11 Best Azelaic Acid Products of 2024 for a Clearer, More Even Complexion, According to Dermatologists

Key Ingredients: Azelaic acid (10%), vitamin C, niacinamide, glycerin, coffee seed extract | Who It’s For: Acne-prone skin, those with hyperpigmentation, those with redness | Fragrance-Free: Yes

Best for Redness: The Inkey List SuperSolutions 10% Azelaic Serum Redness Relief Solution

The Inkey List

The Inkey List SuperSolutions 10% Azelaic Serum Redness Relief Solution

Why We Love It: Keep redness at bay with The Inkey List’s SuperSolutions 10% Azelaic Serum Redness Relief Solution. The azelaic acid-enriched serum—which has a light green hue to help mask redness—has a weightless gel-like texture that quickly absorbs into the skin. Other ingredient highlights include nourishing glycerin and moisturizing allantoin.

Editor Tip: This gel-textured serum also provides a cooling, comforting sensation to irritated, sensitive skin.

Key Ingredients: Azelaic acid (10%), glycerin, allantoin | Who It’s For: All skin types | Fragrance-Free: Yes

Frequently Asked Questions

What is azelaic acid?

When most people hear the word “acid,” they usually think of a harsh chemical, but actually, azelaic acid is a molecule found and derived from barley, rye grains, and wheat. It’s part of the dicarboxylic acids family and has antibacterial, keratolytic, comedolytic, and antioxidant properties. La Jolla, California-based, board-certified dermatologist Azadeh Shirazi, MD, tells Allure that azelaic acid works by inhibiting tyrosinase (a.k.a. the enzyme involved in pigment production) and, thereby, “reduces hyperpigmentation.” Dr. Shirazi describes this buzzy acid as a “dermatologist favorite,” a “jack-of-all-trades,”  and “one of the most underrated skin-care ingredients.”

Michele Green, MD, a New York City-based, board-certified dermatologist, echoes Dr. Shirazi’s sentiments. Both professionals also note azelaic acid’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, excellent for treating skin conditions like acne and rosacea, as it kills breakout-causing bacteria and reduces inflammation. This versatile acid, also considered a gentle exfoliant, stimulates cell turnover, as well. As such, Dr. Green tells Allure that azelaic acid “can help reduce the appearance of acne scars.”

Who can use azelaic acid?

The good news is azelaic acid is safe for all skin types, but with that being said, Dr. Green advises those with sensitive skin to start using the ingredient “once a day, increasing the frequency to twice a day after several weeks.” And, if you experience any irritation, it’s best to consult your doctor before continuing.

You also need not worry too much about adjusting your entire skin-care routine to incorporate azelaic acid. Fortunately, both Dr. Green and Dr. Shirazi agree that azelaic acid is generally gentle enough and safe to use in combination with other ingredients like vitamin CAHAsBHAs, and retinoids. However, says Dr. Green, “If you have prescription-strength azelaic acid, Retin-A, or other topical creams, you should consult a dermatologist.”

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