Table of Contents
- 1 What is Azelaic Acid?
- 2 First Impressions: The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension
- 3 Review: The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension
This post will be reviewing The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension.
One of the most underrated products from The Ordinary is the Azelaic Acid Suspension. To be honest, I didn’t give it that much thought initially until I started to research ingredients that are most effective for hyperpigmentation. I tried using The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin which worked but it took quite a while.
If you’re not aware when treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that is caused by acne scars, melasma or sun spots, you need to use a combination of ingredients known as tyrosinase inhibitors. They include Hydroquinone which is the industry standard but must be used under prescription, Alpha Arbutin, Kojic Acid, Azelaic Acid, Tranexamic Acid and L’ascorbic Acid also known as Vitamin C. One of the ways to identify a superstar product targeted towards hyperpigmentation that will have a high chance of being effective quicker is if it combines multiple tyrosinase inhibitors.
In the case of The Ordinary which you have to mix and match, they have three tyrosinase inhibitors that can be combined together to treat hyperpigmentation; L’Ascorbic Acid, Alpha Arbutin and Azelaic Acid. So, if you have those nasty dark spots, make sure you’re using those three products together consistently.
What is Azelaic Acid?
Unlike her cousins, Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) and Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), Azelaic Acid is a Dicarboxylic Acid. It is derived from grains such as barley, wheat and rye. It doesn’t have as many exfoliating properties as AHA and BHA. Instead, it thrives in being an anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient. But this doesn’t mean they should be layered together as it can also cause irritation.
Studies have shown that it is particularly beneficial for acne and rosacea-prone skin in 10% concentration and above. It is available up to 10% over the counter. But in the UK, US and EU, you can get up to 20% by prescription.
How does Azelaic Acid work as a Tyrosinase Inhibitor?
As someone that struggles with hyperpigmentation from acne scars, I’m particularly concerned about how Azelaic Acid works to fade dark spots. According to a dermatologist, it prevents hyperpigmentation because it interferes with melanin production. It’s anti-inflammatory for acne and it’s anti-pigment because it blocks tyrosinase. If you have a pimple and you’re prone to getting dark spots after your pimple, azelaic acid would be a perfect opportunity for you.
Did I also mention that Azelaic Acid is one of the safest products for pregnant and breastfeeding women? Yes, it is. Just make sure to check with your OBGYN.
While Azelaic Acid is great for reducing the appearance of dark spots, it also great for reducing redness. So, if your skin gets easily inflamed, you should have it in your routine.
First Impressions: The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension
According to The Ordinary:
Found in grains, Azelaic Acid is produced naturally by yeast that lives on normal skin. It brightens the skin tone while visibly improving the evenness of skin texture and reducing the look of blemishes. It is a multi-functional support ingredient for all skin types and also acts as an effective antioxidant. This formula offers a very high 10% concentration of high-purity Azelaic Acid in a lightweight cream-gel system.
Just like the rest of The Ordinary products, this is a single-ingredient product with 10% Azelaic Acid and Vitamin E. Nothing more, nothing less.
Texture & Consistency
The Ordinary describes this product as a suspension. Based on my experience with the Vitamin C Suspension 23% which is grainy and pills if not layered correctly, I’m not sure why it is called a suspension. It has a creamy consistency with a gel texture that glides on smoothly. It’s not grainy neither is it the most cosmetically elegant product but it’s not the worst. I actually prefer it to the texture to the Vitamin C suspension.
As always, I don’t have any issues with piling while layering because I always layer my products on damp skin. But for those that do, it is advisable to layer this product over your moisturizer.
Price, Size & Availability.
For some reason, this product is not available in Canada and Australia. A quick Google search shows that Azelaic Acid is risky at high concentrations which is understandable but 10% is not as high as 20% which is the most effective.
Asides from that, you can get the 30ml squeeze tube for $7.90 or £5.50 in the US or UK.
Review: The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension
I think we can all agree that The Ordinary popularized over-the-counter Azelaic Acid. Before now, there weren’t that many Azelaic Acid serums. But now, we have a few of them popping up. Hopefully, brands end their obsession with Niacinamide serums and give us Azelaic Acid products instead.
As I mentioned ealier, I struggle with hyperpigmentation from acne scars and I was looking to combine my Azelaic Acid with Alpha Arbutin and Niacinamide to see how fast my dark spots will fade.
The first few times I used it, I used it alone just to get a feel of the products and gather some first impressions. I layered it after my hydrating toner and essences just before my moisturizer. Initially, it felt like it stung a bit but after a couple of uses, my skin adjusted to it quickly.
I knew I wasn’t going to get fast results with it alone so I started to layer it with my Alpha Arbutin and Niacinamide. So, I started out with some fresh acne scars and watched how much difference it made over a month. I can say that the combination definitely reduced the appearance of my dark spots. After going through so many products, I can tell a product is working when my fresh spots fade from dark to brown.
Just like any other tyrosinase inhibitor, tackling hyperpigmentation is not an overnight journey. The earlier you get with the program and manage your expectations, the better for you. The trick is to ensuring that you’re consistent with these products. Whether it is Alpha Arbutin, Kojic Acid or Azelaic Acid, they will all give you results as long as you are consistent with them.
Give your skin 4 – 12 weeks before concluding on a product.
I’m glad that The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension is affordable and accessible. As long as you can find your way around it and work it into your routine, it will get you results.