Azelaic Acid: Before and After


Azelaic acid sounds technical, so you might be surprised to learn that it’s a naturally occurring substance found in grains like wheat and barley. Thanks to inflammation soothing properties, azelaic acid can be an excellent option for people looking to treat acne and rosacea. By blocking the production of unwanted pigmentation, it also helps clear up sunspots and melasma.

Often, azelaic acid creams, serums, and gels contain additional ingredients to boost its skin-friendly effects. Lactic acid, hydroquinone, salicylic acid, propylene glycol, and vitamin C are among some common ingredients you may find.

Azelaic acid is a safe treatment for most individuals, including those who smoke and have prolonged skin exposure, although it’s critical to apply sunscreen regularly while using it. Since azelaic acid works by inhibiting tyrosinase, it offers people suffering from acne a double benefit: it clears up the acne and prevents melanin production, which can result in uneven skin tones once you no longer have acne.

Ready to set your skin concerns aside? In this article, we’ll show you some azelaic acid before and after photos so you can get a feel for the types of results you may experience by using it. We’ll also talk about products you can use with azelaic acid along with supplemental treatments.

Azelaic Acid Before and After Photos

Before starting any new skin care routine, it’s natural to want to know examples of before and after photos based on other people’s experiences. We’ll show you examples here and think you’ll be impressed by how well it cleans up your pores, but there’s an important factor you should be ready for upfront: it takes time to see results with azelaic acid.


Although azelaic acid can be an effective treatment for inflammatory skin and hyperpigmentation, it usually isn’t a dermatologist’s first pick since you’ll need to wait a couple of months to start seeing actual results. Once the results start coming in, though, you won’t want to revert to a different type of product.

How to Use Azelaic Acid

People without sensitive skin can apply their azelaic acid topical daily. It’s best to use the cream at night since the sun can break down some of its active properties. Doing so will also give the product time to seep into your pores. You should apply it only after using any other skin care products so that it doesn’t smear.

If you’re using an azelaic acid gel or serum strictly to treat dark spots, you’ll be better off applying the cream directly in the inflamed and dark areas of your skin. You’ll want to make sure that you blend out the acid well. Otherwise, you could end up with a sharp line with a light circle around the dark spot you’re trying to get rid of.

People using an azelaic acid product for acne treatment and rosacea will likely benefit from spreading it around their entire face. However, whatever application method you choose, make sure to allow a minimum of 15 minutes before sheets (or anything else, for that matter) touches your skin. That way, the azelaic acid will have time to absorb into your skin.

You can use your azelaic acid topical on its own or in conjunction with other face serums with skin brightening properties. Ingredients such as Niacinamide, hydroxy acids, and antioxidants are all excellent names to keep an eye out for when you’re looking to supplement your azelaic acid.

In particular, you can combine azelaic acid with hyaluronic acid to add moisture to your skin. People suffering from acne or rosacea may also want to consider using a sulfur-based face wash. Just remember that all of this washing and application of other products needs to happen before you apply your azelaic acid.

Who is Azelaic Acid for?

Azelaic acid treatment is safe for anyone to use. However, people with sensitive skin may want to begin by applying the cream to the affected area every other day to prevent irritation and redness. Given that, it’s an excellent option for people with combination or oily skin.

A dermatologist can prescribe you an azelaic acid medication. That could be helpful if you suffer from a severe skin condition. However, an over-the-counter azelaic acid product will be enough to clear up most people’s skin condition.

People suffering from the following skin ailments are excellent candidates for using azelaic acid:

  • Acne
  • Rosacea
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Dark spots
  • Scarring

Below are more details about how azelaic acid helps treat each of these conditions.


One of the causes of acne is bacteria building up in clogged pores. Azelaic acid works by wiping out harmful bacteria and helping to reduce inflammation. Topicals with azelaic acid also speed up the production of skin cells, meaning uneven skin tone gets resolved faster. It’ll take time for azelaic acid to harness its bacteria-fighting powers, but once it does, the results will likely impress you.


Rosacea is a condition that causes red, inflamed bumps on all the areas that people notice the most—the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. At first glance, rosacea may appear similar to acne. If you’re unsure which condition you have, don’t worry: azelaic acid will take care of both at once. Since azelaic acid helps reduce the size of blood vessels, it reduces redness and swelling.


Hyperpigmentation is a fancy word for skin discoloration. The condition can arise on its own, although it often accompanies acne, particularly if you pick at your pimples.

Another form of hyperpigmentation is called melasma, which results from too much time in the sun or hormone changes in pregnant women. Azelaic acid can reduce the appearance of all these skin discoloration conditions since it speeds up cell turnover, helping you to shed dead skin cells and replace them with new ones that will give you a brighter appearance. 

Dark Spots

Like melasma, dark spots are commonly a result of long-term sun damage. The beauty of azelaic acid serums is that they can lighten dark skin. While azelaic acid on its own is a solid lightening tool, by combining it with another ingredient such as hydroquinone, you can achieve even more powerful skin lightening benefits.


Whether you have scars from acne, an accident, or any other skin trauma, the face is one of the worst places to have scarring. Because azelaic acid promotes new skin cell growth, it encourages scar tissue shedding. Scarring also blocks melanin synthesis, which helps you achieve a smoother skin complexion.

Additional Benefits

While azelaic acid is primarily for people struggling with acne and other skin conditions, it has some surprising other benefits. These include:

  • Potential prevention of hair loss
  • As an antioxidant, it helps to prevent cancer
  • Inhibits tyrosinase, which is responsible for causing hyperpigmentation

Those are some exciting benefits you can gain by seeking to improve your skin!

Side Effects of Azelaic Acid

Starting a new skincare routine can be an intimidating task when you’re unsure of the side effects. Although most people with sensitive skin can use azelaic acid in a modified form, in severe cases, they may experience stinging, burning, and hyperpigmentation (that’s right, the very issue you’re trying to treat).

These symptoms are rare, but if they happen, you should immediately stop applying the serum. Below are some other rare side effects from azelaic acid:

  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hives, irritation, and itchy skin
  • Joint pain and tightness
  • Swelling around the application site
  • Blistering and major skin flaking around the application site

Most side effects from azelaic acid don’t need medical treatment. Furthermore, allergic reactions are rare. If you experience them, simply stop using the topical and wait a couple of days to see if your symptoms improve. If they don’t, that’s when you should consult with your dermatologist or general doctor.

To know whether or not you’ll suffer from adverse side effects from azelaic acid, start by applying a small amount on the back of your arm. If all goes well with that, move up to doing a patch test on your neck and face.

Unlike stronger skin treatment medications like Accutane and Tretinoin, you don’t have to worry about azelaic acid negatively impacting pregnancy or breastfeeding. Therefore, azelaic acid suspension is rarely a necessity.

Topical Solutions for Acne

After all this talk about azelaic acid, you might be wondering where you can get some to improve your skincare routine. The good news is that you can purchase azelaic acid over the counter when it’s in smaller concentrations. At Admire My Skin, we offer our powerful brightening serum for people looking to improve uneven skin tone due to acne.

Our ultra-potent serum not only contains azelaic acid but other key skin-healing ingredients like hydroquinone, kojic acid, salicylic acid, and vitamin C. Our dozens of photo testimonials prove how this combination of ingredients is effective for fading dark spots, correcting sun damage, and revealing clearer, brighter skin after acne’s toll.

We’re better than other azelaic acid options on the market because our products are 100% USA-made. No animals undergo harm during testing and production. In fact, our azelaic acid serum is vegan. It’s also free of paraben, gluten, and fragrances.

You already know that it takes time for azelaic acid to start working, but it doesn’t take forever—you can expect to start seeing results in four weeks.

How to Use Our Brightening Serum

Although it’s tempting to cover your acne and discolored skin in our brightening serum the moment you receive it, we recommend spot testing first to make sure your skin doesn’t have an adverse reaction. Since such reactions are rare, this most likely will go well, and you can move on to applying it to your problem spots or your entire face, per your needs.

Even if you have oily skin, it’s still a good idea to begin by using our product every other day. Once your skin feels adjusted, you can bump it up to applying the serum every day. You don’t need much; one or two pumps will do. Because azelaic acid can make your skin prone to sunburn, it’s essential that you apply sunscreen every day.

By the 60-day mark, your skin should look clearer and brighter than when you began your skin improvement journey. That comes just in time since, at that point, you should give your face a break from hydroquinone for thirty days. The break is partly because your skin can build up a resistance to it and partly because hydroquinone can cause skin darkening in rare cases.

Other Products to Improve Your Skin

During your break from our brightening cream, and even during its use, we offer several other products that can help restore your skin to a radiant glow. Below are some excellent compliments to your face care regimen.

Citrus Glow Drops

As its name implies, this oil is packed with vitamins and natural ingredients to help bring out your skin’s natural glow. Its main ingredients include vitamin C, vitamin E, argan oil, rosehip oil, liposomal, and sea buckthorn oil.

The ingredients above combine to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and restore dry skin to a brilliant glow. It also helps reduce hyperpigmentation, making this a wonderful product to use in conjunction with your azelaic acid serum. Another reason why this is such an excellent option to use is because it’ll help reduce skin drying that azelaic acid can cause.

Like all our products, our Citrus Glow Drops are USA-made and don’t contain any harmful chemicals. It’s safe to use daily; you can apply two to three drops on your skin, moving the oil in an upward motion as you spread it around your face.

One of our favorite ways to use these drops is by mixing them with foundation. You can then apply the mixture to your face, giving your complexion a brilliant, dewy finish.

Intense Hydration Collagen Cream

If you’re battling both acne and wrinkles, we understand your pain. Combining your azelaic acid treatment with our collagen cream is an excellent way to combat both skin issues at once. On top of that, this cream has moisturizing properties, thus helping to reduce azelaic acid’s skin drying properties.

Our Intense hydration Collagen Cream offers a heavy load of antioxidants to plump dry, wrinkled, and aging skin. It also reduces redness and irritation from acne and rosacea—the overall impact results in a firmer, more youthful-looking complexion.

Because of its nourishing properties, it’s suitable for people of all skin types. In fact, it contains hydrolyzed marine collagen and sea kelp to encourage the production of collagen.

There’s no need to hold back when using this cream with your azelaic acid serum; you can apply a generous layer both morning and night. Just make sure to give it time to dry before using your azelaic acid treatment.

Clinically Effective Retinoid Cream

When it comes to acne and wrinkles, retinoid is a proven skincare ingredient in the face product marketplace to combat both at once. Our prescription-free retinoid cream does the job especially well since we combine 2.5% retinol with hyaluronic acid and plant stem cells. Together, these ingredients significantly improve skin tone and texture.

If you want to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, clear up your acne, prevent future breakouts, and improve your skin’s firmness and tone, retinoid is an excellent option for you. Don’t believe us? More than 90% of people who participated in a study using our retinoid cream saw an improvement within six weeks.

Retinoids work similarly to azelaic acid in that they make your skin sensitive to the sun. So, you should wear a strong SPF during the day. Additionally, like azelaic acid, retinoids work best at night.

When it comes to our azelaic acid brightening serum and all the other products described here, we offer a 60-day money-back guarantee.

Ingredients Supporting Azelaic Acid

When you’re looking for an azelaic acid skincare product or a product to supplement brightening your skin, below are some other ingredients and vitamins you should keep an eye out for.

Niacinamide: A type of vitamin B3, niacinamide builds protein in the skin. It helps prevent skin flushing as a result of acne, rosacea, and uneven pigmentation. It can also help reduce wrinkles.

Alpha Hydroxy Acids: Called AHAs for short, this is a group of acids that come from plant and animal products. It includes skin-loving acids such as glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and lactic acid. AHAs excel at promoting collagen growth, increasing blood flow and brightening your complexion.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which means that it helps protect your skin from UV rays, stress, and pollutants. It also supports collagen production, which keeps your skin looking younger by plumping up areas prone to wrinkles.

Hyaluronic Acid: By encouraging the skin to increase its moisture content, hyaluronic acid helps minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. You can use this acid as a topical to improve dermatitis. Some people even receive hyaluronic acid injections to make their skin look firmer.

Hydroquinone: Everything from freckles to age spots to birth control pills can cause skin depigmentation. By blocking the skin’s darkening melanin from forming, hydroquinone gives your complexion a lighter and brighter-looking appearance.

Kojic Acid: It may be a hard name to pronounce, but kojic acid plays a powerful role in lightening damaged skin from the sun, age, and scarring. It also contains antimicrobials that help prevent bacteria build-up in pores. Therefore, it’s an excellent ingredient for treating acne. Although kojic acid can’t permanently lighten your skin, for as long as you use it, you’ll be able to take advantage of its lightening properties.

While these are natural ingredients, you may be familiar with finacea gel and chemicals like benzoyl peroxide, which improve acne and hyperpigmentation by helping to shed dead skin cells. No doubt, such chemicals can be effective. However, they tend to create skin sensitivity issues, which is why we make our products with natural ingredients.

Wrap Up

Whether you’re suffering from acne, rosacea, or any other form of skin inflammation or discoloration, azelaic acid can be an excellent product to restore your skin to a radiant state. It’s suitable for all skin types, although people with dry skin may find that using it every other is best for them. You can also combine it with other products to keep your face moisturized and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

We understand that your skin’s brilliance (or lack thereof) impacts your confidence. By incorporating azelaic acid into your skin care regimen, you’ll be on your way to embracing a more glowing, youthful look and improved skin texture once you see the Azelaic acid before and aresults.