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Does Azelaic Acid Help With Rosacea? (The REAL Answer)

by Ella Goodman 27 Feb 2024

Picture this: You're confronted with a red, inflamed face staring back at you from your mirror

Yep, that’s the persistent guest that is rosacea, always overstaying its welcome. 

Sound familiar? 

Time to start a skincare revolution! 

Not with harsh chemicals that your skin dances in discomfort to, but with a secret ingredient worth exploring - Azelaic acid. 

It’s an intriguing player in the skincare game that promises to be an ally in your battle against rosacea. 


Well, a bit of a science class never hurt anyone, right? 

So, put on your lab coats and buckle up, because we're about to unfold the magic that azelaic acid promises. 

Expect surprises, expect answers, but most of all, expect empowerment to take control of your skincare story!

Is azelaic acid good for rosacea?

Absolutely, girls! 

If you're experiencing those frustratingly persistent red patches, take a long look at azelaic acid, your new skincare BFF.

Rosacea is notorious for its redness, flushing, and those annoying little blood vessels that suddenly decide to party on your face. It requires a gentle yet effective approach, and azelaic acid is the superstar that fits the bill. 

This powerful multitasker helps calm inflammation, which in turn reduces the redness associated with rosacea. It’s like a soothing lullaby for your skin, calming down the party and sending those blood vessels back to work. 

But that's not all, lovelies! As you probably know, one of the more troubling symptoms of rosacea is the potential for pimple-like bumps. 

Breakouts from rosacea are different from the usual acne, and they need a touch of specialized care. 

Here is where azelaic acid steps up again, showing off its remarkable spot-fighting prowess. By working its magic on an intracellular level, it helps normalize cell growth and even fights the bacteria that can contribute to these pesky breakouts. Think of it as your fairy godmother of skincare, transforming troubled skin into healthy and glowing.

Okay, so all of this sounds pretty fab, right? 

But there's a cherry on top: azelaic acid is suitable for most skin types. 

Whether your skin is going through an oil field phase, or is as dry as the Sahara, azelaic acid can work its charm. Sensitive skin types, which are often the most affected by rosacea, can usually tolerate azelaic acid—just remember to always do a patch test first.

To recap: if you're battling rosacea and want to take back control of your skin, azelaic acid could be the hero product you've been waiting for. 

With its potent anti-inflammatory, spot-fighting, and gentle properties, it's well-positioned to tackle the unique challenges of rosacea. 

So gals, the answer is yes, azelaic acid is a game-changer for those struggling with rosacea. Time to make some room in your skincare routine!

How long does azelaic acid take to work on rosacea?

After all those benefits of azelaic acid, I know you're on the edge of your seats wondering, ‘So how long do I have to wait to see these magic effects on my rosacea, anyway?’ 

Well, lovelies, your patience will be your glow-in-glow-out ticket here.

Azelaic acid is the real deal and it’s about to become your go-to rosacea warrior. But remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is flawless skin. 

Azelaic acid typically takes around 4 weeks to start flexing those rosacea-fighting muscles. 

Of course, everyone’s skin is different, so some of you might see improvements faster and for some, it might take a bit longer – think of it as a skincare journey rather than a sprint.


Like any great romance, the relationship with your skincare routine is built on consistency and dedication. 

Using azelaic acid regularly over these 4 weeks will give it the time it needs to really show you what it can do. 

And for the skeptics out there, don’t you worry, dermatologists and skincare researchers don’t just pull these timelines out of thin air. You can trust that this superhero acid is proven effective against this stubborn skin condition.

What’s the secret behind the waiting time? 

Well, azelaic acid needs these weeks to help your skin cells regenerate, revitalizing them from the inside out. 

As the weeks pass, it’ll gradually smooth, calm, and even out your complexion, leaving your skin looking as fresh as a morning in springtime. How about that?!

Just keep in mind, azelaic acid isn’t a magic eraser. If you're in your twenties or thirties and you've had rosacea for a while, you might see some stubborn spots that take a little longer to fully fade. 

But that’s all part of the skincare journey – it’s all about patience, darlings!

If you're finding that after 4 weeks you're not seeing the improvements you hoped for, don't stress. It's important to remember skincare is super personal, and it might be worth chatting with a dermatologist or skincare professional to find something that works just for you.

Think of it this way; in those 4 weeks, you can binge the latest Netflix series, try that yoga challenge you’ve been saving on Pinterest, or even learn to bake the perfect vegan banana bread. 

Before you know it, azelaic acid might just have your skin looking as radiant as the confident, amazing glow-getter we both know you are.

So, darlings, while time might feel like the enemy – in the battle of azelaic acid versus rosacea, it’s your number one ally! Stick with your routine, stay radiant, and let the azelaic acid work its magic.

Is azelaic acid or salicylic acid better for rosacea?

Now let’s dive into the nitty-gritty!

If rosacea is your uninvited guest, should you be reaching for azelaic acid or salicylic acid first? 

Let's break down these skincare heavyweights!

Azelaic acid is that best friend who's there to support, soothe, and uplift you during a skincare SOS. 

Naturally produced by healthy skin, it's like a built-in knight in shining armor. It's known for reducing inflammation, keeping those pesty pustules at bay, and imparting a clearer complexion.

Hence, azelaic acid has a bit of a rep for being a rosacea hero — as we’ve seen. It’s all about reducing redness and swelling and soothing your skin. It’s the skincare friend who organizes your life when you're feeling a little flustered; it brings the calm.

Now, let's dish about salicylic acid, our other contender in the ring. 

This skincare classic is mostly known for its acne-fighting prowess. It works by exfoliating and unclogging your pores, making sure everything stays nice and clean, decreasing the chance of those unhappy breakouts. 

But darling, when it comes to rosacea, salicylic acid can be a little too much of a diva. It could irritate your already annoyed skin further. 

It's like that friend who means well when they novelize every little detail about their exciting weekend, when you are just looking for some peace and quiet.

So ladies, it's verdict time. 

Say it with me: Azelaic acid for the win! It’s the friend who sticks around when the going gets tough (read: red and inflamed), unlike salicylic acid, which may suddenly throw a diva tantrum and end up doing more harm than good.

But remember, every skin is as unique as the owner. What works for your BFF may not work for you. Always do a patch test before going full in, or better yet, have a chat with your dermatologist to find the best solution for your skin woes.

What pairs well with azelaic acid?

Alright, babes, let's move onto the ultimate skincare cocktail party – pairing azelaic acid. 

By now, you know azelaic acid is a shining star in the world of rosacea. But as any skincare enthusiast knows, the best skin comes from a thoughtfully paired routine.

So let’s spill the tea on some skincare ingredients that happily mingle with azelaic acid.

Firstly, you want to start with a gentle cleanser. 

Just as you wouldn't mix a fine wine with cheap soda, you don't want to pair azelaic acid with harsh, stripping cleansers. 

Go for something that cleanses effectively, but still leaves your skin feeling baby soft and ready to soak in the goodness of azelaic acid.

The next prime companion for azelaic acid is hyaluronic acid. 

Yes, honeys, the hydration queen herself. 

Hyaluronic acid is perfect for plumping and hydrating the skin, prepping it for the anti-inflammatory action of azelaic acid. Scores top marks for team play, right? 

Plus, this dynamic duo will help lessen any potential dryness that can occasionally follow the introduction of azelaic acid into your routine.

Third on our ingredient invite-list is niacinamide. 

An all-rounder that helps strengthen the skin barrier, reduces redness, and keeps your pores on their best behavior (read: minimized). It's been proven to work harmoniously with azelaic acid, making it an excellent choice if you're on the journey toward saying goodbye to red, inflamed skin.

And, of course, we can't talk skincare cocktails without mentioning the big SPF. 

Azelaic acid doesn't make your skin more susceptible to sunburn, but we're all about good habits here. So, slip sunscreen into your routine – it's like the little black dress of skincare that goes well with practically everything. 

One final caveat though, dolls - let's ensure we're not mixing azelaic acid with powerful retinoids. It's like mixing prints, there's an art to it. These skincare powerhouses may not gel well together and could irritate sensitive skin. 


So there you have it, your one-stop guide to pairing azelaic acid like a skincare sommelier. 

Now go forth and curate the ideal skincare routine for your rosacea - make sure azelaic acid has the right partners in crime, and your skin will thank you. 

Remember, it's all about teamwork.

Be your own skincare mixologist, but as with all things in skincare (and life), start slow and observe how your skin responds. 

You're gonna totally crush this!


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