Which Works Better: Azelaic Acid or Benzoyl Peroxide?

If your skin is acne-prone, you might have tried using benzoyl peroxide. This ingredient kills acne bacteria, but can also cause dryness and peeling.

Azelaic acid is a skincare game changer that also eliminates the bacteria that causes breakouts while gently turning over skin cells.

Learn more about benzoyl peroxide vs azelaic acid and find out which ingredient works better.

Woman Applying Face Serum Using Dropper Caring For Skin Indoors

Breaking Down Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid is already present on skin as a natural yeast byproduct and also naturally occurs in some grains.

The synthetic version of azelaic acid found in skincare products is strong enough to provide all of the antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and gentle exfoliating benefits of this ingredient.

While azelaic acid is a dicarboxylic acid that is gentler on skin than alpha-hydroxy and beta-hydroxy acids, it can still be drying in some formulations.

A cream base with a synthesis of moisturizing and hydrating ingredients reduces the risk of dryness that could otherwise result from daily applications of a medical-grade concentration of 14% azelaic acid.

Benefits of Benzoyl Peroxide

Benzoyl peroxide is a topical antibacterial treatment that kills the Cuti Bacterium acnes bacteria that causes breakouts.

This treatment works quickly to treat active breakouts, but can have side effects such as dryness, flaking or oil overproduction.

Almost every benefit of benzoyl peroxide comes with a drawback. You should be aware that skincare professionals only recommend this ingredient for short-term use and that it will not resolve the underlying causes of acne.

While benzoyl peroxide reduces oil levels on skin, it can also cause the sebaceous glands in your skin to produce more oil in an effort to regulate barrier function.

Whether you experience dryness or excessive oiliness, continuing to apply benzoyl peroxide to your skin is unlikely to resolve the issue. Azelaic acid does not eliminate oil, which prevents this side effect and allows for longer-lasting results.

The Advantages of Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid is a gentle alternative to benzoyl peroxide that provides unique anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.

Using azelaic acid to treat acne can have many of the same benefits as benzoyl peroxide without side effects, but could take longer to address active breakouts.

If you are looking for an acne treatment that is safe to use as long as necessary, look no further than azelaic acid.

As is the case with the best hair supplements for men, continuous treatment on a regular basis delivers the best results.

Over the course of a few months, azelaic acid can keep acne bacteria at bay, balance oil production, clear pores, promote skin cell turnover and reduce the visibility of discoloration or scarring.

When You Can Expect Results

You can expect to see some results from regular use of azelaic acid or benzoyl peroxide within four to six weeks. It can take anywhere from two to four months to get the full results from either ingredient.

The main difference between these ingredients is the condition of your skin during treatment. Most skin types, including sensitive skin, have fewer side effects and benefit more from azelaic acid.