Salicylic (pronounced sal-a-sil-ick) acid is a mild acne treatment available in over the counter(OTC) products in a 2% concentration.
It is a safe and effective treatment for mild acne and oily skin. It works by penetrating the pores and unplugging the debris. It also can help prevent clogged pores.
It can be used to treat mild post-inflammatory pigmentation(the excess pigment that remains after a pimple has healed. On the other hand if this is something you struggle with you might want to consider products with the ingredient hydroquinone in it. This tends to be more effective.
While salicylic acid is effective for dislodging clogged pores it does not kill the p. acnes bacteria(the bacteria that causes acne). Benzoyl peroxide is most commonly used for this purpose.
Like most acne fighters salicylic acid must continue to be used even after your acne has healed to be effective and to keep the pores from clogging. Once you discontinue it you will usually see your breakouts return…and we don’t want that.
Did you know that the chemical makeup of salicylic acid is similar to what’s in aspirin? Back in the day I know people used to crush aspirin and make a paste to apply to their pimples. It works because of the salicylic acid benefits.
You have to be careful with salicylic acid when you first start using it because it can be drying especially if you have sensitive skin. If you are using a product or regimen with salicylic acid its best to start out using it gradually like every other day and then working you way up to daily. It’s best to let your skin adjust to it slowly.
If back acne is an issue using a product specifically designed for the body containing salicylic acid would be beneficial to clean the pores.
Of course, if you are pregnant you should definitely ask your doctor before using products that contain salicylic acid since it is so similar to what’s found in aspirin. There are safe alternatives that can be used for acne during pregnancy.
My personal recommendation for a product containing salicylic acid is a product line for acne called Unblemished. It is a 4 step system that incorporates salicylic acid among other medicines for the treatment of acne. The salicylic acid is actually found in the spot fading toner for removal of dead skin cells as well as to keep pores clear.
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Tasha Nelson is a mompreneur, registered nurse, and licensed esthetician who has suffered with acne and hyperpigmentation since the age of 12. She wants other acne sufferers to understand that even though acne is not curable that it is definitely controllable with the right regimen and lifestyle changes. Clear and radiant skin does not have to be a dream, it can be your reality!