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Can You Use Azelaic Acid With AHAs? The Truth Uncovered

by Ella Goodman 05 Apr 2024

Ready to dive into the wonderful, mysterious world of skincare essentials? 

Let's untangle the secret language of acids, and specifically, a combo that’s been making headlines:

Azelaic acid and AHAs. As in, both ingredients together. 

A skincare ninja move, or a recipe for trouble?

Time to find out!

Can I use AHA and azelaic acid together?

You bet your last beauty serum that you can! 

Let's unpack why these two ingredients, AHA and azelaic acid, can play quite the dynamic duo in your skincare regimen. 

But before we saunter down this skincare path, let's get acquainted with these two beauties, shall we?

AHA, alpha hydroxy acid, is an umbrella term for plant and animal-derived acids used in skincare products. They’re rockstars in the world of exfoliation. AHAs strip away the dead skin cells on your complexion, revealing fresh, new cells beneath.

Meanwhile, azelaic acid is a natural substance produced by a yeast that lives on our skin. Yes, we have yeast on our skin, but it's nothing to fear. 

This little yeastie not only helps to keep our skin’s microbiome in balance but also produces this powerhouse acid that reduces the look of blemishes and redness. 

So, to circle back to our million-dollar question: "Can you use AHA and azelaic acid together?"

Remember the canine dynamic duo, Scooby and Shaggy? Well, just like them, AHA and azelaic acid work well together, each with its specific job in the sleuthing skincare routine.

As AHA moves in, it gives your skin a deep clean, getting straight into those pores and moving out all the gunk and grime. This exfoliation leaves your skin smoother and ready to receive nutrients from other products. 

Meanwhile, azelaic acid does its magic by reducing the appearance of skin blemishes and calming any inflammation. 

Result: a healthier, merrier skin tone!

Here's an intriguing little nugget to wrap your mind around: when you slough off dead skin cells courtesy of the AHA, it makes it much easier for the azelaic acid to penetrate your skin. 

Now, when using these products, it's all about the sequence, baby! Sound the skincare celestial choir for the golden rule: thin to thick. 

Apply products with a thin consistency first, work your way up to the thicker ones. In this case, AHA serum should be the starter, and azelaic acid, the main course.

Let's not forget the time element; take it slow, sweetheart. Introduce these ingredients slowly into your routine. Start using AHA two times a week, then gradually increase the frequency if your skin can handle it. Azelaic acid is considered quite gentle, and many users apply it both morning and night.

Dose matters: While both AHA and azelaic acid are like a dream team for your skin, you don't want to turn that dream into a nightmare with excessive use. Moderation is key! 

How about we time travel and take the lessons of ancient philosophies and apply them to our skincare? Just like finding that sweet spot in every aspect of life, look for that balance in your AHA and azelaic acid therapy. Not too much, nor too little, but just right!

In the end, just like any skincare regimen, listen to your skin. It’s all too easy to be swept away in a torrent of beauty buzz. 

But remember, your skin is as unique as you. What works for some may not work for you and vice versa. 

Pair, play, perfect – until you find the skincare jam that sets your skin singing!  After all, it's science, but it's not rocket science.

Do you use azelaic acid before or after hyaluronic acid?

Let's kick off by decoding these two in more detail.

Firstly, azelaic acid. Hailing from grains such as barley and wheat, this skin savior is renowned for reducing inflammation, brightening skin, and battling acne. Impressive, right? 

Now, on to hyaluronic acid. Don't let the 'acid' tag mislead you. It’s not an exfoliator; it’s a humectant, a hydration hero that pulls in water from the air and locks it into your skin.

Now, to the meat of it - the ideal order for using azelaic acid and hyaluronic acid. 

Here's the reveal. Use hyaluronic acid before azelaic acid. 

Why, you ask? Let's dive in.

In skincare, there's a principle. It’s generally best to apply products lightest to thickest. Hyaluronic acid is a lighter, watery substance, while azelaic acid often comes in denser forms like gels or creams. So, apply hyaluronic acid first!

The benefits stack up. Hyaluronic acid enhances your skin's hydration, making it more receptive to other ingredients. And when azelaic acid gets a well-prepped canvas, it performs its best, reaching deeper layers for that glow-from-within result.

Timing also matters. After hyaluronic acid, wait for about a minute. Give it time to sink in, quench your skin's thirst. Then bring on the azelaic acid. And wait again. Why hurry when your skin is soaking up all that good stuff?

Now, let's talk about best practices. Remember, overdoing it is never beneficial. 

Azelaic acid can be potent and may lead to over-exfoliation if used recklessly. Start with two to three times a week and observe your skin's reaction. If all's well, gradually increase the usage.

As for hyaluronic acid, morning or night, it’s your friendly ally. But remember this feel-good substance loves humidity. So, if you're in a dry environment, use a moisturizer after to seal in the moisture. That way, it won’t start pulling water from your skin - yikes!

It's also essential to tune in to your skin. Everyone's skin is unique and may react differently. If it doesn't feel right, pull back.

Finally, remember, ultimately, happiness is the ultimate skincare goal. A healthy skin regimen should improve not just your skin but your mood too. Because what's the point of a glowing face without a glowing mood? 

All said and done, layering hyaluronic acid before azelaic acid is like setting the stage for a grand performance. 

Get the sequence right, and it's curtain up on your best skin yet. Because your skincare routine isn't merely a series of steps or a ritual, it's a love letter to your skin. 

What else can you layer with azelaic acid?

Ah, the world of skincare, the magical realm where science meets beauty, ambition meets patience, and you (yes, you!) meet your best possible skin. 

Have you got unsightly blemishes, pimple-like intruders, or uninvited pigmentation popping up to spoil your day? 

Fear not! Enter stage left, azelaic acid, your skin's new BFF. 

This fascinating little compound is a must-have in your skincare arsenal. But the question popping up in your mind right now might be - what else can you layer with azelaic acid?

Well, the good news is that while azelaic acid is perfect for tackling skin woes like acne, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation, it isn’t a diva. It plays well with many other skincare ingredients, allowing you to create a skincare routine tailored to your specific needs.

One of azelaic acid’s best buddies? Hyaluronic acid. 

Hyaluronic acid, or HA, is a superstar in the world of moisturizers. It's a humectant—meaning it draws moisture into your skin, helping to keep it plump and hydrated. Pairing azelaic acid with HA is like giving your skin a big, refreshing drink of water. 

But there's a catch. Make sure you apply HA first, letting it dry before moving onto the azelaic acid. That order lets each ingredient do what it does best without interference. 

Now, let's spice up our skincare party with some vitamin C.

Considered a powerhouse antioxidant, vitamin C helps combat environmental damage. Its pairing with azelaic acid results in a spectacularly defensive tag team against inflammation and hyperpigmentation. 

Picture it! These two components team up - one calming down the inflammation, the other reducing dark spots. 

Remember our earlier story about ordering? It applies here too. Vitamin C works best in acidic environments, so apply it before azelaic acid. Think C before A - it's as easy as 1, 2, 3!

Now, did someone say retinol? 

Retinol, aka vitamin A, is the weapon of choice against aging. It aids in reducing fine lines and speeds up cell turnover. 

Combining retinol with azelaic acid seems like a match made in beauty heaven, right? And right you are!

But hey, let's slow down a tick. If you are new to retinol, it can cause slight irritation at the beginning. Thus, introduce it gradually, ensuring your skin has time to adjust. Once your skin is comfortable with retinol, pair it with azelaic acid for a truly amazing glow.

The big picture: azelaic acid is the epitome of a team player. 

Whether it's hanging with hyaluronic acid, vibing with vitamin C, or rallying with retinol, azelaic acid is all about togetherness. So go ahead, invite it to your skincare party. Your skin will thank you for the stellar guest list that plays so beautifully together. 

Remember, each skin is unique. Always test out products and combinations, monitoring the reactions before going full-scale. 

With great caution and little experimenting, glorious skin awaits! 

So, skin ambassadors, let's raise a toast to the beauty of wisely chosen, effectively combined skincare products. 

Here's to azelaic acid playing the perfect partner, always!

What should you NOT mix with azelaic acid?

Identifying the right combination for your skincare routine is a lot like creating the perfect playlist - consideration, rhythm and balance play a crucial role, and some mixes just don't vibe. 

With azelaic acid, the combination to absolutely avoid is that with strong physical exfoliators. 

This may come as a bit of a surprise, as exfoliators are often hailed as the holy grail of skincare. However, using them in tandem with azelaic is a recipe for disaster.

Imagine sending your skin to a military boot camp where it's pushed too hard, too fast. It's unlikely to come out glowing and refreshed. In fact, it'll probably rebel, big time. 

Exfoliators, particularly strong ones, work by scrubbing away dead skin cells. A healthy process in moderation, but when azelaic acid enters the picture? A little too much.

Here's the thing: Just like exfoliators, azelaic acid is also a chemical exfoliant, speeding up cell turnover. So, when you couple it with a physical counterpart, you're providing double the exfoliation, which, trust us, isn't twice as good. 

Over-exfoliation strips the skin of its natural oils, leading to inflammation, redness, and a range of dermatological issues. Your parties wouldn't be much fun if red and irritated skin was your plus one, right?

The bottom line

To wrap up, remember that knowledge can be your best ally in navigating the skincare landscape. 

Armed with the right information, you will not only avoid the missteps but ensure your skin gets the pampering it deserves, leading it to reward you with a glow that rivals the stars. 

Exciting times ahead, skincare troopers! Always remember, we've got your back as you embark upon this radiant journey!

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