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Here Are the Top 4 Mistakes People Make When Using Azelaic Acid!

by Ella Goodman 05 Jun 2024

Alright skinfluencers, beauty buffs, and free radical warriors - let's talk azelaic acid! 

Now you're probably thinking, "I already know all I need to know. I'm using it, right?" 

Well, we're about to feed you some knowledge nuggets that will change your skincare game.

Azelaic acid, our skin's BFF, is a seriously versatile little wonder ingredient. 

It helps reduce redness, acne, hyperpigmentation - the 'don't want to show my face' kind of stuff. 

But here’s the stitch: you could be making some textbook azelaic acid mistakes without even realizing.

Seriously, it’s surprisingly easy to do.

So without further ado, let’s arm you with the info you need to max out on the benefits of azelaic acid — while avoiding the pitfalls!

Mistake #1: Incorrect usage frequency and dosage

Say hello to mistake numero uno: incorrect usage frequency and dosage. 

Bobbing along in the waters of skincare can, indeed, feel daunting. You have azelaic acid in one hand and an enthusiastic hope to make your skin radiant in the other. 

But you might toss all caution to the wind, liberally splashing azelaic acid onto your skin as if it were water and not a potent skincare ingredient.

A common skincare folly is believing that 'more is better'. 

Incorrect usage frequency and dosage of azelaic acid? That can spell disaster, darlings. Just as the crowd at the Oscars isn't rolling out the red carpet for a 13-hour monologue, your skin isn't likely to thank you for a sudden onslaught of concentrated azelaic acid.

Why is this important, you ask? 

Well, our skin likes to take it slow and steady. The tortoise wasn't kidding when it said slow and steady wins the race. When it comes to introducing azelaic acid into your routine, think brunch with friends, not an all-you-can-eat buffet. 

Your skin requires time to adapt to new ingredients. 

You're not competing in a skincare Olympics here. Start with a low dose of azelaic acid. Perhaps twice weekly. Then, gradually increase its frequency, like adding milk to your tea. 

Your skin's a delicate canvas, not a paint-by-numbers project. 

What happens if you go full-on 'turbo mode' with azelaic acid? Well, dun-dun-dun... you become pals with redness, dryness, and maybe even a stinging sensation. Not exactly the glow-up you had in mind, right?

Now to dosage. 

A fingertip-sized amount of azelaic acid is often enough. 'But that's hardly a dollop!' you may exclaim. Remember: azelaic acid is potent. It's the Beyoncé of skincare ingredients — it doesn't require backup dancers to make an impact. 

So, folks, remember to start slow. Your patience will pay off when you hit the skincare jackpot of balanced, radiant skin.

Mistake #2? That's up next. 

But for now, remember: when it comes to azelaic acid, it's not about quantity, but quality and consistency. 

Striking that balance? Now that's skincare poetry.

Mistake #2: Not allowing enough time for results

Patience may be a virtue, but it’s one many of us struggle to cultivate, especially in our fast-paced, instant result-obsessed society. 

This proves particularly true in the world of skincare, where we’re all eager to have our skin glow with the luster of a thousand suns as soon as we slap that new product onto our faces. 

Alas, my friends, azelaic acid, like many good things in life, aromas from a slow-cooking pot roast, the hues of an evening sunset, or a well-aged Scotch, takes its sweet time to work its magic. 

One common mistake azelaic acid users make is expecting results at the speed of a light – not happening.

Step into our science lab for a moment. Why does azelaic acid take time to show its effects?

Picture your skin cells as tiny, individual bricks that make up the flawless façade of a building. 

Our skin goes through a natural cycle, a process called keratinization, wherein these “bricks” are gradually replaced, usually within 28 to 40 days. This cycle allows for the renewal of your skin cells, leading to firmer, fresher, and younger-looking skin.

Azelaic acid, the hero of our story, takes its role in this cycle, gradually penetrating the skin’s top layer, the epidermis, and balancing out the pigmentation and evening out skin tone. It's a meticulous process, like an artist painstakingly touching up a masterpiece.

Problem is, we often short-change that process. Have you ever stopped using azelaic acid because you didn't notice any functioning changes overnight? 

Bingo! That's mistake numero dos.

Sticking to the process is key. The results won't be instantaneous like a movie-style makeover, but rather a subtle, gradual improvement. You see, azelaic acid isn't a one-hit-wonder, it's a marathon runner, pacing itself for the long haul.

Optimum results are typically seen within 12 weeks of consistent and correct usage. Pausing treatment prematurely may halt your progress. It's like stopping a movie just when the plot is developing, leaving yourself in a cliffhanger. 

Applying too much, hoping to speed things up, can also be counterproductive, leading to skin irritation, redness, and discomfort. 

The adage ‘more haste, less speed’ rings true here. It’s not a case of ‘the more, the merrier.’ Azelaic acid has a Goldilocks zone—a just-right amount that works effectively, and exceeding this can trigger unwanted effects.

So, play the waiting game wisely. Think of your skincare routine as a daily investment toward your skin’s future - a forward-looking skincare 401K if you will.

Remember, azelaic acid is not a sparkler that burns bright and fizzles out fast; it's a slow-burning, steadfast flame, working its magic quietly and effectively over time. 

So, embrace the process, nurture your skin, and let azelaic acid do its thing at its own pace. 

Mistake #3: Layering incorrectly

Ah, the skincare saga continues with Mistake #3: Layering incorrectly. 

Now, let’s break it down from the perspective of a Picasso in the beauty world, shall we?

Consider your skin as a canvas. Azelaic acid, your powerful pigment, is standing by to create your very own skin masterpiece. But even Picasso knew the importance of layering colors in the right order.

Skincare is no different.

Here's the skinny: Azelaic acid is a bit of an introvert. It doesn't love hanging out in large skincare parties and prefers having some intimate time with your skin. But just like any shy guest, layer it wrongly in the crowd, and you might not experience the full magic it holds.

Ever tried chatting with someone at a noisy party and found it impossible? Well, that's what happens when azelaic acid is layered incorrectly on your skin. 

You see, azelaic acid craves deeper connections and prefers being one of the first guests to arrive at the skin party. Applying azelaic acid early in your routine allows it to penetrate deeply, intermingling effectively with the skin cells, share chem jokes, and leaving lasting impressions. 

However, load your skin with other products before azelaic acid, and it might not be able to pierce through the crowd and do its fantastic work. So, welcome azelaic acid earlier into your skincare routine, preferably right after cleansing. 

You're probably thinking, "Hey, I paid good money for that peptide serum; I want it to work first!" 

But stay with me here. Layering isn't about which product gets premium treatment. It's about maximizing each ingredient's potential.

The science behind this concept is straightforward; it revolves around the molecular weight of the products. Lighter molecules, like azelaic acid, penetrate the skin quicker than heavier molecules, such as peptides or retinol.

Here’s a fun tip: Think of your skincare regimen like a dinner party. Aperitifs (your light, hydrating products) come first, followed by the main course (nourishing serums and treatments like azelaic acid), and finishing off with the decadent dessert (your rich moisturizers and oils).

Remember, applying azelaic acid later in your skincare routine is not a crime. It won’t send the skincare police to your home, but do you really want to miss out on its full potency? Nah, we didn't think so.

In short, remember when layering to follow this simple rule: start light, end heavy, and place azelaic acid somewhere in that front half. 

This way, it can flirt with your skin cells directly and paint that flawless glow we all yearn for.

Now get out there and start layering like Picasso of the skincare realm.

Mistake #4: Ignoring sun protection

Let's march forth and talk about a mistake you may be making when wielding your trusty azelaic acid: neglecting your sun protection. 

Now we're really cranking up the volume to “serious”.

Like a meticulously prepared Broadway number, sun protection should always be the closing act in the grand theater of your skincare routine. 

Picture this: as the last note hums and the curtain slowly descends, your sunblock is ready for the spotlight. 

While it may not enjoy the limelight as much as the star performer, azelaic acid, it is an essential sidekick that ensures the show goes on without a hitch.

Why so, you ask? Sun protection, while being a vital performer, is often underrated in its role. 

Even though azelaic acid doesn't turn your face into a sun-loving sunflower, craving more sunshine (like some other skincare protégées), it doesn't mean you can skip on your SPF number. A steadfast SPF30+ routine safeguards your skin, ensuring you don't inadvertently wipe out all those masterstrokes rendered by your azelaic acid.

Unveiling this potent truth about sun protection is akin to revealing the secret recipe of a winning dish — it's vital to get it right for that flawless outcome. 

Now that we've amplified your beauty intelligence to new sound levels, you're prepared to orchestrate a symphony of skincare that sings the perfect tune of radiance.

Anticipate the love your skin is bound to give back to you, and cherish the skincare journey you're on. Remember: consistency is your rhythm, and gentleness a soothing melody, when played together they create a harmonious symphony.

Skincare PhD complete!

Now go forth, skincare connoisseurs. The curtain to your skin's best days is about to rise. 

Aficionado or novice, never forget the valuable mantra: knowledge is power, the correct application is magical, and attitude? That's your standing ovation!

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