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Beauty Header image fustany beauty skincare salicylic acid skin benefits and the best products mainimage

| by Farida Abdel Malek

Salicylic Acid: What Is It? Skin Benefits? Best Products to Buy?

I have to be honest, before writing this my knowledge of salicylic acid was that it’s The Ordinary bottle I have in my bathroom, which I apply before bed and wake up with much better looking skin.

I have also heard about it being a component of other products I really like, like the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo. So what is salicylic acid? Why is it loved and great for acne and balancing skin? I did my research and now lets break it down...

What is salicylic acid?

It is a beta hydroxy acid or BHA, which means it's an exfoliating acid. It comes from willow bark and Randy Schueller, cosmetic chemist tells Allure that the meaning of a beta hydroxy acid is that the molecule is separated by two carbon atoms unlike AHA, alpha hydroxy acid, which is separated by one. This is why salicylic acid is an oil-soluble acid and hence known for its power to penetrate deeply into our pores. It also has antibacterial functions and falls under the same division of drugs as aspirin.

What are the benefits of salicylic acid for the skin?

First and foremost it is a great exfoliant. Its exfoliating properties is why everyone loves it. It goes deep into the walls of the pores to unclog them and helps with blackheads, whiteheads and blocked pores in general. By unclogging the pores it helps them appear smaller because they are no longer as enlarged and visible due to the clogged dead skin.

It also soothes out the skin, softens it and helps -with continued use- the reduction of breakouts. It enhances the skin's appearance, clarity and balance with minimizing blemishes and imperfections. It is also known to help with hyper-pigmentation and, with prolonged use, it could decrease aging signs like fine lines and wrinkles because it can promote the growth of collagen.

Cons of salicylic acid?

Yes, it help reduce mild acne and limit possible further breakouts however, people with sensitive skin should be wary. Its exfoliating properties can be irritants for people with sensitive skin. Skincare products are only allowed a small concentration of salicylic acid so it doesn't overly exfoliate or peel the skin.

Some products, however, put that into account and make sure it is gentle and not too drying for sensitive skin users. However, you should always patch test, try it in moderation without applying too much and try as much as possible to focus only on the areas that need it. Also, make sure you hydrate so that if the product dries out too much of the oil, you can substitute with moisture so your skin doesn't get too dry.

Of course, like with any product, you should always consult your doctor, especially if you're pregnant, or with any special conditions and make sure you're not allergic to salicylic acid, aspirin, or any similar drugs.

How to add salicylic acid it into your beauty routine?

The brilliance of salicylic acid is its multipurpose usage and benefits, it is included in many categories of skincare products, from cleansers, toners and moisturizers to serums, oils and masks. It is actually sometimes even used in anti-dandruff shampoo and to prevent hair loss.

When it comes to your skin, you can use it as treatment for concentrated areas of trouble by applying it directly on your spots or generally on the face to maintain clear balanced skin. However, be wary of applying too much like I mentioned above. Also, since it's an exfoliant, you don't really need any other exfoliating products in your routine so that you don't overdo it, but again it depends on the product and the salicylic acid concentration.

What are the best beauty products with Salicylic Acid?

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution
1
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution
This is the one currently in my life. All I would like to say is, there is a hell of a difference in my skin when I use this at night vs. when I don't.
Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel Exfoliant
2
Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Gel Exfoliant
I had previously used this and it is one of the most popular BHA & Salicylic Acid products for how it effectively and gently enhances the skin completely.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
3
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo
I've used this for years and can attest to it as well. Also very well loved by many people for it's double use as a moisturizer and a great imperfections fighting product.
Glossier Solution
4
Glossier Solution
The infamous before and after skin pics were all over Instagram after this toner was released. It's well loved for it's quick results, effectiveness and noticeable help with acne scars.
Vichy Normaderm Deep Cleansing Gel Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment
5
Vichy Normaderm Deep Cleansing Gel Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment
A deep cleanser that is positively reviewed for its balance between purification and gentleness. Great for acne prone skin but make sure to hydrate and not over use it.
Mario Badescu Anti Acne Serum
6
Mario Badescu Anti Acne Serum
People trust Mario Badescu when it comes to acne products and this one is a lightweight, oil-free gel that is positively reviewed for really calming down the skin.
First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Acne Clearing Pads With White Clay
7
First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Acne Clearing Pads With White Clay
These are alcohol-free treatment pads that are said to be amazing for clearing acne.
Sunday Riley U.F.O Ultra Clarifying Face Oil
8
Sunday Riley U.F.O Ultra Clarifying Face Oil
This is a face oil and even though it's pricey, people love it. It doesn't have any parabens, sulfates or phthalates and is also good for adult acne.

Main Image Credits: Instagram @orionvanessa


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Tags: Beauty  Beauty products  Drugstore products  Skincare products  Skincare  Skincare 101  Acne  Acne scars  Dark skin spots  Oily skin  Blackheads  Salicylic acid