Everyone wants radiant skin. We buy product after product to help with any skin issues we have, in order, to get the radiant skin that we want. Your face is what you are presenting to the world and plays a big part in your confidence level. Which is why we all strive for that radiant skin. I strive for it too.
Gold standard for radiant skin
We have probably all heard that Retin-A is the best way to achieve the best skin. Retin-A can be harsh for a lot of skin types. In fact, most people have trouble with irritation and peeling. It also takes a long time to work. Not seeing results even after a year, can be a real struggle for most people. However, it isn’t the only way to improve your skin and some products can work along with retinol and Retin-A products.
One of those ingredients is Azelaic acid.
This is one of the most prescribed ingredients from dermatologists and some general doctors. The reasons are simple, it works for a variety of skin conditions. It is safe for most people to use, so little risk. Even in pregnancy, it can be used. Side effects are usually minimum (most common being a slight stinging for a few moments after applying).
It has a number of uses, including, killing bacteria, reducing hyperpigmentation, reducing inflammation, and reducing irritation in the skin. Azelaic acid also promotes healthy bacteria in the skin. Most people will see results with this ingredient within weeks of use.
Does anyone out there have melasma spots? This could be what you are looking for, for your skin. It works on melasma (hyperpigmentation) in the skin. These ingredients take time to work on these stubborn spots, but it does improve it over time. (It takes at least 6 months to see mild improvement with most serums for hyperpigmentation).
The problem with this ingredient is that it has to be in a concentration of at least 10% to see the best results. 15% to 20% is better for some conditions and does work faster but you have to get that in a prescription, Finacea is one of the prescription brands it can run from $300 to $500 depending on your insurance.
Although, I know people who spend that much on their face cream and their cream doesn’t have the proven results. There is also a generic for about $30 – $75.00 depending on insurance, along with an office visit every 6 months and the time. Most people just don’t want to do that.
Acids in General
As I have mentioned in other posts about acids in skincare, they have the most noticeable effects on the skin. They are derived from items in nature. There are so many acids that can be used in skincare and they all perform a different function. There is no need to be scared or shy away from acids in skincare. They are in almost every skincare product.
More on Azelaic acid
This acid is no different than other acids as it is also found in nature. Azelaic acid is found in grains such as barley, wheat, and rye. As mentioned before, it has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, which means it can help diminish the bacteria that cause acne and rosacea. If you suffer from Rosacea you know how frustrating those outbreaks of full-on red, bumpy cheeks can be, Azelaic acid works on these issues.
As I age I do see more inflammation in my skin. My skin is just more reactive to heat, cold, allergies, and even an injury. Azelaic acid takes down the inflammation in the skin and makes a much better environment for the growth of good bacteria.
Azelaic acid would come right behind Retinol (Vitamin A) in skincare in my book. It has had a lot of studies as well. It is a proven ingredient in large and small studies. I am not sure why this medication hasn’t been released in the 15% to 20% as an OTC by now. It has been an RX for a number of years without changes to it and the risks of misuse are minimal. But until it is, I have found a product that works for my skin. Touch Bright & Clear Serum.
(I have been looking for some like this for quite some time. I tried The Ordinary, but the silicone feel dropped that product down on my list)
I have written previous posts about what an amazing ingredient Niacinamide is for the skin. Niacinamide is definitely a workhorse ingredient. Niacinamide helps build cells in the skin while also protecting them from environmental stresses, such as sunlight, pollution, and toxins. Treats acne by regulating oil and sebum production.
The drawback of this ingredient is that some people do have “stinging” on their skin when they first use it. The same goes for Azelaic Acid for that matter. However, it usually goes away after your skin gets acquainted with it. That may not be true for anyone that has an allergy to Niacin. So, if you have an allergy to Niacin, I would be careful using anything that has this ingredient.
If you want to know just how wonderful this ingredient is and how good it is just in its straight form, you can go to my blog on Niacinamide. Straight forms of this product with Zinc are made by The Ordinary or Makeup Revolution also makes one. It is not an expensive ingredient and it is in most CeraVe products as well.
Kojic acid is an acid that I haven’t mention before but that isn’t because this isn’t a very good ingredient. It is because it hasn’t been studied as much as the others I have mentioned, but just because it hasn’t been studied as much doesn’t make it less likely to improve your skin.
Kojic acid is a naturally occurring metabolite derived from mushroom-like fungi during fermentation. It targets melasma, hyperpigmentation, sun spots, and age spots.
We are up to three ingredients in this product that target uneven skin coloring from everything from rosacea, melasma, etc. As we age, we, unfortunately, see more and more of these issues appearing on our skin. Both men and women see this condition in their skin.
This acid has been used in Japanese skincare for a very long time. It is in so many of their products and here in the US we are just seeing it appear in a number of our beauty products as well.
Tranexamic acid in skincare helps improve the appearance of discoloration. It also helps improve the rate of cell regeneration. Tranexamic acid protects against environmental stressors. There is a study on Tranexamic acid cream affects against Ultraviolet B induced Photoaging.
Yes, we are on to the 4th ingredient in this product that targets discoloration and hyperpigmentation.
I am not as experienced with Tranexamic acid because I don’t think that I have any products that contain it. This would be the first.
So far in my experiments with trying to find an OTC product that comes closest to Finacea, this is the closest one for me. It has worked on taking down my rosacea flare-ups. It does sting at first, but so did the RX.
Another bonus of this product is that it can be paired with almost anything. So, I can use my other products along with it and everything works well together. However, I don’t use it in my morning routine because it is a little sticky. I don’t really like that when applying my makeup. It just takes too long to dry down or there is a risk of pilling.
I use it in my nighttime routine, three to four times a week. I can apply it to a cleanly washed face. Use a small amount so sinks in properly. After that, I apply another new product that I will be posting about soon, CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum.
If you are having issues with uneven skin tone and quite a few of us do as we age. This may be worth trying out. It is only $10.95 on Amazon. It is currently not found on the Touch website as it is being reformulated. I certainly hope they don’t mess with the percentages of the main ingredients as outlined here.
Touch the brand
Touch is a clean product made in the USA. Cruelty-free as well. No, I am not affiliated with the company at all. I only know about the reformulation because I like the product and wanted to know why it wasn’t on their website anymore. That concerned me, so I contacted them and they responded.
They make their products in small batches so they are “fresh”. The products are PH balanced. Yes, I double-checked the ph on this product, although it wasn’t as critical as say Vitamin C, which needs to be at a certain ph.
I realize that the Touch serum and some of their other products have been sold out and they are reformulating some products. The Touch Brightening serum may be reformulated into a cream product so I will try it out when that product is available. However, if you want to try azelaic acid and I would recommend that you do. You can try: