The Benefits of Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid is one of the most popular skincare ingredients, especially for those who suffer from acne prone skin. You’ve probably heard the term being thrown around before, seen it on products, and maybe even tried it without really knowing what it does. But what is it exactly? We’re here to tell you all about this marvellous skincare ingredient, including what it is, when to use it, and how to best incorporate it into your skincare routine.

What is salicylic acid?

Before you add salicylic acid to your skincare routine, it’s important to know what it is, and how it works on your skin. Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid (BHA) and is naturally derived from organic matter like barks and fruits. BHAs generally act as chemical exfoliants on the skin, removing dead cells from the outer layer of your skin. Like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic and lactic acids, BHAs work to gently dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells, making them easy to remove without mechanical scrubbing, plus BHAs have added pore unclogging benefits.

What are the benefits of salicylic acid for skin?

One of the most common uses of salicylic acid is combating against blackheads, pimples and breakouts. While AHAs work on the surface of the skin, BHAs also penetrate pores. Thanks to the unclogging action of salicylic acid, the build-up of dead skin and dirt that contribute to acne and breakouts is reduced, resulting in clearer, brighter looking skin over time.

Salicylic acid is beneficial for a range of skin types and can assist with multiple skincare concerns. Alongside acne-reduction, salicylic acid also has naturally anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. The act of chemically exfoliating your skin will help remove the layer of dead skin cells on the surface, and help reveal fresh, new skin. Incorporating salicylic acid into your skincare routine can result in a host of positive outcomes including:

  • Unclogged pores
  • Brighter skin
  • Smoother skin texture
  •  Even skin tone

How do you add salicylic acid to your skin care routine?

If you’ve decided that you’d like to try adding salicylic acid to your skincare routine, you have plenty of options. Salicylic acid can be found in skin care products ranging from cleansers and toners through to moisturisers and body wash. When used in a cleanser or toner, you can apply at the start of your routine. If you opt for a serum, use it directly after cleansing.

It’s always best to start your BHA journey by patch testing the product you want to start using on a small area of skin. This way you can see how your skin responds to the salicylic acid. After steady use and a bit of patience, you will begin to see results at around a month. Like all good things, salicylic acid  doesn’t work overnight, but it’s worth the wait!

Finally, it’s crucial to remember to apply sunscreen after use, as BHAs make your skin more sensitive to the sun’s rays. Apply sunscreen or a moisturiser containing SPF like our Laser X3 SPF15 Day Cream at the end of your routine and before sun exposure.

Salicylic acid for men’s skin

Men’s skin requires just as much care as women’s. As men’s pH levels change over time, affecting their oil production, using a pore-targeting ingredient like salicylic acid can benefit skin greatly.

For a supercharged daily face scrub, try the Men Expert Pure Charcoal Anti-Blackhead Daily Face Scrub. Powered with salicylic acid to combat stubborn blackheads and excess oil, it also contains 3 types of exfoliants to draw out oil from clogged pores for clearer looking skin! 

For hydration with the benefits of salicylic acid, look to the Men Expert Anti-Imperfection Moisturiser. Designed to target skin imperfections and reduce oil, this daily moisturiser is a go-to for hydration. Apply to skin after daily cleansing for long term results.

Beyond salicylic acid - What else can help with acne?

If you find yourself suffering from acne, pimples, and blackheads, there are a range of other steps you can consider when looking at your skincare routine, beyond the addition of salicylic acid. A combination of ingredients is sometimes the best way to address breakouts. When choosing products, ensure that anything you buy is oil-free and non-comedogenic. This means that they won’t clog your pores up after use. For persistent acne, we recommend consulting a healthcare professional.

Want to know more about how to build and effective skin care routine? Discover the Fool proof Skincare Routine for All Skin Types from our experts.