The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% Review

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the ordinary azelaic acid suspension review for acne scarring

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Review

Texture, dark spots and redness are a common skin concern among many. One of the best ingredients to tackle these issues is Azelaic Acid. Although it’s also found in prescription-only formulations, there are plenty of OTC Azelaic Acid products to get the job done. One of the most popular (and top rated) is The Ordinary’s Azelaic Acid Suspension. Here’s the ultimate The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10 Review. 

It’s no secret that The Ordinary has changed the skincare industry by providing no-frills, well-formulated and researched products at a (super) affordable price point. Gone are the days of spending $80 on a product that has icky filler ingredients. With many best-sellers under their belt, The Ordinary has become a household name for those obsessed with all things skincare. And one of their most-loved products is the Azelaic Acid Suspension. With all the hype surrounding this product, it’s bound to get questions like “is it really that good?”

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10 Ingredients

The suspension has a relatively short ingredients list, especially when it comes to beneficial ingredients. Most of these ingredients are “filler” ingredients like preservatives or enhancers to give the product a nicer texture.

Aqua (Water), Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Dimethicone, Azelaic Acid, Dimethicone/Bis-Isobutyl Ppg-20 Crosspolymer, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Polysilicone-11, Isohexadecane, Tocopherol, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Isoceteth-20, Polysorbate 60, Triethanolamine, Ethoxydiglycol, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin.

  • Dimethicone – a silicone that gives the product a silky feel (kind of like a blurring or pore-filling primer). It also helps to create a barrier on the skin to lock in moisture and keep irritants out
  • Azelaic Acid – a superstar ingredient that can really do it all. From brightening and lightening to acne fighting, all the way to rosacea treating
  • Tocopherol – also known as Vitamin E, tocopherol is an antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from UV and other environmental damage. It also helps to moisturize, nourish and soothe the skin.

The rest of the ingredients in the Azelaic Acid Suspension are preservatives and enhancers to create a nice feel to the product.

Azelaic Acid Skin Benefits

Azelaic acid is a versatile ingredient that can have many benefits, from acne to rosacea. Here’s a look at all the benefits of azelaic acid:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Fades pigmentation
  • Antibacterial
  • Antioxidant
  • Treats acne (including fungal acne or acne caused by yeast overgrowth)
  • Treats rosacea
  • Exfoliates
  • Keratolytic

What Is The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension Good For?

the ordinary azelaic acid suspension 10 review for perioral dermatitis

Azelaic acid can treat a variety of skin issues. Here are some things that it does best:

  • Treating acne
  • Smoothing skin texture
  • Fading hyperpigmentation (sun spots, acne scars, etc)
  • Treating rosacea
  • Treats closed comedones

Azelaic Acid Side Effects

As with any kind of skincare treatment, there can be some side effects that come along with regular use. Here are some side effects you may experience when using Azelaic Acid:

  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Itchying
  • Dryness
  • Flaky skin

You’re most likely to experience these side effects if you’ve never used azelaic acid before or if you’ve never used a type of exfoliant before. The side effect should be short-lived and should go away in a few weeks after your skin adjusts to the new product. 

Azelaic Acid For Roseaca

Although it is usually recommended to use a concentration of 15% or higher for treatment of rosacea, Azelaic Acid can still be effective at treating rosacea at lower concentrations. It’s a great treatment to start out with to see if you rosacea responds to Azelaic Acid before moving up to higher concentration.

Azelaic acid is a great treatment for rosacea thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Not only can it help reduce the swelling associated with rosacea, it can also help to reduce redness, pustules and other inflammation associated with it.

Azelaic Acid For Acne

Since Azelaic Acid also has antibacterial, anti-keratolytic and anti-comedogenic properties, it can help with all sorts of acne from inflammatory acne all the way to closed comedones and skin texture issues.

It works by killing acne causing bacteria like Propionibacterium acnes as well as other types of bacteria. It also helps to prevent and treat closed comedones and other forms of clogged pores.

How Do You Use The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension?

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid can be used 2x a day, every day. With 10% Azelaic Acid, it’s more gentle than prescription only concentrations, which typically are 15-20% azelaic acid. Since it’s a lower concentration, you should be able to use it more often without any irritation or other issues.

The suspension should be used after cleansing and after thinner products like serums and before moisturizer. 

Tips for using The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension:

  • Use on dry skin and avoid using on broken skin or cuts/scrapes/wounds
  • Avoid the eye area when applying the product
  • Start off slow and use a couple days a week and work your way up to every day
  • Follow with moisturizer to keep skin from getting dry and irritated

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10 Review

Now let’s dig into the The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Review and see if it’s really worth the hype. The Ordinary Azelaic Acid suspension contains 10% azelaic acid, which has shown to be effective in treating both acne and rosacea. It has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties making it a great ingredient for all skin types, but especially those with acne. Azelaic acid can help to smooth skin texture, fight acne, unclog pores and reduce redness as well. 


The product comes in a basic squeeze tube in two different sizes: 30ml (1oz) or 100ml (3.4oz). It’s just a basic squeeze tube that gets the job done. Nothing fancy, but it can be hard to get all the product out when you get to the last bits, but that’s a problem with most squeeze tubes.

When it gets hard to get any product out, I’ll usually cut open the tube and then decant any product into a jar, that way I can use every last bit. 


As with anything from The Ordinary, this suspension is really affordable. 

30ml – $7.90

100ml – $22.50

Even with 2x daily use, this product lasts a really long time because you don’t need a ton of product, just a pea sized amount. 


how to apply the ordinary azelaic acid suspension 10

The texture of this product is the only downside to this product. It’s silicone based which makes it feel like you’re applying a slippery primer to your skin. It is also very gritty and you can feel the texture when applying the product. And if you accidentally apply too much, it will leave a gritty texture on your skin after it dries down. 

the ordinary azelaic acid review

My Experience

As someone who has always been a die-hard tretinoin fan, I always thought azelaic acid would be too weak to really do anything for my skin. And boy was I wrong!

A couple years ago I was diagnosed with perioral dermatitis and one of the treatments for it is azelaic acid. Enter The Ordinary. I picked this up and it was my first azelaic acid product I had ever used. 

Within a few days, I noticed a big difference. Not only in the dermatitis, but also my skin texture, brightness and even pore size. I never experienced dryness or irritation with this product, but my skin is pretty used to chemical exfoliants.

I’m really impressed with this product and cannot speak highly enough about it. It’s a great product! I love how much benefit it brings to my skin without all the irritation that comes along with retinols and other stronger exfoliants. The texture of this product isn’t the best, but that doesn’t outweigh the benefits I get from this product.

I have since been using Azelaic Acid in my routine for about 2 years now and my skin has completely transformed. Not only is my skin clearer, but my pores are smaller and the stubborn texture has disappeared. And as someone who used to religiously use tretinoin, I never though Azelaic Acid would do so much for my skin. I honestly wish I had taken some before and after photos!

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension Pros & Cons

the ordinary azelaic acid suspension 10% review

While it may seem like a no-brainer to go with this super affordable azelaic acid serum, there are some drawbacks to the product. Its texture is my number 1 issue with the product, and it may not be strong enough for some people.

Pros: affordable, oil-free, vegan, cruelty free

Cons: texture, can cause dryness/irritation if skin is sensitive

Can You Use Azelaic Acid With Other Actives?

Yes, but it’s not always a good idea, depending on your skin type and products. I’ve used the Azelaic Acid with other exfoliants like AHA, BHA, Vitamin C and retinols with no issues. However, I don’t usually recommend doing that unless your skin is tolerant and used to exfoliants.

Typically, if you are using other exfoliants in your routine, you want to separate them. For example, use a BHA in the morning and Azelaic Acid at night.

Related Post: Azelaic Acid Vs Salicylic Acid

Can I use the ordinary azelaic acid everyday?

Yes you can use The Ordinary’s Azelaic Acid everyday. It can be used up to 2x daily every day. If you’ve never used Azelaic acid before I would suggest starting off slow and working your way up to daily use just in case.

Although it’s gentler than the prescription forms, it can still cause irritation and dryness, depending on your skin.

Is azelaic acid suspension 10 good for acne scars?

Yes, the Azelaic Acid Suspension is great at treating acne scars. Azelaic acid helps to gently exfoliate the top layer of the skin which helps to lighten acne scarring and hyperpigmentation. It is also a tyrosinase inhibitor, which basically means it interferes with the production on melanin in the skin (melanin is what gives our skin color). So not only can it help fade existing hyperpigmentation, it can also prevent acne scarring.

It’s also important to note that azelaic acid can only help pigmented acne scars. It is not strong enough to treat indented scarring like icepick or boxcar scarring.

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10 Review: Wrap Up

One of the main benefits to this product is that it’s affordable, oil-free, vegan and cruelty free. It also has a wide range of benefits so that everyone can usually benefit from using azelaic acid. Some drawbacks are its strength for those with sensitive skin as well as having dryness/irritation if you’re not used to chemical exfoliants in your skincare routine yet. Another big drawback is the texture and gritty feel of the product. If you have experienced perioral dermatitis like I did, then azelaic acid can be an excellent treatment option for you, along with rosacea and acne. Was this The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% review helpful? Check out some of my other skincare reviews below.

Want to purchase The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Brightening Cream? Check out the links below!

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