Salicylic acid: what it is, benefits and how to use it for clear skin

Salicylic acid

Worried about your acne-prone skin and aren’t able to find the right solution? Try Salicylic acid! It is a powerful chemical exfoliator that can penetrate deep into your skin and tackle your skin problems right at their source.

Salicylic acid

What is salicylic acid?

Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) and the most common one, which have many beneficial properties like it being comedolytic (which can help unplug the dead skin cells and reduce oil build up causing acne and blemishes), desmolytic (having the ability to exfoliate the skin) and it is also anti-inflammatory in nature.

Differences between Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) and Beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs):

Knowing this difference is important while you choose your skin care products. AHAs are water-soluble acids which dissolve and exfoliate surface dead skin cells. They are great for restoring moisture and revitalizing dull skin tones, evening out of skin texture and help in fading hyperpigmentation. BHAs are oil-soluble and penetrate deep into the pores, dissolving dead skin cells, blackheads, sebum etc. They are great for treating acne, rosacea etc. it can clean up the pores and reduce their size, in turn reduce them from getting clogged.

So now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get into the benefits of Salicylic acid:

Salicylic acid is desmolytic in nature.BHAs are desmolytic ingredients. This means that they can target certain protein bonds (multiple amino acids linked together forming a chain) in the skin, that keep the dead cells clinging to the skin instead of shedding away. Cell death occurs once the biological cell ceases to carry out its functions and make way for new cells. As we age or due to sun damage, acne or even excessive oil, this shedding process becomes faulty and  therefore using an exfoliator can help restore the skin’s natural exfoliation ability.

Salicylic acid can unclog pores as they help loosen the bonds between the dead skin on the surface and penetrate deep into the pores. This property can be helpful to the skin as it is in the pores where it gets clogged with oil and debris  which get trapped under the surface of the skin and it is this buildup that eventually leads to acne breakouts, blackheads and whiteheads. So this oil-soluble salicylic acid can get through the oil on the skin and thin it down and it can flow freely to the skin’s surface, so when you wash your face  it can get washed off as well.

Salicylic acid hasanti-inflammatory properties which are those properties of a substance which can help treat or reduce inflammation or swelling and salicylic acid is anti-inflammatory in nature. It can reduce swelling caused by acne and help shrink the pimples. READ MORE – Rose Tea Recipe for clear skin, boost immunity, weight loss and more..

Salicylic acid:

How to use salicylic acid in your skincare routine:

Step 1: Wash your face with a gentle mild cleanser, which can be a foam cleanser, cream cleanser, gel cleanser or even an oil cleanser, which doesn’t include any other exfoliating acids (like AHAs or BHAs).

Step 2: Apply the salicylic acid product of your choice (serum or even liquid based) by adding two to three drops on your palms and rub your palms together and then gently rub it on your face evenly or you can also just apply it only to the affected areas.

Or you can also use a cotton pad by adding two to three drops onto the cotton pad and following the same procedure above.

Step 3: Wait for 30 seconds or so to let it sink in to your skin and then you can a gentle moisturizer or oil (two to three drops) or even mix both and apply it on your face.

Please Note: If you are applying your salicylic solution in the evening you can stop at step 3, but if you are using your salicylic solution in the morning, you will have to complete step 4.

Step 4: Apply sunscreen, evenly over the face, ears, neck so every area is protected. READ MORE – Niacinamide a miracle ingredient for Clear and Glowing Skin

Caution:

  • When applying salicylic acid please remember not to get it into your eyes or even eyelids (as the movement of the eyelids can make it get into the eyes). So apply it in such a way, staying away from your eyes and eyelids.
  • If you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies, please consult your dermatologist before using this acid.
  • If you have used it and it has caused you any sort of irritation, rinse of immediately and discontinue its usage with immediate effect and consult your dermatologist if necessary.
  • Certain drugs do not interact well with salicylic acid. So if you are on any medications, please consult a doctor before using it.