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Is it OK to use Kojic Acid and Azelaic Acid?

 Is it OK to use Kojic Acid and Azelaic Acid?

When it comes to skincare ingredients, some are so well-regarded that everyone seems to be using them in their daily lives. On the other hand, there are active ingredients that fly under the radar and are well established in the beauty industry but are not yet household names or well-known. The focus of today’s blog post is on two underdogs: Azelaic Acid and Kojic Acid. What exactly do these ingredients do for the skin and how can they be used together?




In the next section, we’ll explain the benefits of these ingredients and how to effectively incorporate them into your daily skincare routine.


What is Kojic Acid?


Kojic acid is one of the lesser-known chemical peels in the fruit acid category. It is a byproduct of various mushrooms and fermented foods like soy sauce, rice wine, and sake. It is able to block an amino acid called tyrosine, which is responsible for the production of melanin. This makes kojic acid one of the most effective whitening and bleaching acids. Perfect for those suffering from sun damage, age spots, hyperpigmentation, and melasma. You’ll also find that kojic acid has antibacterial properties, making it an effective ingredient in fighting breakouts and acne. Kojic acid is very effective for acne and hyperpigmentation, but you will find that it can cause increased skin irritation, especially if you have dry, sensitive skin.


Due to its high potency, you can find kojic acid in concentrations of 1% or less in a variety of formulas. This high percentage means that this active ingredient can work effectively when applied to the skin (primarily hands and face) occasionally and for short periods of time. Depending on the product formulation will determine how kojic acid is used on the skin. Some formulations, such as soaps, cleansers, and face washes, contain effective amounts of the acid that should be rinsed off the skin immediately. For products that are left on the skin for a long time, you will find that kojic acid has limited effectiveness because it is poorly absorbed into the lower layers of the skin.


If you would like to learn more about kojic acid, you can learn more about this powerful substance at The Beauty Insiders.


What is Azelaic Acid?


This dicarboxylic acid is often confused with AHAs, but it is extracted from grains such as barley, wheat, and rye. Azelaic acid has antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a highly effective ingredient for fighting acne, uneven skin texture, hyperpigmentation, and more.


Azelaic acid removes the top layer of skin and the accumulation of dead skin cells, dirt, bacteria, and other impurities. All of this can lead to skin imperfections such as blackheads and skin flakes. Signs of premature skin aging increase, and fine lines and wrinkles become more noticeable.


Azelaic acid is known as one of the gentlest acids and can be used effectively by people with sensitive skin. Azelaic acid also has unique properties that make it particularly effective for people with darker skin tones. The powerful acid can fight pigmentation spots on black or dark skin without the added risk of sensitivity and irritation.


You can learn more about azelaic acid at The Beauty Insiders, where we have blog posts on its benefits, what it does for your skin, and the best ingredients to use together.


Can you use kojic acid and azelaic acid together?

Yes, but only if you apply them to your skin correctly. Both acids have similar pH levels, with both being more acidic and altering the skin's natural pH, causing irritation and weakening the skin barrier, which can lead to skin damage. There are a few different ways to use kojic acid and azelaic acid. Here are examples of effective combinations.


Allow about 30 minutes between applications

This time will allow the skin and pH levels to stabilize, preventing unwanted side effects or irritation. Ideally, I recommend using both products in the evening, as this limits exposure to further free radical damage, such as UV rays, pollution, and bad weather.


Alternate the days you use each acid

By alternating the days you use each acid, you will get the best results without the risk of irritation. Again, I recommend only applying the acids to the skin at night, so you can have peace of mind. Avoid increased itching and irritation.


Use them at different times of the day

Instead of alternating, you can use each acid at different times of the day. Start using azelaic acid in your morning routine, and don’t forget to apply SPF for extra protection. This means the gentler acid can work on the skin throughout the day. You can then apply kojic acid in the evening, which is more effective and less likely to cause irritation. with UV rays.


As with all skincare ingredients, it’s important to make sure your skin benefits from the new ingredients you add to your routine. Therefore, it’s important to consult a doctor or dermatologist before using any new ingredients or formulas.


Is Kojic Acid an AHA?

Yes, it does, although it's not as well-known as glycolic or lactic acid. Kojic acid works on the surface of the skin to remove the buildup of dead skin cells, dirt, and debris. This reveals new, radiant skin, makes the complexion appear radiant and healthy, and strengthens the skin barrier to prevent further damage. It also penetrates the lower dermis to remove excess sebum and bacterial buildup from the pores, helping to maintain skin clarity and overall healthy complexion.


The final property of kojic acid is that it prevents amino acids from overproducing melanin, which can cause darkening of the skin and signs of melasma and hyperpigmentation. Kojic acid is a highly effective whitening ingredient, but it can cause increased irritation, especially after chemical exfoliation of the skin's surface. So, as I've already stressed, it's important to wear SPF every day for extra sun protection.

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