The standard for azelaic acid in pharma &

Skin care
anti acne, rosacea and skin lightning

for anti acne

Azelaic acid is considered as the rising star for anti-acne products. The use of azelaic acid as anti-acne ingredient is highly favourable compared to the traditional anti-acne ingredients, as the side effects are minimal and can easily be controlled by adjustment of the concentration azelaic acid in the cream or gel.

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Anti acne

for rosacea

Azelaic acid has been demonstrated to be effective for the treatment of rosacea. It reduces inflammatory lesions and erythema in rosacea patients. The major advantage of azelaic acid is that it lacks the side effects of the pharmaceutical ingredients.

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skin lightening

Azelaic acid is advantageously used for skin lightening processes. It can be used both for integral skin lightening to obtain a more radiant complexion, but also to fight “old-age spots”. One of the major advantages of using azelaic acid for skin lightening is the fact that it not interfere with any of the bodily processes. This is contrary to virtually all other skin lightening products that exhibit sincerely side reactions that are detrimental for human health, or are insufficiently selective.

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Azelaic acid (1,7-hepanedicarboxylic acid) is a naturally occurring dicarboxylic acid. It occurs amongst others in cereals like wheat, barley and rye. Extracts of these cereals have been used since 3000 years in Ayurveda products to treat hyperpigmentation (skin lightening). Azelaic acid also exhibits bactericidal properties, and was shown to be very effective for the treatment of acne vulgaris. Azelaic acid has also been shown to be effective for the treatment of baldness.

Azelaic acid obtained from natural resources is not commercially available; the extraction process is very difficult and expensive. On the other hand, azelaic acid can also be produced by ozonisation of oleic acid. Ozonisation is a hazardous reaction that can easily run out of control. The alternative is oxidation of oleic acid with peracetic or performic acid. This route goes via the 9,10-epoxide, followed by subsequent oxidation of the epoxide. The oxidation of oleic acid results in the formation of azelaic acid and nonanoic acid. Oleic acid required is obtained from hybrid sunflower oil and milk thistle oil. This choice of starting material enables to produce a grade of azelaic acid of more than 99% purity where regular azelaic grades are specified at 85-90%.

Azelaic acid is an odourless, white and highly crystalline solid with a melting point of 110ºC. It is soluble in glycerol and glycols, but poorly soluble in water (2,1 g/l). The solubility of azelaic acid is pH dependant; the mono- and disodium salts are significantly better. Also micro-emulsions based on sorbitan esters using glycerol and lauryl alcohol as co-surfactants enable to dissolve azelaic acid.

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