For some time now, salicylic acid has been an essential ingredient in the world of cosmetics, and more particularly in skin care. Salicylic acid has been hailed for its exceptional properties in the treatment of acne and skin blemishes. In fact, numerous clinical studies have been conducted on the benefits of this substance.

Would you like to enhance your skin’s texture and learn more about this exceptional product? Here, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about this essential companion for skin aspiring to unparalleled radiance and purity!

Salicylic acid: what exactly is it?

Salicylic acid is a chemical compound derived from willow bark. It has been known for centuries for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. This acid is used in many skin care products to treat acne, warts and calluses by exfoliating the skin and promoting cell renewal. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce fever, inflammation, pain and redness. In certain at-risk patients, this product is used to prevent cardiovascular problems.

Salicylic acid guide

What are the different forms of salicylic acid you can use to care for yourself?

Salicylic acid is a common ingredient in many cosmetic products, whether for the face, body or hair. It can be found in lotions, cleansing gels, serums, day and night creams and peels. For the scalp, it is most often found in shampoos, hair lotions or willow bark extracts to combat excess sebum and dandruff. Salicylic acid is often used in make-up, particularly in powder form, to reduce skin imperfections.

Skincare: what are the proven benefits of salicylic acid?

Salicylic acid is mainly used in skin peels for its exfoliating and purifying properties. In fact, its ability to penetrate deep into the skin’s pores makes it a highly effective ingredient for :

  • combat impurities ;
  • reduce blackheads
  • improve overall skin texture.

In addition, thanks to its keratolytic properties, this substance acts by dissolving the bonds between dead skin cells. This helps to eliminate dead cells and accelerate cell renewal. Its regulating action on sebum production also makes it a valuable ally for acne-prone skin. In fact, salicylic acid helps reduce excess sebum, diminish skin inflammation and prevent the appearance of new acne lesions.

Men with sensitive skin need have no fear of skin irritation. Its molecular structure gives it an anti-inflammatory and soothing action. As a result, it’s a safe choice for those seeking to improve the quality of their skin without compromising its natural health and balance.

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  • [ EXFOLIATING FACE WASH ] Salicylic acid (SA) is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA), an effective exfoliator that removes dead skin cells and promotes radiance. Salicylic acid acts as a chemical exfoliant which feels less harsh than physical ones like face scrubs
  • [ FOAMING CLEANSER ] Dispenses as a clear gel and transforms into a foaming face wash as you lather. With hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and vitamin D, this facial cleanser cleanses, exfoliates, and hydrates skin without leaving a stripped & tight feeling
  • [ FACE EXFOLIATOR FOR ACNE PRONE SKIN ] This face cleanser is suitable for acne prone, oily skin and even those with psoriasis. Cerave SA skin care products provide exfoliation and skin relief to dry skin, rough and bumpy skin, and all other skin types
  • [ 3 ESSENTIAL CERAMIDES ] Ceramides are found naturally in the skin and make up 50% of the lipids in the skin barrier. All CeraVe products, formulated with three essential ceramides (1, 3, 6-II)to help maintain the skin’s natural barrier.
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  • [ BLACKHEAD REMOVER SERUM ]: Our salicylic acid easily penetrates the pore lining and scoops out the dirt, debris, and sebum (clinically proven to work better than oil-based traditional salicylic acid), so skin looks clear and soft. Removes blackheads & whiteheads by keeping your pores clean and controlling excessive oil. It is a potent exfoliant for oily acne prone skin.
  • [ PORE CLEANSING & TIGHTENING ]: 2% BHA helps in pore cleansing by flushing out oil and dirt, minimizing pore size. Regular use not only reduce blackheads and whiteheads but also prevents future blackheads, resulting in clear skin. You can include it in your night skin care routine for pore exfoliation.
  • [ ANTI ACNE & BALANCES OIL ]: Removes excess oil and shine resulting in a matt look. Aloe added reduces the acne redness and soothes skin along with providing hydration. By effectively controlling oil production it acts as a potent anti acne (or pimple) serum.
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  • [ FOR ACNE PRONE & OILY SKIN ]: Unlike physical face scrubs BHA exfoliant are best for all skin types specially acne or sensitive skin. They are best as regular exfoliator for oily acne prone skin.

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Recommended concentrations of salicylic acid

When choosing products containing salicylic acid, it’s essential to pay attention to their concentration. Concentrations generally vary between 0.5% and 2%, depending on the type of product and the specific purpose of the treatment.

For sensitive or beginner skin

It’s often advisable to start with products containing a lower concentration of salicylic acid, generally around 0.5% to 1%. This allows you to assess your skin’s tolerance to salicylic acid and minimize the risk of irritation.

For more resistant skin or more severe skin problems

Higher concentrations, up to 2%, may be appropriate. These products are often recommended for those with thicker skin or struggling with more persistent acne problems.

It’s important to note that higher-concentration products may be more effective, but they may also be more likely to irritate the skin, especially if it’s sensitive. It is therefore essential to carefully monitor your skin’s reaction and adjust use accordingly.

Before incorporating a product containing salicylic acid into your skincare routine, it’s advisable to consult a dermatologist, especially if you have particular concerns about your skin or are already undergoing specific treatment.

How do you use salicylic acid in your skincare routine?

As salicylic acid is a powerful ingredient, it should be used with care. Here’s how to use it correctly in your routine.

Cleanse and dry your skin

Before applying your product, make sure your face is clean and dry.

Avoid sensitive areas

Salicylic acid can be irritating to certain areas of the face where the skin is thinner, such as the sides of the nose and around the eyes. For this reason, avoid applying your skincare product to these sensitive areas to avoid any adverse reactions. Concentrate on areas of your face with imperfections or acne problems. Be careful not to spread the product all over your face! This could dry out your face unnecessarily.

Moisturize after application

Once you’ve applied the salicylic acid, wait a few minutes to allow the product to penetrate your skin. Then apply your moisturizer to soothe and moisturize.

Finish with sun protection

When incorporating products containing salicylic acid into your skincare routine, it’s imperative to understand the vital importance of using adequate sun protection. Here’s why:

  1. Increased sun sensitivity: Salicylic acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun’s UV rays. By exfoliating the top layer of skin, it exposes the more sensitive layers underneath, making your skin more vulnerable to sun damage.
  2. Increased risk of burns and spots: Excessive unprotected exposure to the sun can lead to burns, premature skin aging and pigmentation spots. The use of products containing salicylic acid without adequate sun protection may aggravate these risks.
  3. Protection against skin aging: Regular application of sun protection helps prevent photoaging and maintain skin health and youthfulness over the long term.

For this reason, it’s highly recommended to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 every day, even on days when you don’t plan to spend much time outdoors. Be sure to apply the product generously all over your face, neck, ears and any other sun-exposed areas about 15 minutes before going outside.

If you use products containing salicylic acid at night, it’s also advisable to maintain a sun protection routine during the day, as salicylic acid can still make your skin more sensitive to UV rays the following day.

Are there any risks associated with the use of salicylic acid?

Although salicylic acid is generally well tolerated, it’s important to take precautions when using it, especially if you have sensitive skin.

As salicylic acid is an acid, it should be applied gradually. Therefore, if you feel any tingling or itching, it’s best to use a lower concentration at first. You can then gradually increase the concentration if your skin tolerates it. This way, you’ll avoid any irritation or excessive sensitivity.

I would also advise you to avoid combining salicylic acid with other acids such as citric or glycolic acid. In fact, using them at the same time can damage your epidermis and cause inflammation.

Salicylic acid can also react to UV rays, increasing your skin’s sensitivity to the sun and causing burns or spots. That’s why we recommend applying it in the evening, preferably before bedtime, to allow your skin to regenerate overnight. However, if you must go out during the day, make sure you use adequate sun protection with a high sun protection factor.

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