Salicylic acid is an active ingredient used to fight clogged pores and acne.
Thanks to its fat soluble nature, salicylic acid is easily able to get into your pores and dissolve the oil and dead skin cells that can otherwise contribute to breakouts and blackheads.
Additionally, salicylic acid can be used to treat skin texture and sebaceous filaments.
This article will explain everything you need to know about salicylic acid and how to use it in your skincare routine.
What is salicylic acid?
Salicylic acid is an exfoliating acid and popular active ingredient commonly found in skincare products.
Also known as a beta hydroxy acid, salicylic acid is the gold standard in treating acne and clogged pores thanks to its fat soluble nature.
Generally, salicylic acid is better suited for people with sensitive skin than other acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide.
In fact, you may want to avoid layering salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide together.
You will commonly find salicylic acid included in products like cleansers and toners to treat textured skin and blackheads.
How does salicylic acid work?
By nature of its molecular structure, salicylic acid is lipophilic.
“Lipophillic” means “fat loving” – basically, salicylic acid is able to dissolve other fatty materials.
Therefore, salicylic acid molecules easily get into your pores to dissolve oil and dead skin cells, allowing them to be flushed out.
In fact, mandelic acid is often compared to salicylic acid due to this same property.
By getting rid of these oily substances, salicylic acid products can help cut down on breakouts for people with acne prone skin.
Additionally, salicylic acid targets whiteheads, blackheads, and sebaceous filaments.
Salicylic Acid Benefits
Salicylic acid has tons of benefits for people with oily skin, such as:
Fighting skin texture
Treating seborrheic dermatitis
Getting rid of blackheads
Studies show salicylic acid even has anti inflammatory properties and can help treat mild acne.
How to Use Salicylic Acid
To use salicylic acid, you’ll first have to determine through which type of skincare product you want to add it into your routine:
Acne spot treatment
Generally, it’s best to start with the most gentle form of a skincare product when trying a new active ingredient.
You can also find salicylic acid body washes to help treat acne on your back and shoulders.
Can I use salicylic acid every day?
Yes, you can use salicylic acid every day as long as it does not cause irritation for you.
If you want to use salicylic acid every day, the best method would be to use an exfoliating cleanser.
Generally, I do not recommend using salicylic acid leave-on products every day as they can cause negative side effects.
Salicylic Acid Side Effects
While it is effective at treating acne, too much salicylic acid can cause skin irritation.
Common side effects from salicylic acid can include:
That being said, you can avoid irritation by using topical salicylic acid only as frequently as your skin allows and applying moisturizer afterwards.
Is salicylic acid good for skin?
Yes, salicylic acid is good for skin.
Beta hydroxy acids like salicylic acid are good chemical exfoliants which can help control excess oil and even out texture on your skin’s surface.
It is also effective at fighting acne and can be used in your skin care routine in the form of a cleanser, leave-on exfoliant, or moisturizer.
Is salicylic acid bad for skin?
Salicylic acid is not inherently bad for skin.
That being said, salicylic acid can cause dryness and skin irritation if used too frequently.
To reduce your chances of experiencing these negative side effects, use salicylic acid products at a frequency that your skin can tolerate.
Further, be sure to moisturize after using any skincare products with salicylic acid.
What is salicylic acid good for?
Salicylic acid is good for treating oily skin conditions such as:
You can treat all of these conditions with a salicylic acid face wash or toner.
What does salicylic acid help with?
Salicylic acid helps with treating acne in addition to skin texture and sebaceous filaments.
Summary: Salicylic Acid in Skincare
In conclusion, salicylic acid is a popular chemical exfoliant used in skincare.
People with oily and acne prone skin can benefit from using it their skincare routines for conditions like:
To start using salicylic acid in your skincare routine, try using a cleanser with 2% salicylic acid in the evenings and see if it works for you.