You might have heard about salicylic acid a thousand times if you have acne trouble. Salicylic acid is a star acne treatment choice for its ability to stops acne at its source. Along with that,
it helps minimise fine lines and soothe irritated skin making it a multitasking active ingredient.
Salicylic acid is an excellent exfoliator
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid, works by dissolving the skin oils/ glue that hold the dead skin cells together. The build-up of dead skin cells causes clogged pores, blackheads that inflamed into acne. When salicylic acid touches the skin surfaceit loosen the build-up that ends in sloughing off top layer of your skin. In response, you have brighter and healthier skin.
Salicylic acid does not kill bacteria but dries up acne fast.
Salicylic acid comes in many forms – cleanser, toner, creams, is used to treat many skin conditions including acne. It is an oil soluble acid that can penetrate into the pores making it a popular treatment against acne and dandruff.
Salicylic acid works best on blackhead and whiteheads
Salicylic acid exfoliation action helps clearing the skin by sloughing off dead skin cells but not so effective in treating the cystic acne. Thus, the best acne to treat with salicylic acid are blackheads and whiteheads. By helping you clear your skin pores, salicylic acid helps with mild active acne and prevent new breakouts.
Salicylic acid causes dryness
Though salicylic acid does not have any effect on sebum production, can strip your skin of natural oils causing dryness and irritation. That worsen if you over use it regardless of what your skin tells you.
Likewise, dry skin is not a good candidate for this popular skin treatment. Skin condition depends on the concentration and number of applications you follow. Highest concentration & application number only end up with red, itchy, dry skin.
Best salicylic acid concentration
Salicylic acid comes in many concentration ranging from 0.5 to 2% in cosmetic grade. And that is the amount you get in the over the counter products. Higher concentration are used to treat warts and corn.
If you have dry skin, try 0.5% or less as not to exaggerate your already dry skin condition. And as for oily skin, start from 1% and then gradually move to 2%.
Number of applications
Number of application depends on the concentration you use and for how long you keep it on your skin. Let’s say salicylic acid cleansers,
If you are using 0.5% – you can use it twice a day.
For those using 1% – Use it once a day. If you have really oily skin you can try twice a day.
The 2% concentration – Use it once a day. Trust me you don’t want to go overboard with this.
Lesson does not end here. Time of application matters not for just salicylic acid but with any other potent formulas. The more you let it sit on your skin the more it dries.
When you are washing your face with salicylic acid, do not keep it for more than 30 seconds on your skin.
What i do is lather up the wash and let it sit for 10 seconds – no more. This way i can use it daily without over-drying my skin. And do not forget to apply moisturiser afterwards.
Most of the salicylic acid moisturisers are either anti-aging or acne treatment ranging from 1-2% in concentration
Start slow with moisturisers like with cleansers. If it dries up your face, try mixing it with your normal moisturiser. Avoid mixing with other active ingredients.
Interaction with other ingredients
Do not mix salicylic acid with other exfoliating skin ingredients like retinol/benzoyl peroxide, otherwise suggested by the dermatologist. Using strong exfoliator at the same time can irritate your skin to the point you feel burned.
Instead of mixing, use acid cleanser in the day and apply retinol at night.
Must Read : The Right Way To Use Retinol For Skin Treatment
I love Neutrogena oil free cleanser with Salicylic acid of 2%. Buy the post here.
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