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    Azelaic Acid for Skin : Know the Basics!


    Have you heard about Azelaic acid (AZA) and the remarkable benefits it has on our skin? Chemically, it is a dicarboxylic acid, and is an acid that is much weaker than vinegar! It is naturally derived from grains and has excellent benefits to the skin! This ingredient is a favorite of ours because of its versatility and gentleness! Azelaic acid has been show to be effective against acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentation (dark spots), and is a gentle exfoliator!

    Azelaic Acid  is one of those amazing NATURAL skincare ingredients that have a plethora of skin benefits. But while it may not be the first ingredient you have heard of, you should know what makes it great!

    1. Azelaic acid (AZA) is effective against acne.

    Acne is known to be caused by four primary processes acting together – abnormally high rate of of growth of the skin cells and overproduction of the protein keratin that the skin cells produce, leading to the clogging of the skin pores (hyperkeratinisation), increased sebum/oil levels, increased number of P.acnes, a bacteria that causes acne and inflammation. Interestingly, AZA has been shown to be able to target a few of these processes at once. For instance, AZA prevents comedones from forming by decreasing the amount of keratin produced by skin cells as well as reducing the rate at which the skin cells grow (Mayer-da-Silva et al., 1989). AZA also kills the bacteria that infect pores, including those that are resistant to antibiotics, and helps to reduce the swelling caused by acne. Unlike retinoids, topical use of AZA is considered safe in pregnancy and is also found to be moderately safe for use during lactation!

    2. Azelaic Acid softens dark spots and improves hyperpigmentation

    Tyrosinase, an enzyme responsible for the browning of fruits and vegetables, is also found in skin melanocytes and is the key enzyme responsible for producing our skin pigment, melanin. Excess melanin production in some parts of the skin as compared to the surrounding areas leads to dark spots. It is therefore important to regulate the melanocytes and the process of melanin production by tyrosinase when dealing with skin pigmentation issues.

    Azelaic acids SAFELY depigments the skin by preventing tyrosinase activity as well as by selectively suppressing the growth of abnormal melanocytes (Nguyen & Bui, 1995). Given its ability to reduce the darkening of the skin, it is no wonder that AZA is also the go-to choice for acne treatment as acne and scarring often lead to skin hyperpigmentation.

    3. AZA reduces skin inflammation/Rosacea

    Rosacea is a common skin condition thought to be primarily an inflammatory disorder. Recent data suggests that rosacea is caused by abnormal over-activity of the enzymes found on our skin, leading to the release of skin peptides that promotes inflammation (Yamasaki et al., 2011, p. 2). Topical application of Azelaic acid has been scientifically demonstrated to reduce activity of these skin enzymes and reduce inflammation. This can help to reverse these changes, thereby reducing the unpleasant swelling and redness experienced by those with rosacea (Coda et al., 2013).

    Given the amazing benefits that AZA provides, it is no wonder that it is the highlight in our newest product– our Natural AZA Cleanser! Designed to soothe and moisturize, while at the same time heal and protect your skin, this is a creamy cleanser that also features many other natural ingredients including avocado oil, green tea extract and vegetable glycerin. Interested? Contact us today to learn more!

    1. Coda, A. B., Hata, T., Miller, J., Audish, D., Kotol, P., Two, A., Shafiq, F., Yamasaki, K., Harper, J. C., Del Rosso, J. Q., & Gallo, R. L. (2013). Cathelicidin, kallikrein 5, and serine protease activity is inhibited during treatment of rosacea with azelaic acid 15% gel. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 69(4), 570–577. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2013.05.019
    2. Mayer-da-Silva, A., Gollnick, H., Detmar, M., Gassmüller, J., Parry, A., Müller, R., & Orfanos, C. E. (1989). Effects of azelaic acid on sebaceous gland, sebum excretion rate and keratinization pattern in human skin. An in vivo and in vitro study. Acta Dermato-Venereologica. Supplementum, 143, 20–30.
    3. Nguyen, Q. H., & Bui, T. P. (1995). Azelaic acid: Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties and its therapeutic role in hyperpigmentary disorders and acne. International Journal of Dermatology, 34(2), 75–84. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-4362.1995.tb03583.x
    4. Yamasaki, K., Kanada, K., Macleod, D. T., Borkowski, A. W., Morizane, S., Nakatsuji, T., Cogen, A. L., & Gallo, R. L. (2011). TLR2 expression is increased in rosacea and stimulates enhanced serine protease production by keratinocytes. The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 131(3), 688–697. https://doi.org/10.1038/jid.2010.351

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