With a name as menacing as azelaic acid, I wouldn’t blame you for feeling apprehensive about using it in your daily skincare routine. Now, let’s add having an AHA peel into the mix and you are probably left with your head spinning.
There’s no need to panic, as finding out whether you can use azelaic acid after an AHA peel is exactly what we will be answering in today’s blog post. So, without further a due, let’s dive right in to finding out more. If you are wanting to find out more about azelaic acid, you can check out our dedicated blog post about it and how you can work it into your routine.
Can you use AHA and azelaic acid together?
In a word, yes, you can use azelaic acid and AHA together. If you use these acids correctly there is no concerns with side effects. One important factor to remember however is keeping the pH levels of the skin balanced as this is often the cause for many skin reactions, irritations, and side effects. When applying azelaic acid and other AHA together, such as glycolic acid or salicylic acid, it is advisable to wait 10 minutes in between applications as this will allow enough time for the pH levels in the skin to resettle.
What we often find is many are mistaken to believe azelaic acid is a member of the AHA family, when in fact, it’s an exfoliating acid. Derived from yeast that naturally occurs in the skin, azelaic acid is favoured by many due to its ability to work for all skin types, including those prone to dryness and sensitivity. Having said that, everyone’s skin type is unique and so ensuring you perform a patch test for 24 hours will help you establish if the formula is best for your needs without any unwanted side effects.
Can I Use Azelaic Acid After AHA Peel?
Not really, this is because the AHAs used in a chemical peel have a medical grade percentage to them meaning they are highly potent. The best ingredients to use after an AHA peel is hydrating actives such as hyaluronic acid, or niacinamide, both have humectant traits in them and will lock moisture into the skin leaving it plumped, glowing, hydrated and happy. Ensuring you follow the aftercare advice after your peel will not only avoid irritation to the skin, but will help you see rapid results.
What should we apply after AHA BHA?
With AHA and BHA providing deep exfoliation to the skin, an increase in dryness and irritation can occur. To counteract this, you can follow your AHA or BHA products with a serum that is packed with hydrating and nourishing ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid. by teaming these actives together, you will find you are left with the most beautiful, glowing complexion.
How this works is the exfoliating properties of the AHA and BHA will slough away the build-up of dead skin cells, dirt and debris that sit on the surface layer of the skin and develop into spots and breakouts. BHA also continue to work further down into the pores and help unclog them of excess sebum, bacteria, and other impurities that all contribute to more skin concerns, such as blackheads and whiteheads.
Once the layer of unwanted impurities is lifted from the skin any other formulas you apply to the skin will absorb rapidly leading to faster results and healthier skin. This is helped with the added boost of hydration to the skin thanks to hyaluronic acid which acts as a humectant and draws moisture into the skin and locks it into place. This will not only keep the complexion glowing but will also strengthen the lipid barrier resulting in skin being protected from exposure to free radical damage, such as pollution, UV rays, and other environmental aggressors.
What should not be used with azelaic acid?
As effective as azelaic acid is when teamed with BHA, such as salicylic acid, it is usually advised to avoid layering the two actives on top of each other.
This is mainly to do with the pH levels of both ingredients being low and more acidic, which applied onto the skin, which is naturally acidic too can cause flare-ups in reactions, such as redness, itching, flaky patches of skin, and severe dryness.
If you find you ever have any worries with using potent ingredients together, I strongly suggest seeking the help from a dermatologist or trained professional who will advise you on the best formulations and products for you and your skin needs.
Can azelaic acid be used with BHA?
You can, but always ensure you are applying it correctly to the skin. There are different ways of teaming these actives together that many find effective without the worry of the skin becoming irritated.
- You can alternate the time of day you apply each ingredient to the skin. With BHA, such as salicylic acid being more potent than azelaic acid, I would suggest waiting to apply it in the evening to avoid overexposure to UV light and potential skin damage. Remember to apply a daily SPF to fully protect the skin from sun damage, such as hyperpigmentation, signs of ageing, and loss of elasticity.
- Apply each ingredient separately on different days. This way you will reap the rewards and sidestep any unwanted side effects.
- Leave up to 15 minutes in between applications. This can often feel time consuming, however this is the best amount of time to ensure the pH levels of the skin have rebalanced and prepared for the next step in your routine.
These options are suggestions many have found to be successful when using azelaic acid and BHA together. As I have already mentioned, if you have any concerns with which formulas to use and how they would work on your skin, perform a patch test for 24 hours. After this time, you will see if your skin is happy with the product, and you can apply it directly to your face.
Does azelaic acid make you purge?
Yes, it can, much like all active ingredients that perform exfoliation to the skin, you will find they cause purging. Often mistaken as breakouts and acne, purging is a result of the “gunk” found in pores being pushed to the surface of the skin resulting in short term acne. Purging rarely lasts longer than 4 weeks, but if you find there are still blemishes developing on the skin after 2 months, this may be a sign of skin reaction to the formula in which case you should stop using the product.
There you have a little more information about using azelaic acid after AHA peel, if you have any further questions, come, and find us on Instagram.