We all must have heard about Salicylic Acid. It is a quite popular ingredient in the skincare industry for its exfoliant properties and effectiveness to tackle acne or breakouts. Applying chemicals or acids to your face shouldn’t be scary if you’re using them in the right concentrations. These acids when used in the lower concentration do wonders to your skin and help in fighting many skin concerns. What is SALICYLIC ACID? Salicylic Acid is a beta hydroxy acid that helps in reducing acne or breakouts by gently exfoliating the skin to the deeper level and clearing out the pores. It unclogs the pores by removing the dead skin cells, dirt, and excess sebum. Using skincare products containing salicylic acid helps in the reduction of blackheads, whiteheads, and also prevents future breakouts. It is an oil-soluble ingredient that penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin and removes all the dirt and excess oil. Salicylic Acid is great in tackling both inflammatory or non-inflammatory acne and acne scars as well as hyperpigmentation or dark spots. It is also an effective ingredient to treat other skin concerns like skin warts, corns, ringworms as well as dandruff on the scalp. Individuals with skin concerns like psoriasis, keratosis pilaris are recommended to add salicylic acid in their routine by their dermatologists. How does Salicylic Acid work on the skin? Salicylic acid works better on non-inflammatory acne-like blackheads or whiteheads than inflammatory acne-like pimples and pustules. The natural oil produced by our skin, also known as sebum, through sebaceous glands clogs the skin pores that lead to the formation of blackheads (open clogged pores) and whiteheads(closed clogged pores). These clogged pores are a home for many bacteria settling in them. If such clogged pores get inflamed, they get filled with pus, forming acne, pimples or pustules. Salicylic Acid helps in clearing out those clogged pores deeply and also helps in shedding old and dead skin cells. Salicylic acid benefits for skin:
  • Reduces inflammatory and anti-inflammatory acne
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation
  • Clears clogged pores
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Tightens skin pores
How should salicylic acid be used? Salicylic acid is available in different forms such as in the form of soaps, gels, serums, and face washes. Everyone has different skin types and skin requirements. Hence, the concentration of salicylic acid totally depends on the skin requirements and its conditions. However, it is always recommended to consult with your dermatologist before adding any new active ingredients to your skincare.
  • If you are using salicylic acid in a gel or soap form then 0.5-5% of it is recommended and should be used at least once per day.
  • If you are using it in a lotion, then 1-2% can be used and it is safe to use it 1-3 times a day.
  • When used as an ointment, then you should add at least 3-6% concentration and should be used as per the requirement.
  • If used in serum or solution then it is safe to use a minimum of 0.5-2% of salicylic acid and it is recommended to use it 3-4 times a week.
How to use salicylic acid in your daily skincare routine? Salicylic acid can be used daily if it is used in the correct percentage and at the correct time. Mostly it is recommended to use salicylic acid in the serum form specifically when you want to use it on a daily basis. But it should be noted that salicylic acid is recommended to use only once a day because of its exfoliation properties. It is also recommended to use salicylic acid during the night skincare routine because of its peeling off the superficial dead skin cells properties to reveal newer and younger skin cells. The skin cells are more prone to UV damage. It is recommended to put 2-3 drops of the serum containing salicylic acid on your face after cleansing and gently massage it till it gets absorbed into the skin. Allow the serum to soak into the skin for a minute or two before you layer it with other products. Applying a non-comedogenic moisturizer and sunscreen is always mandatory after applying this acid. It takes about 8-10 weeks for this active to show its magic, but again it depends on your skin type. Using salicylic acid for different skin concerns Because of its exfoliating properties, salicylic acid is great for oily acne-prone skin types. It sloughs off dead skin from the surface of the skin and removes the excess oil and also reduces the blackheads and whiteheads. So, if you are someone who is looking for an effective way to reduce whiteheads or blackheads then salicylic acid has got your back. Salicyclic acid is also the most recommended ingredient to fight acne and breakouts. Are there any side effects of using Salicylic Acid? Salicylic acid is the most recommended ingredient and is safe to use on all skin types. However, some side effects might happen to certain individuals. If you are using salicylic acid for the first time, you might experience some purging, which is completely normal. Purging is a reaction to an active ingredient that increases skin cell turnover rate and causes acne flare-up. This usually goes in 5-6 days. Make sure you always do patch testing before applying it to your face. If you are new to this ingredient then we recommend going with ease in the process. You can apply salicylic acid once a week and then slowly increase the frequency up to thrice a week. Deconstruct range of products with Salicylic Acid Deconstruct Pore Control Serum with 2% Salicylic Acid and 3% Niacinamide is an effective solution that helps in reducing whiteheads and blackheads, resulting in reducing the appearance of skin pores. It clears out the pores deeply and also helps in the excess sebum production giving glowing and acne-free skin. Hence, if someone has oily acne-prone skin then it is a must-have serum to add to your skincare. Conclusion Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that helps in treating both inflammatory and anti-inflammatory acne. It is naturally found in willow bark and contains a chemical named salicin. It is also the most recommended active ingredient suggested by most dermatologists if someone is facing acne problems.