Blackheads are a common skin concern that can be frustrating to deal with. They occur when hair follicles become clogged with dead skin cells, oil, and other debris, resulting in a small, dark bump on the surface of the skin. While blackheads are not typically painful or dangerous, they can be unsightly and difficult to remove.
Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments available to help clear blackheads and that includes azelaic acid. Azelaic acid is a natural compound that has been shown to have powerful benefits for the skin, including its ability to treat blackheads. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at azelaic acid, its benefits and how it can help clear blackheads.
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What is azelaic acid?
Azelaic acid is a naturally-occurring compound derived from grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. It has long been used in skincare as an effective treatment for acne, rosacea, and other skin conditions. Azelaic acid works by reducing inflammation, killing off acne-causing bacteria, and reducing oiliness. It also helps to unclog pores and keep them clear of debris which can lead to blackheads.
Compared to other acne treatments, azelaic acid is gentler on the skin and less likely to cause irritation. It’s also non-toxic and non-allergenic.
How does Azelaic Acid help clear blackheads?
When it comes to clearing blackheads, azelaic acid offers many powerful benefits. Here is how it can help clear blackheads:
- Reduction of oil production – Azelaic Acid helps regulate sebum production, which is a key factor in the development of blackheads. By reducing excess oil on the skin, it can prevent the buildup of sebum and dead skin cells that clog pores and lead to blackheads.
- Anti-inflammatory properties – Azelaic Acid has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the redness and inflammation associated with blackheads. It can also prevent the formation of new blackheads by calming the skin and reducing the risk of pore blockage.
- Exfoliation benefits – Azelaic Acid has a gentle exfoliating effect on the skin, which can help remove dead skin cells and prevent them from clogging pores. By promoting cell turnover, it can also help to fade existing blackheads and prevent the formation of new ones.
- Anti-bacterial properties – Azelaic Acid has been shown to have antibacterial properties that can help kill the bacteria that contribute to the development of blackheads. By reducing the number of bacteria on the skin, it can prevent the buildup of sebum and dead skin cells that can lead to clogged pores and blackheads.
- Lightening hyperpigmentation and dark spots – Azelaic acid helps to lighten dark spots and discoloration caused by acne, including those associated with blackheads.
How to Use Azelaic Acid for Blackheads
Azelaic acid is found in a variety of forms, including lotions, gels, creams and serums. Each type of azelaic acid has different strengths and applications. It is important to consult with a doctor or skincare professional to determine the best azelaic acid product for your needs.
When using azelaic acid, it is important to follow the directions on the packaging and use only as directed. Azelaic acid can be drying, so it is important to start with a small amount and increase as needed. It may take some time to see results, but azelaic acid can be a powerful tool for clearing blackheads and improving overall skin health.
Proper use instructions
If you want to get the best results when using azelaic acid, make sure to follow these steps:
- Before using Azelaic Acid, it’s important to cleanse your skin thoroughly to remove any dirt or makeup.
- Apply a small amount of Azelaic Acid to the affected area, avoiding the eye area and any broken or irritated skin.
- Gently massage the product into your skin until it is fully absorbed.
- Follow up with a non-comedogenic moisturiser to prevent dryness and irritation. If azelaic acid is causing any dryness or irritation, reduce the frequency of use or try a different product.
Recommended frequency of use
- It’s recommended to start with a small amount of Azelaic Acid and gradually increase the frequency of use as your skin becomes accustomed to the product.
- Start with once daily, preferably in the evening, and gradually increase to twice daily if tolerated.
- However, it’s important not to overuse the product, as this can cause irritation and dryness.
Be patient – azelaic acid will not immediately remove your blackheads, it may take a few weeks of consistent use before you see improvement in your blackheads.
Precautions and potential side effects
While azelaic acid is generally well-tolerated, some people may experience mild side effects such as itching, burning, redness, stinging, or dryness. If you experience any of these side effects, it’s important to stop using the product and consult a dermatologist.
Azelaic Acid can cause skin sensitivity to sunlight, so it’s important to wear sunscreen and avoid excessive sun exposure while using this product.
It’s also important to avoid using Azelaic Acid with other products that may cause irritation or dryness, such as other exfoliants or retinoids.
Other Natural Skincare Tips for Clearing Blackheads
Keeping your skin clean and hydrated is essential for clearing blackheads. Cleansing the skin twice daily can help to clear out impurities and excess oil that can contribute to the formation of blackheads. It is important to choose gentle cleansers with non-comedogenic ingredients, as harsh products can irritate the skin and make blackheads worse.
In addition to azelaic acid, several other natural skincare ingredients can help clear blackheads. Salicylic acid is a popular ingredient for treating acne and blackheads as it helps to exfoliate the skin, reduce inflammation and minimize oil production. Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as lactic acid and glycolic acid can also help clear blackheads, as they help to gently exfoliate the skin.
In addition, niacinamide (vitamin B3) is a natural ingredient that can help keep the skin balanced and reduce blackhead formation.
By following a consistent skincare routine, incorporating azelaic acid and other natural ingredients, you can help keep blackheads at bay. With regular use, azelaic acid can help to improve overall skin health and give you the clear complexion that you desire!
Recommended Products Containing Azelaic Acid for Clearing Blackheads
To help you find the best skincare products with azelaic acid, we have compiled a list of our top picks:
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% is a lightweight and fast-absorbing treatment. It is specially formulated to help improve the overall tone of skin while clearing blackheads and reducing signs of blemishes. Its main active ingredient – azelaic acid – helps to exfoliate away dead skin cells, inhibit the growth of acne-causing bacteria, reduce inflammation, regulate sebum production and lighten hyperpigmentation.
REN Clean Skincare Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic
The REN Clean Skincare Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic is a revitalizing tonic designed to give your skin a quick boost of radiance. The formula contains lactic acid that exfoliates away dead skin cells, helping the complexion look brighter and smoother.
Other key ingredients include azelaic acid to inhibit bacteria growth, reduce inflammation and regulate sebum production; as well as willow bark extract to minimise pores.
Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster
Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster is a potent and effective treatment that helps to clear away blemishes and reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Its main active ingredient, azelaic acid, provides anti-inflammatory action to help minimize redness and irritation. The formula also helps exfoliate dead skin cells and reduce the production of excess oil for a smoother complexion with fewer breakouts.
Azelaic Acid has several benefits that make it a useful tool in the fight against blackheads. It helps regulate sebum production, reduce inflammation, exfoliate the skin, and has antibacterial properties that can prevent the buildup of sebum and dead skin cells that lead to blackheads.
If you’re struggling with blackheads, Azelaic Acid can be a great addition to your skincare routine.
However, it’s important to use it correctly and start with a low concentration to avoid irritation or dryness. It’s also important to follow up with a good moisturizer and sunscreen to protect your skin.
If you have any concerns or experience any side effects, consult a dermatologist for advice and recommendations. With the proper use and precautions, Azelaic Acid can help you achieve clear, healthy-looking skin free of blackheads.
Petra Nakashian (previously Kravos) is a dedicated blogger who has been writing about natural health and beauty since 2014. Her journey began with a focus on living healthily and naturally, leading her to explore the world of natural beauty products. Influenced by the loss of her parents to cancer, she has meticulously researched the ingredients in beauty products. Her in-depth research and 10 years of hands-on experience have established her as a trusted expert in the field. She shares evidence-based insights to help readers make informed choices. Petra is the founder of Be Healthy Now and Green Beauty Talk, making her a go-to expert in natural beauty. Committed to transparency and honesty, Petra's work is a reliable resource for anyone navigating the complex world of natural beauty.