The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% claims to improve skin texture, tone, and the appearance of blemishes with continued use.

However, because product claims aren't always what they are cracked up to be, ahead, we take a closer look into all the advantages and considerations attached to this product before you buy it.

Key Takeaways

  • Azelaic acid is the hero ingredient of The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%.
  • Azelaic acid has therapeutic efficacy in acne and hyper-pigmentary skin disorders. It is also safe to use during pregnancy.
  • However, over-the-counter azelaic acid isn't as strong as prescription azelaic acid.
  • Similarly, Azelaic acid can also cause side effects (burning, itching, stinging, and drying) in some people.

Serum for Hyperpigmentation, and Redness


The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

This is another product from The Ordinary that hosts an impressive variety of benefits. Azelaic acid is a brightening skincare ingredient known for minimizing acne, lightening hyperpigmentation, and reducing redness.

Skin types: All Skin Types
Best for: Fighting Acne and Evening Skin Tone
Tested on animals: No
How to use: After cleansing, apply the product to the face, neck, and chest. Follow up with a moisturizer.
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This product contains a 10% concentration of azelaic acid, a gentle exfoliator that has antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. The lightweight gel-cream helps to improve and brighten skin tone, as well as unclog pores and reduce blemishes for clear, smooth skin.


  • Oil-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Lightweight
  • Vegan and cruelty-free


  • Some reviewers note that this product can be drying

In addition to its ability to fight acne, azelaic acid is often used to treat rosacea to promote a more even skin tone.

Benefits of Using Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid is an ingredient that is incorporated into skincare products.

This ingredient has positive impacts on skin health, as it has therapeutic efficacy in acne and hyper-pigmentary skin disorders [1].

Topical azelaic acid has also been used to treat rosacea and can also be used to brighten skin tone [2].

Product Overview

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% uses azelaic acid at a concentration of 10%.

This product can be applied to the face and neck areas and contains a lightweight, cream-gel texture.


The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% claims to improve skin texture, tone, and the appearance of blemishes with continued use.

The product is supposed to be well tolerated by all skin types and acts as an effective antioxidant.

Key Ingredients

1. Azelaic Acid 10%

Azelaic acid is the hero ingredient of The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%.

Azelaic acid is produced by yeast that is a normal part of the human flora. Because it is anti-inflammatory and comedolytic, it has been used to treat inflammatory skin conditions like acne and rosacea [2].

The recommended dosage amount of azelaic acid is 20% cream for acne vulgaris, and 15% gel for acne rosacea. However, be advised that this amount only applies to prescription-strength azelaic acid [2].

How to Use

  • Apply an even layer of The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% onto clean, dry, and unbroken skin.
  • When applying the product onto the skin, avoid contact with the eye and mouth areas.
  • If product causes irritation, discontinue using the product, and consult with a physician or dermatologist.

When to Apply

The brand suggests using this product in the morning and evening hours. If worn during the daytime, ensure that you are wearing (and reapplying) sunscreen.

Other Tips

1. Azelaic Acid Is Safe To Use During Pregnancy

Because azelaic acid is a well-studied ingredient, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Roberta Del Campo, MD, says "it is well-tolerated by sensitive skin types and can be used during pregnancy."

2. Azelaic Acid Can Cause Side Effects

While azelaic acid is generally tolerated by all skin types, it can cause mild side effects (dryness, stinging, burning, and itching of the skin) in some people [3].

To avoid any discomfort, board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Jessie Cheung, MD suggests "applying azelaic acid with a moisturizer if you have dry or sensitive skin."

3. Over-The-Counter Azelaic Acid Act Differently Than Prescription-Strength Azelaic Acid

"Numerous studies show the effectiveness of azelaic acid," Dr. Del Campo explains. "However, the research is for prescription-strength formulas with 15- to 20-percent concentrations. Over the counter versions typically contain less (The Ordinary version has 10%)."

4. You Can Use The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% With Other Skin Care Products

"Azelaic acid remains stable when combined with other products such as niacinamide, vitamin C, and hydroxy acids," Dr. Cheung explains.

What To Expect

While products containing azalea acid are generally safe for all skin types to use, it can cause dryness, stinging, burning, and itching in some people.

If you experience any of these side effects when using The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%, discontinue use of the product, and consult with a physician or a dermatologist.

What Experts Think

1. Dr. Roberta Del Campo, MD

"The azelaic acid inside this product can help soothe sensitive skin, improve redness due to inflammation, lighten discoloration of the skin (melasma, sun spots, acne scars), and add a beautiful glow due to its mild exfoliative properties," says Dr. Del Campo.

2. Dr. Azza Halim, MD

"Azelaic acid works well for oily skin," says board-certified physician and anesthesiologist Dr. Azza Halim, MD. "However, sensitive skin types should do a patch test before using, as it can cause mild burning in some people."

3. Dr. Jessie Cheung, MD

What is the difference between prescription-strength and over-the-counter azelaic acid?

"Although most of the research has been conducted on prescription-strength formulas with 15-20% concentrations, there are over-the-counter versions that are milder, but take longer to show results," Dr. Halim explains. "Typically, prescription results are seen in two months, whereas in over-the-counter products need 3-4 months for results to be seen, and many times, need to be used in conjunction with other topicals for efficacy."

Does azelaic acid make your skin sun sensitive?

"Azelaic acid acts as an exfoliant, but does not increase light sensitivity as retinol products do," Dr. Halim says. "However, when using azelaic acid products, you should still wear sunscreen to protect your skin from damage."

Can pregnant women use The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%?

"Azelaic acid is also one of few topicals that are safe to use during pregnancy," Dr. Halim adds. "However, you should always consult with your OB-GYN, before using any kind of new product."

The Bottom Line

Because azelaic acid is generally well-tolerated by all skin types, The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% can be a great product choice for those looking to achieve smoother and brighter skin.

However, be advised that over-the-counter products aren't as strong as prescription azelaic acid, and take a few months to show results.

Similarly, because products containing this acid may cause side effects in some people, it's best to consult with a physician or dermatologist if this product causes irritation and inflammation.