Salicylic acid is a powerful exfoliant that penetrates deep into pores and eliminates blackhead and pimple-causing nasties. And, arguably, the gold standard of acne-fighting treatments. The hard truth is that acne doesn't just disappear after you graduate from high school. At a certain point, adult acne becomes an issue you're dealing with - having an effective plan of attack for treating pimples before they reach the surface can help keep your breakouts minimal.
How does salicylic acid work?
It’s a rapid-acting, oil soluble chemical exfoliant (that means it doesn’t break down with water) so it can get deep down into the pores of the skin. Salicylic acid is a BHA or beta hydroxy acid and often listed as such on product labels.
Its efficiency in reducing the appearance of acne makes it a popular ingredient that is used in facial cleansers, toners, exfoliators, spot reducing pimple treatments, and body washes. Targeting congestion and breakouts on the face and body. It’s also used in anti-aging serums because of its ability to reveal softer, smoother looking skin.
What is salicylic acid used for?
You’ve probably reached for a zit-busting product containing salicylic acid when you want to dry out a pimple overnight. However, it’s the main function of BHAs is actually exfoliation. One theory of acne is that the skin cells do not behave normally, and rather than sloughing off through a healthy skin cell cycle, they stick together and clog the pores, creating cysts and blackheads.
Hence, salicylic acid aids in removing and loosening these skin cells and helps to dissolve the blackheads. Genius.
Here, our favourite products for oily skin which contain salicylic acid for you to incorporate into your daily skin care regimen.
Why it works: From the leaders in French skincare Effaclar Duo (+) works in two ways - firstly it contains salicylic acid to target the cause of the breakout - while simultaneously reducing the appearance of red marks that stick around after the breakouts have gone.
Why it works: this daily treatment helps exfoliate the inside walls of pores to fight the appearance of blemishes -designed to give you greater visible skin clarity with continued use.
Why it works: Don't underestimate the power of this tiny bottle. A thin layer is all you need to keep breakouts under control, thanks to salicylic acid.
Why it works: Not only does this hard-working serum treat pimples as they appear, it also works to prevent new ones from popping up—pardon the pun—thanks to oil-controlling salicylic acid.