Is Azelaic Acid Or Vitamin C Better? – Live Well Zone

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vitamin c compared to azelaic acid

When it involves skincare actives, azelaic acid and vitamin C are each powerhouses. They do have some similarities, most notably in relation to their capacity to enhance hyperpigmentation. As a outcome, chances are you’ll be questioning is “azelaic acid or vitamin C higher?”

This information goes to reply that for you by diving into their particular person advantages and the right way to use them (together with layering suggestions).

Let’s get to it!

Supports collagen manufacturing
Helps rosacea
Boosts the consequences of sunscreen
Improves hyperpigmentation
Suitable for acne-prone pores and skin
This tables reveals the advantages of azelaic pores and skin and vitamin C for pores and skin.


vitamin c serum surrounded by orange slices

1. Lightens and Brightens Skin

Vitamin C addresses hyperpigmentation by down-regulating the enzyme tyrosinase (which acts as a catalyst within the manufacturing of melanin). 

By limiting tyrosinase’s exercise, vitamin C inhibits melanin synthesis (source).    

So, whether or not you wrestle with darkish spots, pigmented-scarring from pimples or under-eye circles, vitamin C helps you get brighter and extra evenly toned pores and skin.

2. Improves Redness

Vitamin C has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that assist to cut back redness.

In addition, vitamin C has been proven to seal blood vessels. This profit appears to additionally contribute to its capacity to assuage redness (source).

All of this makes vitamin C a noteworthy treatment for the swelling and redness that accompanies inflammatory pores and skin circumstances (reminiscent of pimples and rosacea).

3. Prevents Sun Damage

Topical software of vitamin C creates a barrier towards solar injury and different environmental pollution. 

In truth, combining vitamin C together with your regular sunscreen supplies further UV shielding and a protecting enhance towards dangerous environmental toxins (source).

4. Reduces Appearance of Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Vitamin C’s anti-aging fame is backed by science. It stimulates the exercise of cells generally known as fibroblasts.

These fibroblasts are accountable for producing collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. These three compounds are powerhouses for anti-aging!

Combine this with vitamin C’s antioxidant and UV protectant properties, it’s straightforward to see why this vitamin is among the most wanted for wholesome, youthful pores and skin.


1. Supports Collagen Production

Azelaic acid provides pores and skin a wholesome glow by encouraging cell-turnover, providing mild exfoliation and night out pores and skin tone.

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Deeper throughout the pores and skin, azelaic acid will increase fibroblast exercise. These fibroblasts are accountable for the synthesis of collagen (in addition to elastin and hyaluronic acid).

2. Improves Hyperpigmentation

Azelaic is maybe most well-known for fading darkish spots. It has anti-pigment properties that disrupt melanin manufacturing, thus lessening pores and skin discoloration.

This may be useful in case you have PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) or PIE (post-inflammatory erythema). 

In truth, research present azelaic acid may be much more efficient than therapies like hydroquinone (source).

3. Reduces Acne Breakouts

Azelaic acid’s fame for combating pimples is effectively researched and confirmed by varied research (source). 

It reduces irritation and redness related to painful pimples breakouts by inhibiting and killing the micro organism s epidermidis and p acnes.

In addition, azelaic acid has comedolytic properties that cease pores and skin cells and oil from clogging pores (and ultimately turning into pimples).

4. Treats Rosacea

Research reveals that prescription power azelaic acid improves rosacea (source).

Most notably, azelaic acid helps with the blemishes and pimples that usually happen with rosacea.

Azelaic acid can be used to cut back the redness and swelling related to rosacea (source).


Even although vitamin C and azelaic acid are each helpful for hyperpigmentation, a comparative examine revealed that azelaic acid could also be superior. In specific, azelaic acid was proven to be more practical for circumstances like melasma. As for vitamin C, it may be useful in stopping PIH (submit inflammatory hyperpigmentation) (1, 2).

Interestingly, anecdotal proof from boards like Reddit present that some individuals get higher outcomes by utilizing these elements collectively (source).

The key appears to lie in making certain that you simply’re utilizing a excessive sufficient focus of azelaic acid.


woman applying cream to her face

1. Use Them Separately

Experts suggest utilizing azelaic acid and vitamin C twice a day – at morning and at evening – for one of the best outcomes (3, 4).

However, do not forget that each of those elements are potent actives.

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So, relatively than layer them, chances are you’ll need to use them at totally different instances of the day. This is especially related in case you have delicate pores and skin.

Generally talking, vitamin C can be utilized throughout the day (to spice up your sunscreen) whereas azelaic acid can be utilized within the night.

In addition, should you’re model new to those merchandise, think about using them each different day or each two days, to start out.

Then as your pores and skin adapts to them, you’ll be able to work your manner as much as each day use.

2. Layer Them Correctly

Azelaic acid and vitamin C make an incredible crew and also you do have the choice of layering them (in case your pores and skin can deal with each actives on the identical time).

Here are some suggestions to remember when layering vitamin C and azelaic acid:

  • When layering merchandise, apply the lighter or water-based product first. Then apply the heavier (normally oil-based) one subsequent.
  • The commonest types of azelaic acid are gels and lotions (though there are additionally foam formulations). As for vitamin C, it’s normally formulated in a water base. Therefore, you’ll usually apply your vitamin C serum first, adopted by azelaic gel or cream.
  • Once you’re finished layering these merchandise, remember to apply a moisturizer.

3. Choose the Right Percentage

You can use over-the-counter azelaic acid merchandise (which max out at 10%) or prescription power (which may go as much as 20% focus).

In both case, analysis reveals that even a ten% focus is very efficient (source). 

As for vitamin C, most individuals do effectively with an 8-20% focus.

However, in case you have very delicate pores and skin, chances are you’ll be higher off with only a 5% focus. 

NOTE: though there are vitamin C merchandise that go above 20%, they don’t appear to offer higher outcomes.


Can azelaic acid make pimples worse?

Although azelaic acid can have an preliminary purging impact on the pores and skin, it shouldn’t make pimples worse. 

Actually, its anti-inflammatory properties make it a really useful remedy for pimples, in addition to acne-related hyperpigmentation or scarring.

See also  How to scale back melanin to regulate pores and skin pigmentation?

Does vitamin C trigger purging?

Vitamin C could cause purging whenever you first begin utilizing it. However, it ought to ultimately subside. If it doesn’t enhance after just a few weeks, then search additional skilled steerage

Is azelaic acid like retinol?

Azelaic acid and retinol have some overlapping properties, however they’re not precisely the identical. The most important distinction between them is that azelaic has exfoliating properties, which retinol doesn’t have. 

Does azelaic acid injury the pores and skin barrier?

Because azelaic acid can initially trigger dryness, itchiness or redness chances are you’ll suppose it’s damaging your pores and skin barrier.

In actuality, azelaic acid reduces the thickness of the pores and skin’s outer layer however this doesn’t end in injury. It really improves the smoothness (texture) and high quality of the pores and skin (source).

Can you employ vitamin C on broken pores and skin barrier?

Research reveals that vitamin C can be utilized on some individuals with a compromised pores and skin barrier, reminiscent of rosacea sufferers. However, relying on the extent of your pores and skin barrier injury, vitamin C may very well be too irritating.

Overall, it’s finest to seek the advice of your dermatologist for individualized steerage. 

Is azelaic acid an AHA or BHA?

Although it’s an acid, azelaic acid is neither an AHA or BHA. Azelaic acid has gentle exfoliating properties, and generally is a gentler choice for anybody who finds AHAs or BHAs too harsh.


Adding vitamin C or azelaic acid to your skincare routine may help to cut back irritation, help collagen manufacturing and stability your pores and skin tone.

As with all skincare merchandise, you’ll have to experiment to search out which one your pores and skin prefers.

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