Your Guide for Brighter, More Radiant Skin Using Azelaic Acid
With the right ingredients in your routine, you can lock in a more luminous complexion.
From glass to glazed doughnut, skin trends may come and go, but they all have one thing in common: an undeniably bright, healthy glow. Achieving effortless lit-from-within radiance will never go out of style, but the reality is that most of us need a little help to get there. That’s because daily life tends to give dull, tired skin an unfair advantage. Luckily, a simple routine that leans on hard-working ingredients, such as azelaic acid, can go a long way to boosting luminosity.
Did you know there are numerous factors that can cause your skin to look dull and tired? For starters, a buildup of dead skin cells can be to blame. An intricate structure of layers, the skin is continuously renewing itself with vibrant new cells developed deep within that push through to the outermost layer and replace older dead ones. We shed nearly a million dead cells daily (!); many of those fall off naturally, but others are prone to clinging on. That lingering debris can create an ashy-looking filter that reads as a lacklustre face.
As we age, skin-renewal functions slow down, and dead cells can start collecting unevenly; this leads to a rough texture—another cause of dullness. Light reflects most intensely off smooth surfaces, whereas uneven ones scatter the light for a less glowing effect. Your face is no exception—any bumps, raised patches or congested pores can stand in the way of radiance. Acne can pack an extra-annoying punch, too. Beyond making skin textured, blemishes can leave behind dark spots. Learning to minimize discoloration and manage post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is a key step toward having brighter skin.
Dullness can also be caused by a lack of hydration. Think of a plump grape versus a shrivelled raisin. The water content in the fresh fruit contributes to its glossy surface, whereas the dried version is notably matte and covered with nooks and crannies, not unlike fine lines and wrinkles.
Last but not least, environmental aggressors such as pollution and UV light can also decrease luminosity by inflicting free radical damage on skin that interferes with collagen and melanin production. Accumulating unprotected exposure overtime will alter your skin’s texture and tone.
Now that you know what your skin is up against when it comes to dullness, you’re primed to crank up your complexion’s radiance. Incorporating skincare products into your daily routine that put key brightening ingredients in the spotlight is the best plan to boost luminosity. And you can do it with a few simple steps
Start by adding a moisturizer that hydrates and so much more, such as an azelaic acid cream. With the ability to mildly exfoliate and multi-task, the best azelaic acid products put the buzzy antioxidant powerhouse to work for inflammatory skin conditions. Formulated to enhance radiance, texture and clarity, SkinCeuticals Phyto A+ Brightening Treatment contains 3% azelaic acid, which has been shown to modulate cell turnover and reduce clogged pores and excess oil by lessening the overall thickness of the outer layer of the skin. The hero ingredient also has antibacterial properties, making it a must-have for anyone prone to breakouts. In this unique gel-cream texture, azelaic acid is blended with 2% alpha arbutin (which improves discoloration, including post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), a 5.75% phyto botanical blend and a mix of six potent extracts including cucumber, olive and mulberry. Proven to brighten the look of post-blemish marks by 20%, this soothing oil-free treatment also improves rough skin texture by 19% for an all-around radiance uptick.
Curious about using azelaic acid for sensitive skin? You’re good to go! It has anti-inflammatory properties that deliver soothing results for reactive skin. For an extra-calming boost, apply the treatment after a spritz of SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Essence Mist. This lightweight spray is loaded with botanical extracts, hyaluronic acid and glycerine, hydrating and immediately reducing visible redness due to dryness.
Along with azelaic acid, there are two other major skincare ingredients that can help make dull, tired skin a thing of your past. The first is vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid. The mighty antioxidant has long been proven to provide advanced environmental protection by neutralizing free radical damage, leading to an improvement in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, a loss of firmness and—wait for it—a brighter complexion. Adding a vitamin C serum to your morning routine is easy to do, but choosing a formula that suits your skin type is essential. SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic is best suited to dry, normal and sensitive skin, while SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF is a good choice for normal to combination skin. If your complexion is oily or blemish-prone, try SkinCeuticals Silymarin CF. It’s oil-free and blended with salicylic acid to refine pores and reduce the formation of blemishes.
Retinol is the other derm-approved must-have ingredient that can unlock brighter, more radiant skin. It is universally recommended as part of an effective evening skincare routine. SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5 Refining Night Cream features 0.5% pure retinol, a vitamin A derivative that helps to promote healthy cell turnover while improving the look of fine lines, wrinkles and discoloration. A go-to for those with acne, the heavy-hitting ingredient can also help address pores and minimize blemishes. Now, if your question is “Can I use retinol with azelaic acid?” The answer is yes! Using an azelaic acid cream and SPF in the morning and a retinol product at night is the ultimate 24/7 power play that will keep dull, tired skin at bay while securing a brighter, more radiant future.
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