What is Salicylic Acid?

salicyclic acid

What is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic acid is a desmolytic agent or more simply known as a peeling agent. It is oil soluble which means it can effectively disrupt cellular junctions and dissolve oil deep within pores. It is a safe and efficacious peeling agent for a number of skin concerns, including acne, freckles, photodamage, vulgaris, melasma, and lentigines.

The main component of Salicylic acid is the herbal extract found in the bark of a number of trees, including the willow tree, and in a number of fruits, grains, and vegetables. This ingredient has been used for thousands of years for medicinal and cosmetic purposes. Salicylic acid is also a BHA (beta-hydroxy acid). BHA’s are used in many different types of skincare and cosmetics products including acne-fighting products.

What does Salicylic Acid do for your skin?

Once salicylic acid is applied to the skin this oil-soluble agent deeply penetrates the skin and works to shed, exfoliate and dissolve the dead skin cells, oil, sebum, dirt, and debris.

What skin concerns can Salicylic acid be used for?

Salicylic acid helps;

  • shed dead cells
  • reduce inflammation
  • prevent future breakouts
  • clear up breakouts
  • provide a peeling agent for acne prone skin
  • reduce mild acne by exfoliating the skin and keeping pores clear

What skincare products is salicylic acid typically found in?

  • Cleansers
  • Facewash
  • Face masks
  • Acid exfoliants
  • Toners

Can I use Vitamin C with salicylic acid?

Vitamin C is ascorbic acid, so layering it with Salicylic acid is not recommended. The two acids will create an unstable pH balance on your skin and may have different results from what the skincare product was intended for.

Can I use salicylic acid everyday?

Salicylic acid is suitable for everyday use however dependent on how your skin reacts it is important to remember that Salicylic acid reduces the production and presence of oil on your face so using it every day may have a drying effect and strip your skin of the natural oils it needs.

Continued use of salicylic acid will help to maintain clearer and clean pores which help to minimise acne, blackheads, whiteheads, and breakouts.

Talk with a doctor or dermatologist to see if salicylic acid is appropriate for your skin to use every day.

What is a natural source of salicylic acid?

Salicylic acid is derived from natural sources such as the willow tree bark.

Should I use salicylic acid in the morning or night?

One of the most popular Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs), Salicylic acid is a very common ingredient in many acne-fighting products and many skincare products. It is suitable for use both day and night.

When will l start to see results?

It can take several weeks of use for you to see its full effect. Check with your dermatologist if you aren’t seeing results after 6 weeks.

Salicylic acid products you may be interested in

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