The Ordinary Vs Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid (Which Is Best?)

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I developed some acne breakouts on my forehead which isn’t a surprise to me because I have an oily skin type, which makes me vulnerable to acne breakouts due to excessive sebum (oil) production and accumulation of dead skin cells. So, I decided to get rid of these pesky zits using two famous azelaic acid products which people have been raving about, which inspired this content The Ordinary vs Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid.

My intention is to test these two formulas on my existing acne and see for sure which is best. But before further proceedings, let’s know what azelaic acid really is.

The Ordinary Vs Paula's Choice Azelaic Acid
My acne-affected forehead

What Is Azelaic Acid?

Azelaic acid is a potent skincare ingredient, it’s naturally occurring acid found in grains such as barley, wheat, and rye. It’s mostly used to treat acne and rosacea as it’s rich in anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. This potent skincare ingredient averts future occurrence of acne breakouts and clean bacteria from the pores that causes acne. It further mildly exfoliates the skin (getting rid of dead skin cells), minimizes redness, reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentations and improve overall skin texture and radiance. You can learn more about azelaic acid.

So, are you battling with terrible acne breakouts and wants to give azelaic acid a trial but confused between The Ordinary or Paul’s choice of which to use? Then worry no more, as our comparison between these two formulas will give you a choice.

Therefore in this article, we’ll be comparing the two most popular azelaic acid facial creams which are The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% and Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid Booster 10%. This comparison is solely based on experimental testing on my existing acne.

The Ordinary vs Paula’s Choice azelaic acid are two most popular azelaic acid creams that has been dominating in the skincare world. These two formulas comes from reputable brands that keeps striving to ensure to produce nothing put quality skincare products that will address people’s skin concerns. Keep reading to know more on these two azelaic formulas.

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%.

The Ordinary Vs Paula's Choice Azelaic Acid

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The Ordinary is a very reputable brand that has won the heart of many skincare addicts. One special thing about this credible brand isn’t the fact that they produce quality skincare products to address people’s skin concern but the incredible pocket friendly price of their products. DECIEM is the parent company of The Ordinary (based in Canada) and the biggest seller so far in the industry with quality skincare products at ridiculously cheap prices. And their Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% formula isn’t an exception.

Their formula combines azelaic acid and silicone. While azelaic acid does its job, silicone being an occlusive will help form a breathable barrier at the top layer of the skin to avoid moisture-loss therefore influencing skin adequate hydration, fill in lines and pores and protect the skin from chemical exposure and other environmental damages.

I know you may be concerned with silicone mentioned as one of the content ingredients in The Ordinary azelaic acid cream, but not to worry as silicone ingredients do not clog pores. According to Dr Lorenzo Branca., board-certified dermatologist in University Hospital Basel, Switzerland, “silicones can be imagined like a net. They form a “breathable” semi-occlusive layer and do not clog pores,”.

Silicones have a particular molecular structure with big gaps between each molecules. Skin can still sweat, and active ingredients can also reach the skin through these gaps. Silicones has no pore-clogging attributes — so, you absolutely have nothing to be concerned about.

Packaging.

The Ordinary Vs Paula's Choice Azelaic acid

There is nothing really fancy about the packaging, so simple and sweet. The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% formula comes in a 30ml tube (which takes an arch color), packaged with a white packet. The tube is properly sealed and has easy usage, all you have to do is apply some light pressure on the tube to press-out the quantity you need to apply.

Texture.

The Ordinary Vs Paula's Choice Azelaic acid

The texture is thick and creamy, with a whitish color, but spreads effortlessly on the skin without leaving a greasy residue. It absorbs quickly, but leaves the skin feeling a bit dry. It doesn’t feel heavy on my oily skin and I’m sure it won’t on a dry skin too. It’s highly advised to apply a moisturizer a minute after applying this formula on your skin.

Size.

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% formula comes in a 30ml tube size.

Ingredients List.

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.

Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster.

The Ordinary Vs Paula's Choice Azelaic Acid

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Paula’s Choice on the other hand is also another very reputable and famous brand in the skincare industry. Over the years, this brand has been dedicated in producing quality skincare products to address numerous skin concerns. Their Azelaic Acid Booster formula is top notch and does what it really says. With lots of positive reviews about this formula made me also want to give it a try and see for myself. This formula combines azelaic acid, salicylic acid, licorice extract and other powerhouse ingredients not only to target and get rid of acne, but also improve overall skin tone and texture.

  • Salicylic acid: The Salicylic acid content in this formula helps to combat acne. Salicylic acid is a BHA. It is an oil-soluble acid which cuts through oil in the skin to treat acne, as it unclog the hair follicles (pores), breakdown oil build-up, help the skin shed dead skin cells from the top layer, decrease redness and decongest the pores of pore-clogging impurities.
  • Licorice extract: Licorice extract is a skin soothing ingredient, as it helps soothe the skin and also contains anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to regulate the production of oil thereby help reducing production of sebum which addresses the issues of clogged pores which is the main cause of acne breakouts. It also inhibits melanin production in the skin thereby visibly enhancing skin radiance which addresses the issues of hyperpigmentations.
  • Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride: This skin replenishing ingredient is a mixture of fatty acids and waxes. It creates a barrier on the skin’s surface, which helps to reduce skin dryness by decreasing the loss of moisture. It non-comedogenic. (It does not clog pores) and is suitable for use by people with oily skin.
  • Allantoin & Bisabobol: both ingredients are skin-soothing. They have anti-inflammatory properties that soothe redness and irritations.

Packaging.

The Ordinary Vs Paula's Choice Azelaic Acid

Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid Booster comes in a simple white tube with a green cover. No fancy packaging. The tube is easy to use, just apply a little pressure to pop out the amount you need to apply.

Texture.

The Ordinary Vs Paula's Choice Azelaic Acid

The texture is also creamy and thick (but not too thick as compared to The Ordinary Version). It spreads nicely when applied on the skin with no greasy feeling and feels soothing on the skin. With quick absorption, and leaves no residue behind. But you still have to apply a moisturizer after use.

Size.

The Paula’s Choice Azelaic Booster comes in two sizes:

  • Travel size: 5ml.
  • Full size: 30ml.

Ingredients.

Water (Aqua), Azelaic Acid (skin-brightening/tone-improving), C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate (emollient), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (skin-replenishing), Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate (emollient), Glycerin (skin-replenishing), Cetearyl Alcohol (texture enhancer), Glyceryl Stearate (texture enhancer), Dimethicone (hydration/texture enhancer), Salicylic Acid (exfoliant), Adenosine (skin-restoring), Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract (skin-soothing), Boerhavia Diffusa Root Extract (skin-soothing), Allantoin (skin-soothing), Bisabolol (skin-soothing), Cyclopentasiloxane (texture enhancer), Xanthan Gum (stabilizer), Sclerotium Gum (stabilizer), Propanediol (hydration), Butylene Glycol (hydration), Phenoxyethanol (preservative).

My Review On The Ordinary Vs Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid.

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% Formula.

To ensure I get a precise review on the efficacy of these two wonderful brands, I had to apply each of them on different sides of my acne-affected forehead. I applied The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% Formula on the left side of my forehead and Paul’s Choice Booster on the right side just to see how effective each are towards treating acne.

The Ordinary Vs Paula's Choice Azelaic Acid
My acne-affected forehead

I applied this formula at night only after cleansing and toning, then i seal off with my moisturizer (but you can choose to apply both morning and night) don’t forget to follow up with a sunscreen if you apply it during the day.

Result.

After 1 week and 2 days of application (and usage) the result was miraculous, all my acne (pimples) at the left side of my forehead dried off and healed. See a picture of my left-side forehead below.

The Ordinary Vs Paula's Choice Azelaic Acid
All acne-breakouts cleared 🙂

The Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster Formula.

While I was applying The Ordinary Azelaic Acid formula on the left side of my forehead, simultaneously I was also applying Paula’s Choice at the right side of my forehead. I do this every night with these two brands.

Just like I did with the Ordinary formula, i applied the Paula’s Choice Booster Formula at night-time only — after cleansing and toning my face (using a facial toner), then I apply my moisturizer to seal in moisture.

Result.

The Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid Booster Formula cleared the acne at the right side of my forehead in less than 1 week (unlike The Ordinary Azelaic Acid formula which took 1 week and 2 days to heal my acne).

To be precise, the Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid Booster healed my acne in 4-5 days of application which was amazing and at the same time left me dumbfounded.
See a picture of my right-side forehead below.

The Ordinary Vs Paula's Choice Azelaic Acid
All acne-breakouts gone🙂

My Final Verdict On The Ordinary Vs Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid.

In research to know the efficacy of these two brands inspired the production of this content (the ordinary vs paula’s choice azelaic). And with my careful and in-depth experimentation, I have come to conclusion that both The Ordinary and Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid Cream got rid of the acne on my forehead, however Paula’s Choice version was more faster.

It took The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 9-days (1 week and 2 days) to clear the acne at the left-side of my forehead, while it took Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid cream 4-5 days to clear the acne at the right side of my forehead, and it all makes sense because the Paula’s Choice version contains salicylic acid — a powerful oil-soluble ingredient that penetrates into the pores, breaks down oil build up, accumulated dead skin cells and kills acne. The combination of salicylic acid and azelaic acid made Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid formula very powerful.

See a picture of my forehead below after using both brand Azelaic Acid.

The Ordinary Vs Paula's Choice Azelaic acid
All acne on my forehead gone. 🙂

In Conclusion Of The Ordinary Vs Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid.

Both The Ordinary and Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid formula are effective towards getting rid of acne and improving skin texture. If you absolutely need to use or add azelaic acid into your skincare routine to deal with acne, rosacea, hyperpigmentation, and post-inflammatory erythema and you’re on tight-budget and you don’t mind silicon-ey texture, then you can go for The Ordinary Azelaic Acid formula. However, if you can afford to spend a little more, then Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid Booster worths every penny.

Using a product with 10% azelaic acid alone is effective but using a formula with the combination of 10% azelaic acid plus salicylic acid and other powerhouse ingredients is a multi-action and will be 3X more effective. 

What I Like About The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% Formula.

  • Budget-friendly.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Absorbs quickly.
  • Non-comedogenic.
  • Potent & effective.
  • Well packaged & tightly sealed.
  • Contains no harmful substances.

What I Dislike About The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% Formula.

  • Leaves skin feeling a bit dry after application (applying a moisturizer will counteract the effect). 
  • Due to silicone content, some may find texture too heavy for them.

What I Like About Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster Formula.

  • Absorbs quickly.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Non-comedogenic.
  • Potent & effective.
  • Feels soothing on the skin.
  • Combines azelaic acid with other powerhouse skincare ingredients.
  • Well packaged & tightly sealed.
  • Contains no nasty ingredients.

What I Dislike About Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster Formula.

  • Expensive. (May not be suitable for everyone’s budget).

Possible Questions & Answers.

Q: What quantity of azelaic acid should I apply?

A: Just like you should apply retinoids, same should apply to azelaic acid too. Apply a pea size only, (the size of a bean) a little goes along way.

Q: How often should I apply azelaic acid?

A: In this azelaic acid experimental comparison review, I used azelaic acid everyday because my skin is already used to Retinol (which I have been using previously in the past, before testing out azelaic acid). So, for that fact, I was able to use azelaic acid everyday without problems.

However when it comes to you, whom may have never used azelaic acid before, we advice you should ease your way into it. Start by applying azelaic acid twice or thrice weekly (on a well cleansed skin) till your skin builds tolerance, then you can move your way up to applying every night or every other night.

Azelaic acid is a mild ingredient and most likely ideal for sensitive skin, all you need to do is ease your way into it, till your skin builds tolerance.

Q: Can azelaic acid be used in day-time and night-time?

A: Azelaic acid can also be used in the day-time (AM) and Night-time (PM) but we strongly advice you should follow up with a moisture-rich moisturizer afterwards and don’t forget to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen during the day to shield your skin against the UV rays of the sun.

UP NEXT: Here’s Retinol, The Final Bus-Stop To Acne.

 

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