Salicylic acid | effective against acne, blackheads and blemishes

Salicylic acid has become an essential ingredient in the field of dermatology and skin care. Known for its anti-blemish properties, this substance has gained popularity due to its effectiveness in treating various skin problems such as acne , blackheads , and oily skin . This article will explore in detail the benefits of salicylic acid, its astringent properties, its impact on cell turnover, and how it can help improve skin texture.

What is salicylic acid?

Salicylic acid is a chemical compound belonging to the beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) family. It is derived from aspirin, which is also known as acetylsalicylic acid.

  • Chemical Properties : Salicylic acid has a specific chemical structure characterized by a benzene ring with a hydroxyl group (-OH) and a carboxyl group (-COOH). This structure gives salicylic acid lipophilic properties, meaning it is fat soluble and can effectively penetrate the lipid layer of the skin.
  • Medicinal properties : Salicylic acid has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and keratolytic properties. This means it can help reduce inflammation, fight acne-causing bacteria, and exfoliate dead skin cells .
  • Use in Skin Care : Due to its ability to penetrate skin pores, salicylic acid is often used to treat acne, blackheads, oily skin, and other skin problems. It works by exfoliating the top layer of the skin, promoting cell renewal and helping to maintain clean, unclogged pores.
  • Reduction of excess oil : Salicylic acid regulates sebum production, making it a popular choice for people with skin prone to excess oil. By reducing sebum production, it helps prevent the appearance of new imperfections.
  • Treatment of warts : In addition to its uses in skin care, salicylic acid is also used for the treatment of warts. It works by softening the top layer of the wart, making it easier to remove.

In summary, salicylic acid is a key ingredient in many skin care products due to its exfoliating, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Its regular use can significantly help improve the appearance of the skin by fighting acne, blackheads and other skin problems.

salicylic acid cleanser

What effect does salicylic acid have on the skin?

  • Fight against acne and oily skin

  • Oily skin is often prone to acne and other skin blemishes. Salicylic acid, a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), is particularly effective in treating these problems. Its ability to penetrate the pores of the skin makes it a powerful cleansing agent. By removing excess sebum, salicylic acid helps reduce oil production, which is essential for people with oily skin.

    The astringent properties of salicylic acid are also beneficial in fighting acne. By tightening enlarged pores, it prevents the buildup of dirt and breakout-causing bacteria. In addition, this acid has the unique ability to penetrate the sebum, helping to dislodge the impurities responsible for the formation of spots.

  • Cellular renewal and improvement of skin texture

  • Another major benefit of salicylic acid is its positive impact on cell renewal. It exfoliates the top layer of skin, removing dead cells that can clog pores and make skin look dull. By promoting faster cell renewal, salicylic acid contributes to more radiant and uniform skin.

    For those battling specific issues such as blackheads, salicylic acid proves to be a valuable ally. By acting as a gentle exfoliant, it unclogs pores clogged with impurities, thus reducing the formation of blackheads. Its regular exfoliating action can also significantly improve skin texture, refining skin texture and leaving a smoother surface.

  • Used as a preservative in skin care products

  • In addition to its direct properties on the skin, salicylic acid is often used as a preservative in skin care products. Thanks to its antibacterial properties, it helps extend the life of products while preserving their effectiveness. This dual functionality makes it an ingredient appreciated by cosmetic manufacturers, ensuring not only the quality of the products, but also the stability of their formulations.

  • Elimination of dead cells and reduction of enlarged pores

  • Dead skin cells can often clog pores, causing them to increase in size. Salicylic acid acts as an exfoliating agent, removing these dead cells and thereby reducing the enlargement of pores. By regulating cell turnover, this acid helps maintain visibly smaller pores, providing smoother, more even skin.

    When to apply my salicylic acid treatment?

    Application of salicylic acid treatment depends on several factors, including the type of product you use (cleanser, toner, cream, etc.) and your skin care routine. However, here are some general guidelines to maximize effectiveness and minimize the risk of irritation:

    1. Salicylic Acid Cleanser:

    Frequency: Salicylic acid cleansers can be used once or twice a day, morning and evening, depending on your skin's needs.

    Test it and adapt the application to your skin type.

    Use: Apply the cleanser to damp skin, massage gently, then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Follow with the following steps in your routine.

    salicylic acid exfoliating cleanser

    1. Salicylic acid toner:

    Frequency: Toners are generally applied after cleansing and before other skincare products. You can use them once or twice a day.

    Use: Apply a small amount of toner to a cotton pad or directly to the skin by tapping gently. Allow to dry before applying the following products.

    1. Targeted treatment (gel, lotion):

    Frequency: Salicylic acid treatments, such as gels or lotions, can be applied topically to affected areas.

    Use: Apply a small amount directly to blemishes or problem areas, avoiding the eye area. It is generally recommended to use these products no more than once or twice a day.

    1. Salicylic Acid Moisturizer:

    Frequency: Moisturizers containing salicylic acid can be used daily.

    Use: Apply moisturizer as the last step of your skincare routine. It can be used in the morning or evening, depending on your preferences.

    However, salicylic acid is a photosensitizing active ingredient. It is therefore appropriate to use it in the evening or morning followed by broad-spectrum sun protection at the end of your beauty routine.

    1. Sunscreen :

    Essential: Salicylic acid can make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so it's essential to apply sunscreen during the day, even if you use salicylic acid in the evening.

    General tips:

    Gradual Introduction: If you are just starting to use salicylic acid products, introduce them into your routine gradually to allow your skin to adapt.

    Monitoring the reaction: Monitor your skin's reaction. If you experience excessive irritation, dryness or redness, reduce the frequency of use.

    What should I do if my skin reacts to salicylic acid?

    In theory, all skin types tolerate salicylic acid well. But you may feel a little tingling during the first application, or even peeling in people with skin sensitivity. Don't panic, this is completely normal. If, however, over the course of applications your skin still reacts, it may be that your skin does not tolerate an excipient or another active ingredient contained in your treatment. In this case, stop its application.

    In conclusion, salicylic acid is a powerful ally in the fight against acne, blackheads and skin imperfections . Its astringent properties, impact on cell turnover, and use as a preservative make it a versatile ingredient in the skincare industry. To regain balanced skin, refine skin texture and reduce the appearance of imperfections, salicylic acid is essential in your skin care routine.