By: Lucille McClinn
What Is Salicylic Acid?
Salicylic acid is a BHA (beta hydroxy acid) exfoliant that is found in many facial cleansers. The largest amount found in cleansers is 2%, however, in serums it can go up to 30%. Salicylic acid is often used to treat acne and blackheads, and can be drying to the skin, so it is best if used twice a day and with a moisturizer. Salicylic acid has many benefits to the skin and can be very successful in treating acne and even acne scars.
Salicylic acid exfoliates by removing excess skin. Many people with psoriasis use salicylic acid lotion to remove dry patches on the body. It can also be effectively used to eliminate warts, but in larger quantities. It works by removing the outermost layer of skin and works well at getting deep into pores.
Salicylic acid help acne by getting deep in the pores and sloughing off dead and dry skin. It assists with discolorations, redness, and inflammation. It gradually increases the production of collagen and tightens the skin, reducing fine lines and wrinkles. It is best to use salicylic acid in low concentrations, especially with dark skin, to avoid a lot of irritation. It breaks down the oils of the skin so it doesn’t clog pores.
This BHA exfoliant can provide a “peeling” effect when used in large concentrations. Using a serum, many people create a salicylic acid mask to treat acne. Because salicylic acid is already a strong exfoliant, it’s cautioned to use it with other exfoliators like alpha hydroxy acid, or AHA (lactic acid and glycolic acid).
Using salicylic acid at first may trigger purging in one’s skin. It takes skin time to adjust to any product, but it’s safe to use salicylic acid less frequently at first. Possibly a couple times a week or once a day. You can build up the usage gradually to help your skin adjust. If you have problems with blackheads, salicylic acid would be very helpful. BHA loosens blackheads for easier extraction or quicker healing. Furthermore, it is useful during breakouts because it creates a calming effect on the skin that reduces inflammation.
Salicylic acid is a very useful thing for people with acne. It is highly recommended by dermatologists and when used correctly for long period of time, it is effective in treating mild to moderate acne. It has many other uses for people with psoriasis and flaking skin. Consider using it and see the results it does for your skin.