Even if you consider yourself pretty clued up about skincare ingredients and how they work on the skin, I wouldn’t be surprised to find you a little puzzled about what exactly ferulic acid and azelaic acid do for the skin. This is only because both acids are usually overshadowed by other ingredients that have become household names, such as hyaluronic acid and retinol.
So, what is it about these acids that make them so effective on the skin, and if you haven’t started using them yet, is there a chance you’re missing out on a new skin saviour? Let’s find out more about mixing ferulic acid and azelaic acid together, but before we do, here is a quick refresher course on both powerhouses and how they work on the skin.
What Is Ferulic Acid?
Ferulic acid, also known as hydroxycinnamic acid, is derived from molecules found in the cell walls of various plants such as, oats, peanuts, oranges, and brown rice. Packed with antioxidants this acid works hard at combating any potential damage caused by free radicals, such as UV exposure, pollution, central heating, and other environmental aggressors. Once applied to the skin ferulic acid can fully protect the skin against any potential damage and neutralising the impact the free radical has on the face. The only thing ferulic acid is unable to do is repair any existing damage caused to the skin.
You’ll often find that ferulic acid is developed as a liquid form and is formulated into serums and moisturisers. You’ll also find that when formulated correctly, it will come in specific packaging to help prolong its lifespan and prevent the serum from oxidising. This could either be an opaque bottle or one that is airtight. It is also best to store your ferulic acid products out of direct sunlight to stop the product turning a dark muddy colour.
There is more to find out about ferulic acid over on our Skin School page on the website, so check that out!
What Is Azelaic Acid?
Azelaic acid is found in grains, such as wheat, rye, and barley. Enriched in various beneficial properties, such as anti-inflammatories and antimicrobial it is one of the few skincare ingredients that can help target acne and rosacea. Highly effective and beneficial for almost all skin types, azelaic acid can simultaneously calm any flare-up in rosacea and reduce the severity of any acne breakouts. Known for working gently on the skin, ferulic acid is often favoured by many as a great alternative to other more potent actives. The results are the same but without any negative side effects, such as dryness, redness, and itching.
You’ll find that azelaic acid comes in a variety of skincare formulations, from face washes to creams. This ensures you can introduce azelaic acid into your routine in a simple and effective way without having to alter your current skincare regime. There’s more to learn about azelaic acid over on the blog, so check that out for more information.
Can you mix ferulic acid and azelaic acid?
Yes, you can mix ferulic acid and azelaic acid together as they both work on different areas of the skin and won’t overload it. As I have already mentioned, ferulic acid is packed with antioxidants, and is able to ward off any further damage to the skin caused from exposure to free radicals and other environmental aggressors. Whilst ferulic acid works on the skin, you’ll also find azelaic acid is able to gently slough away the build-up of dead skin cells that can cause the complexion to dull, lack lustre, and littered with blemishes. With azelaic acid being known as one of the gentlest acids, you will also find it is able to work together with many acids, even ones that are more potent.
Bearing in mind however, that you need to balance out how much exfoliation your skin is exposed to so try alternating the days you use each of these acids and try teaming them with hyaluronic acid to help lock moisture into the skin and avoid any negative side effects.
What should you not mix with ferulic acid?
Ferulic acid is one of the rare skin ingredients that can not only work effectively with other actives, but will in fact, boost their results on the skin. It particularly works well with certain skin ingredients that contain a lot of antioxidants, such as vitamin C and vitamin E. By layering ferulic acid it is thought to not increase any skin sensitivity, just if you remember to apply a daily SPF of 30 and above ensure you are protecting the skin.
Can you use azelaic acid with other acids?
Yes, you can use azelaic acid with other acids, don’t let the word “acid” confuse you into thinking using them together is a recipe for disaster as they will be too potent on the skin. As I have already mentioned, azelaic acid is a gentle acid and works well with many other skin ingredients, and on almost all skin types. Having said that, it is still important to perform a patch test for 24 hours before applying any new formula or ingredient onto the face. The easiest way to do a patch test is to apply a small, 10p size amount of the product onto the inner forearm and leave it for 24 hours. If there are no signs of irritation or redness, it’s a clear indication your skin is happy with the product. If you find yourself with any further worries, it’s best to consult with a doctor or dermatologist.
How often should you use ferulic acid?
You can use ferulic acid every day, preferably during your morning routine as the rich antioxidant traits of the acid will keep your skin protected from any daily exposure to free radicals. You’ll find it is particularly successful at combating UV light and pollution and teaming your ferulic acid with other potent actives will give the skin a boost in overall protection.
I hope that this blog post has cleared up a few questions you have about both powerhouse ingredients. Don’t forget, if you have any more questions, come, and follow us on Instagram, you’ll find one of our skin experts in the DMs!