Can You Mix Azelaic Acid with Salicylic Acid?

Can You Mix Azelaic Acid with Salicylic Acid?

You’ll often find it difficult to find a skincare ingredient that can treat both acne and rosacea at the same time, but azelaic acid can do exactly that. Packed with many skin benefiting properties, like antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. This results in the acid being able to work at killing off bacteria from the lower layers of the skin which can often clog the pores. These are usually the cause of acne and breakouts, and many have found that a topical application of azelaic acid will rid the skin of dead skin cells, debris, and bacteria.

You’ll also find with the exfoliation teamed with anti-inflammatory properties of azelaic acid that any flare-ups in rosacea and other skin sensitivities will be calmed and noticeably improved.

There are many more benefits to azelaic acid which I will share with you now.

  • Azelaic acid helps to prevent future breakouts and acne

Azelaic acid is a comedolytic meaning it is doesn’t clog the pores and instead ensures they remain clean consistently. By doing this, it ensures they remain smaller and concerns with blackheads and whiteheads are reduced.

  • Azelaic acid is known for being a safer alternative to other potent skin ingredients

Many find Accutane and other potent ingredients, especially those formulated for combating acne. Azelaic acid is effective enough to clear the skin of severe and cystic acne without the drying side effects connected to using Accutane.

  • Azelaic acid combats dark spots and helps improve melasma

The way azelaic acid can combat dark spots is by limiting the production of melanin in the lower layers of the skin. It does this by preventing the enzyme needed by melanin to cause the pigmentation of your dark spots and melasma to appear darker.

So, now you have had a refresher about what azelaic acid does and how it works on the skin, let’s get stuck into finding out more about whether you can mix it with salicylic acid. if you are wanting to find out more about the acid, there is also a dedicated blog post about its skincare benefits on The Beauty Insiders.  

Is it OK to mix azelaic acid and salicylic acid?

Yes, you certainly can! In fact, teaming these skin ingredients together is a potent and effective duo to target blemishes and acne. It’s understandable that the thought of teaming both acids together could result in a recipe for disaster, you’ll be surprised to know azelaic acid can work along salicylic acid when the percentage of the active ingredient is low. Another option is to use each ingredient on alternate days to avoid any unwanted skin reactions. If you find you have an oily skin and have built its tolerance against both potent powerhouses you can use each ingredient during the same day, but at different stages of your routine. For example, many find applying azelaic acid during their morning routine and following it with salicylic acid for the evening proves to be the most optimal way of using each ingredient.

The best way to determine if your skin will remain happy using both ingredients, is to perform a patch test for 24 hours before applying them to your face. You can also consult with a doctor or dermatologists for the peace of mind you’re using the best formulas for your skin. 

What should you not mix with salicylic acid?

There are a few ingredients that you should not mix with salicylic acid, here are some examples.

  • Don’t Mix Salicylic Acid with Vitamin C

This is because both acids are too similar in pH levels and if layered together will cause a flare-up in skin irritation, redness, itching, and flaky patches of skin. To reap the rewards of these powerhouses it’s best to alternate when you apply them. Many skincare experts favour using vitamin C in the morning due to the antioxidants ensuring it can strengthen the skin barrier from free radicals, such as UV, and pollution. You can then follow this in the evening with salicylic acid for a deep cleanse of the skin ridding it of all debris and bacteria picked up during the day.

  • Don’t Mix Salicylic Acid with Retinol

It’s best to avoid combining these ingredients together as they are both too potent to work effectively but will in fact cause havoc on the skin. If you layer salicylic acid and retinol, you’ll find the skin is left dry, irritated with redness and rashes. Alternate the evenings you use these ingredients to gain the benefits of the skin without the unwanted serious side effects.

For more details on this, check out the blog post “What can you not mix with salicylic acid” As this will explain more about what to use salicylic acid with other ingredients in your routine.

Is salicylic or azelaic acid better?

There is a great deal of similarities between both salicylic acid and azelaic acid, the main difference being how azelaic acid is generally milder and gentler on the skin. This makes azelaic acid a great ingredient to use if you find yourself having a sensitive skin type that is prone to acne, or similar breakouts.

Salicylic acid on the other hand is known for combating the production of oil on the skin making it ideal for those with an oily skin type. There is also some research demonstrating how azelaic acid can often increase the production of oil, meaning those with an oily, blemish prone skin, should steer clear completely.

So, as you can see, each ingredient is a great addition to the skin if you suffer from acne and frequent breakouts. If, however, you are looking to combat signs of ageing, such as fine lines and wrinkles, then both acids are not suited. Azelaic acid, however, can benefit the skin by targeting dark spots and hyperpigmentation which worsen and become more noticeable with age.

Does azelaic acid whiten the skin?

Technically it does, but not in the way you think at first. What I mean by this is that azelaic acid could lighten the skin in areas that are suffering from hyperpigmentation and dark spots. It can do this because it contains enzyme tyrosinase, which is needed to help with the production of melanin. Melanin affects the pigmentation of the skin and can overproduce in areas of the face that are damaged from too much sun exposure, ageing, and post acne scarring. Azelaic acid can control the production of melanin and in time will have a notable impact on the pigmentation and dark spots.

There you have it, with any luck I have answered your questions about mixing azelaic acid with salicylic acid, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any more skincare questions by following us on Instagram.


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