect on the skin.
Azelaic acid primarily functions by normalizing the growth of skin cells and reducing inflammation, rather than inducing rapid cell turnover. It works by inhibiting the production of keratin, a protein that can block pores and contribute to acne formation. This unique mode of action reduces the likelihood of experiencing skin purging when incorporating azelaic acid into your skincare routine.
However, it’s essential to note that individual reactions to skincare products can vary. While rare, some individuals may experience a mild and temporary increase in acne or skin congestion when first using azelaic acid. This initial reaction is not technically considered skin purging but rather an adjustment period as your skin adapts to the new ingredient.
Understanding Azelaic Acid
Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring compound found in grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. It is also produced by yeast that naturally resides on our skin.
When used in skincare products, azelaic acid offers a wide range of benefits. It possesses potent antioxidant properties, which help combat free radicals and reduce inflammation. Additionally, azelaic acid has shown promising results in managing various skin concerns, including acne, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation
Tips for Incorporating Azelaic Acid into Your Routine
To ensure a smooth introduction of azelaic acid into your skincare routine, consider the following tips:
1. Start Slowly
Begin by using azelaic acid products once or twice a week, gradually increasing the frequency as your skin adjusts. This approach allows your skin to acclimate to the ingredient without overwhelming it.
2. Patch Test
Before applying azelaic acid all over your face, perform a patch test on a small area of your skin. This helps determine if you have any adverse reactions or allergies to the ingredient.
3. Gentle Cleansing and Moisturizing
When incorporating any new active ingredient, it’s crucial to maintain a gentle cleansing and moisturizing routine. This ensures that your skin remains hydrated and protected throughout the adjustment period.
4. Patience is Key
Remember that skincare results take time. It may take several weeks or even a couple of months to see noticeable improvements in your skin’s condition. Be patient and consistent with your skincare routine to
Final Thoughts on Azelaic Acid and Purging
In summary, azelaic acid is a multifaceted skincare ingredient with numerous benefits. Unlike certain active ingredients, azelaic acid generally does not cause skin purging due to its unique mode of action.
However, individual reactions can vary, and some individuals may experience a mild adjustment period when incorporating azelaic acid into their routine. By starting slowly, patch testing, and maintaining a gentle skincare regimen, you can minimize any potential initial reactions and enjoy the full benefits of azelaic acid.
Remember to consult with a dermatologist if you have any concerns or persistent skin issues.
Always prioritize the health and well-being of your skin by making informed choices and embracing a consistent skincare routine. With the right approach, azelaic acid can be a valuable addition to your skincare arsenal, helping you achieve a clearer, more radiant complexion.
Gaby Vaca-Flores is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in Santa Monica, CA. In merging her passions for nutrition and skin, Gaby created Glow+Greens to provide her readers with science-backed education + digestible wellness tips.