The many azelaic acid uses are unique in the cosmetic & cosmeceutical industry. Azelaic acid is best defined as a cosmeceutical ingredient, what means that it shows both cosmetic and pharmaceutical properties. Azelaic acid exhibits superior performance for skin lightening, treatment of acne, control of rosacea, stimulates regrowth of hair and reduces redness and hyperpigmentation.
Azelaic acid is beneficial when used for skin lightening and brightening or to maintain under control any hyperpigmentation process. Azelaic acid is also used for the treatment of melasma, lentigo maligna and other disorders of hyperpigmentation. Azelaic acid is also effective for hypermelanosis caused by physical or photochemical agents, lentigo maligna melanoma as well as other disorders characterized by abnormal proliferation of melanocytes.
Azelaic acid is believed to function on the basis of its antimicrobial activity and normalization of keratinization. Keratinization means the process by which epithelial cells mature as they move towards the skin surface and then desquamated. The European Union considers azelaic acid as a cosmetic ingredient that can be applied without concentration restrictions.
Azelaic acid has been demonstrated to be effective for the treatment of rosacea. It is available as a cream or a hydrogel. It reduces inflammatory lesions and erythema in rosacea patients and also inhibits neutrophilic ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). In the neutrophil system azelaic acid inhibits the ROS formation in a dose-dependent manner, markedly decreasing the number of free radicals.
Azelaic acid is a well-known inhibitor for 5a-reductase and is therefore able to inhibit the conversion of testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. Due to the relative absence of dihydrotestosterone regression of the hair follicle will take place (the catagen stage), and subsequently hair generation will take place (the anagen stage).
Azelaic acid is proven to inhibit the 5a-reductase which is the enzyme that will convert testosterone to 5a-dihydrotestosterone which is the major cause of hair loss. Basically if the dihydrotestosterone is eliminated hair loss will be stopped or minimized. Products containing Azelaic Acid, vitamin B6, and Pyridoxine hydrochloride, in low doses show a 90% reduction in this 5a-reductase activity leading to reduction of hair loss and/or many times regrowth.
Azelaic acid has the ability to even out the skin pigmentation, improving the tone and decreasing the redness thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.
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