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Dangers acide azélaïque.

What Are the Dangers of Azelaic Acid?

In dermocosmetics, azelaic acid is still relatively unknown. However, it is particularly effective in fighting against imperfections and regulating sebum secretion. It is the perfect ally for combination to oily skin (+). But what are its side effects, potential dangers and contraindications?

Side Effects of Azelaic Acid.

Azelaic acid, also known as Azelan, is a dicarboxylic acid obtained from grains such as wheat, rye and barley. It is used as a medicinal active ingredient to treat skin conditions such as rosacea or acne vulgaris and as a cosmetic ingredient for combination to oily skin. Depending on the application, its content differs. In a cosmetic formula, it is most often introduced at a maximum percentage of 10% while in medicine, its concentration is generally around 15 to 20%.

In cosmetics, the side effects are less important than when using a drug with azelaic acid. Nevertheless, even if they are rare, it is important to specify them. Thus, some redness and irritation may appear after the application of an azelaic acid cosmetic formula, especially if the person concerned is exposed to the sun afterwards. To avoid these inconveniences, in the morning, after your azelaic acid treatment, apply a broad-spectrum sun cream to effectively protect yourself from UV rays.

The Dangers of Azelaic Acid.

In cosmetic applications, azelaic acid does not present any danger to human health.

Concerning medicated creams formulated with azelaic acid and recommended for the treatment of rosacea and/or acne vulgaris, very rare cases of aggravation of asthma attacks have been reported.

As a precautionary measure, once you have completed your beauty routine, wash your hands with soap to avoid inadvertently swallowing the product. Keep your skin care products out of reach of children and away from heat and moisture.

Contraindications of Azelaic Acid.

In dermatology, azelaic acid used at a concentration generally between 15 and 20% is classified as a drug. It is contraindicated to apply a cream to your skin if you are hypersensitive to propylene glycol, benzoic acid and cetostearyl alcohol. Contact with the eyes and mucous membranes should be avoided.

In cosmetics, its concentration is lower (less than or equal to 10%); it therefore has a better skin tolerance. Nevertheless, it can still cause irritation, slight redness and dry skin in the most sensitive subjects.

Precautions for Using Azelaic Acid.

If you use an azelaic acid-based product, avoid contact with the eyes and mouth and apply sun protection during the day. Also, avoid applying it to damaged or irritated skin. If irritation occurs, discontinue use of the product. It is advisable to perform a skin test before using any azelaic acid product. To do this, apply a few drops of the product to the crook of the arm to observe any potential adverse effects.


  • BUI T. P. & al. Azelaic acid: pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties and its therapeutic role in hyperpigmentary disorders and acne. International Journal of Dermatology (1995).


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