When it comes to A-list skincare ingredients, azelaic acid and L-ascorbic acid are both VIPs of the beauty world. Don’t let the overly scientific names confuse you, these are two ingredients that you will already know about, and chances are, they are already in the formulations of some of your skincare products.
As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, we can often get carried away and go overboard when applying skincare products. It’s easily done, but can sometimes lead to unwanted flare-ups in redness, irritation, and reactions. This brings us to today’s topic and with any luck, we’ll make things a lot clearer. So, with that in mind, let’s dive into finding out more about whether you can mix azelaic acid and L-ascorbic acid together.
What is azelaic acid?
Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring acid in the body and is derived from barley, wheat, and rye. Known to effectively treat acne, breakouts, and other blemishes by clearing out the pores of bacteria build-up whilst encouraging the skin cell turnover to ensure the skin heals quicker and minimises the appearance of dark spots and uneven skin tone.
Often found in over the counter products, but many favour to opt for a prescription formulation due to the percentage being higher. This is because azelaic acid can take some time to deliver its results as it must be used in the correct way to ensure it doesn’t lead to causing burning to the skin, dryness, and peeling. To avoid this, always ensure you have checked with a doctor or dermatologist you are using the correct formula and percentage for you and your skin.
If you wanted to find out more about azelaic acid, check out our dedicated blog post about how it works on the skin.
What is L-ascorbic acid?
L-ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C, is a skincare ingredient which is a favourite amongst dermatologist and skincare fans. For good reason due to the amazing benefits, it can deliver to the complexion. Packed with antioxidants it is one of the most potent ingredients to combat free radicals, such as UV light, pollution, and other environmental aggressors. You will find that the overall look and feel on the skin appears brighter, reduced signs of fine lines and wrinkles with a more even finish and improved texture.
There is more to find out about l-ascorbic acid in our dedicated blog post, so don’t forget to check that out.
Can you use azelaic acid and l-ascorbic acid together?
Yes, you can, but ensure you use them in correct way to give these powerhouse ingredients optimal chance of delivering results whilst avoiding any unwanted side effects. There are a few different ways you can use azelaic acid and l-ascorbic acid together, here are some examples of the most effective ways of reaping the rewards.
- Allow 15 minutes in between applications
Ensuring you allow about 15 minutes between applications will help the skin pH level to rebalance. This is important since both l-ascorbic acid and azelaic acid both have lower pH levels meaning they are both more acidic. Layering them on top of each other will be too much for the skin and cause irritation as well as preventing each of these powerhouses to perform their benefits on the face.
- Alternate the time of day you apply each ingredient
Many find that alternating the time of day they apply these ingredients is the best way of ensuring each ingredient performs on the skin. Thanks to the luminous finish vitamin C leaves on the skin, and the ample amounts of antioxidants, many favour to apply serums enriched with the acid during their morning routines. Following this with azelaic acid in the evening helps to replenish and rejuvenate the skin whilst you sleep and bypass any irritation caused from overloading the skin.
- Alternate the days you apply each ingredient
If you preferred to use azelaic acid and l-ascorbic acid in your morning routine, you can alternate the day you apply them on the skin. This ensures you benefit from both ingredients without any concerns with causing irritation to the skin. One important point to remember, due to both acids causing the skin to have increased photosensitivity. Always apply a daily SPF of 30 and above to keep the skin protected from exposure to UV light and other environmental aggressors, even on days that appear overcast and forecasted rain.
There you have some of the most common ways of using l-ascorbic acid and azelaic acid together. If you still have some concerns with using these potent powerhouses in your routine, consult with a doctor or dermatologist for the most effective way of introducing these ingredients in your routine.
Can I use azelaic acid and vitamin C at the same time?
Yes, technically you can use vitamin C and azelaic acid at the same time, however, this is something I would avoid. Although it is known that using both ingredients is perfectly safe, you can often have too much of a good thing. As I have already mentioned, pH levels are often the cause for skin irritation and is something that can happen very easily. With our skin having a pH level of about 4.7 on average this “neutral” level it can often disrupt more acidic formulations causing them to become unable to deliver their optimal results.
To ensure you avoid all this trouble, I suggest you use both ingredients using the different options I have mentioned above. If you wanted to know more about using vitamin C and azelaic acid together, there is another blog post about how to use them over on The Beauty Insiders.
Another way of ensuring your skin will be happy with both ingredients is to perform a patch test for 24 hours before applying them all over the face. Take a 10p size amount of product and apply it on the inside of the forearm, leave it for 24 hours and if there is no sign of irritation or redness, you are good to go.
There you have a little more information about mixing azelaic acid and l-ascorbic acid together. Don’t forget if you have any further skincare questions, you can come, and follow us over on the Procoal Instagram, there’ll be a skincare expert waiting to answer your questions in the direct messages.