If you're a skincare aficionado like us, this isn't the first time that you're hearing about salicylic acid for skincare. In the course of time, this ingredient has emerged as an effective acne treatment. To begin with, salicylic acid is one type of chemical exfoliant called beta-hydroxy acid (BHA). Unlike the chemical exfoliants called alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), which are water-soluble and ideal for surface exfoliation, salicylic oil is oil-soluble, which makes it capable of cutting through oil and exfoliating deep within your pores to remove blockages. It obviously makes sense why the ingredient is a long-time favourite for those with oily, acne-prone skin. Although salicylic acid is quite common in skincare products, there's a lot that most people don't know about it. So, to find out if salicylic acid will work for you, your skin type, or your type of acne, you first need to understand how it works.
What Does Salicylic Acid Do To Your Skin?
Salicylic acid can get deep into your skin to do its job. This quality is precisely what makes salicylic acid such a potent ingredient.
Once it penetrates the skin, salicylic acid dissolves skin debris that clogs pores, acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps it go away faster.
Salicylic acid has the ability to advance deep into your skin and break up the excess oil and dead skin cells.
You may have seen salicylic acid in products that are meant to rejuvenate or brighten your skin. That's because it is used as a milder chemical peel for acne-prone skin or those wanting a less intense peel.ADVERTISEMENT
Benefits Of Salicylic Acid
1. Exfoliates Skin
Salicylic acid is considered perfect for supreme exfoliation. It helps to slough off dead skin cells, which in turn can improve skin dullness and texture.
2. Removes Excess Oil
Since salicylic acid is oil-soluble, it can penetrate beneath the skin's surface to clean out excess sebum from the pores and reduce oiliness.
3. Prevents Whiteheads And Blackheads
Not only does salicylic acid treat existing breakouts, but salicylic acid targets whiteheads and blackheads directly, it prevents them from returning to the surface level of your skin.
4. Softens Clogged Pores
The oil-soluble ingredient is able to penetrate the pores and remove the contents of clogged pores that lead to superficial acne, like whiteheads, blackheads.
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How To Use Salicylic Acid For Skincare?
In light of its many skincare benefits, it's no wonder why salicylic acid is included in so many skincare products. You can find it in cleansers, toners, spot treatments, masks, etc. This ingredient can even be found in shampoos to treat dandruff. However, there are certain points that need to be noted about this ingredient.
The primary negative side effect of salicylic acid is its ability to irritate and dry skin in those that are very sensitive or those who overuse it. So, it's recommended to use it once or twice a week.
Salicylic acid can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and cause sunburn easily. It's especially important when using salicylic acid to limit your sun exposure as much as possible and always use and reapply sunscreen.
Who Should Use Salicylic Acid?
Salicylic acid is a great ingredient for people with oily and acne-prone skin, and particularly for treating blackheads and whiteheads. If you are suffering from only minor congestion of the pores on your skin, then salicylic acid may be too strong of a spot treatment option and could potentially lead to dry skin. People with dry or sensitive skin should take extra caution as this ingredient can further dry out and irritate the skin. It's best to work with your dermatologist to optimize your routine.
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