REVIEW: AZA 20 GEL (AZELAIC ACID 20%)

Dr Sam Bunting said it is a multi talented acid and her most loved ones too. 

After all those AHA, BHA, PHA, LHA that I’ve tried, I’ve decided to give this pore-cleaning acid a go. Especially after I did an exfoliant/retinol fasting due to Botox, read here

Why I bought the gel instead of the cream format? 
Well, Dr Davin Lim once said that Azelaic Acid is best or most stable in a gel formulation. So I purchased this local product at Erha Apothecary for IDR 96,5K (30ml). 

Why 20%? 
Since I’ve been using Adapalene for quite some time now, I believe that my skin can take stronger percentage of actives. It’s just my opinion, though. If you’ve never tried actives and took stronger ones, better start low. 

How I incorporate this to my skincare routine? 
Twice a day, morning and night on clean and dry skin after cleanser and toner. I usually use two drops for the whole face. It absorbed so fast, let me tell you. Then I will apply moisturizer than finish with sunscreen (morning).   

Why apply on the whole face? 
To get the full benefit, obviously! It’s not just great for congested pores, it also improves radiance and a good anti-oxidant. And unlike Retinol, I applied Azelaic Acid directly on clean dry skin without the help of moisturizer, because it is way more gentler than Retinol. 

Plus points: it’s safe for pregnancy and breast-feeding, great for sensitive skin (because of its’ low irritant factor), it’s anti bacterial.

My thoughts: if you can’t deal with the purging of Retinol, you might want to try this. It might left a bit of a white cast and felt powdery if applied alone. But if you layer with serum and/or moisturizer, it’ll be fine. What I’ve experienced so far with Azelaic Acid, it didn’t make active acnes pop in one night like Retinol. It won’t make skin get worse first before it can clear up like Retinol. But it is slower in action, only for the patient ones. After two weeks of using AA religiously, I might say it brighten up my whole skin tone and it did treat my redness around my nose. I also can see my new acne marks fading (see before after pics below). So far, I’m enjoying using AA and considering it’s affordable and locally available, I guess I’m going to use this for 6 months (as recommended) and pause my retinol/adapalene treatment. AA didn’t completely make new acne stop (it’s not a miracle ingredient), but it did reduce sebum production and clogged pores.

IT LEFT A WHITE CAST
BEFORE (LEFT) & AFTER 2 WEEKS (RIGHT)

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA