What is Azelaic Acid?


I’ve been sucked in once again.

It’s been all of two (nearly three) years since I last bought a product from The Ordinary but finally the time has come to once again experience the intelligent skincare that Deciem has to offer.

And my first step back in is with the up and coming azelaic acid, a naturally produced, multi functioning acid. For those of you who love science – it’s a saturated dicarboxylic acid. Also, it’s a slightly tamer version of my beloved glycolic acid.

Acid pH
Glycolic 3.5-3.7
Azelaic 4.00-5.00

If the table above confuses you, fear not. That’s why I’m here.

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14 and tells you whether something is acidic or alkaline. 7 is the point of neutrality, where there is a harmony between acid and alkaline. Anything before 7 is acidic and anything after is alkaline.

If you’re still a little confused let me speak the language which I relate to most – food. Milk would be a 7 on the scale, ammonia (an alkaline) would be around 12 and lemon juice (acidic) would be a 1 or 2. The closer to 0 you get the stronger the acidic effects of the acid and vice versa.

On The Ordinary website, they have a wonderful functionality where it tells you the pH of each acid, so YOU can determine which is right for you.

Let’s say you dabbled with glycolic acid and you felt it tingling on your skin. This may be an indication that your skin is not be ready for such a strong acid.

Lactic acid and salicylic acid tend to be just a little bit lower than glycolic acid on the pH scale. Depending on your skin sensitivity, it may not be low enough for you to feel comfortable using.

This is why azelaic acid is so great. It’s a fantastic introductory acid. A pH of 4 – 5 is much closer to neutral and so will allow you to ease your way into the effects that acid can have on your skin, with a minimized risk of skin irritating side effects.

However, you may also be wondering what the positive effects of using an acid is in the first place. Acids are really, really good at removing old, dead skin cells. If you don’t remove them they can inhibit the growth of new ones which causes dull skin with an uneven skin texture. Hence, ‘aciding’ properly will lead to glowing, smooth and clean skin.

Let me know in the comments if you will be trying Azelaic Acid and if not which acids are you’re go to?

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