Salicylic Acid is one of the most popular and gentle acne solutions available. It fights acne at the source before it progresses to its ending stage of becoming a visible blemish on the skin. Because it is a Beta Hydroxy Acid, Salicylic Acid cleans out pores to prevent skin from breaking out. Compared to Benzoyl Peroxide, Salicylic acid is a milder acne treatment. If used regularly, it will continue to clear away excess skin cells and buildup, leaving skin clear and healthy.
What is Salicylic Acid?
Salicylic Acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid that exfoliates the skin by removing buildup that clogs the pores. As it penetrates the skin, it neutralizes bacteria inside the pores and cleans out the buildup of skin cells. By removing these excess skin cells and slowing cell production, Salicylic Acid helps keep skin blemish free. It is an ideal treatment for those with non-inflamed acne. Because the skin is naturally more acidic, with a pH of about 5.5, Salicylic Acid is perfectly safe to use on the skin. This exfoliant, along with daily moisturizers, helps maintain the skin’s natural pH balance.
What is the difference between an Alpha Hydroxy Acid and a Beta Hydroxy Acid?
As a general rule, skin of any type needs to be exfoliated. There are; however, different exfoliating agents that can be beneficial to different types of skin. Alpha Hydroxy Acids are are water soluble and Beta Hydroxy Acids are lipid soluble. AHA's removes excess skin cells from the surface of the skin and help build collagen. For this reason, AHA's are ideal for anti-aging treatments, but can also be beneficial for the treatment of acne and rosacea.. BHA's, on the other hand, cleanse buildup of skin cells inside the pores, which is why they works so well for treating acne and oily skin types. AHA's and BHA's have natural forms or can be created synthetically. Salicylic Acid in its natural form is known as White Willow Bark Extract.
What is the benefit of using Salicylic Acid?
In addition to removing dead skin cells that can clog the pores, Salicylic Acid helps reduce pore diameter and promotes the growth of new cells. Rather than spot treating acne in its later stage, Salicylic Acid cleans deep in the pore to prevent acne before it even forms. Not only does Salicylic Acid clean deep into the pores of the skin, it also is less harsh than many other acne treatments. For deep penetration and best results, toners, moisturizers, or treatments containing Salicylic Acid work best.
How should Salicylic Acid be used?
When beginning to use Salicylic Acid, it is best to start out with a lower dosage until the skin has adapted to the treatment and gradually move to a higher dosage. Salicylic Acid works best when applied to the entire problem area; it is not as effective as a spot treatment. This is because it clears acne from the skin even before it is visible in the form of a pimple.
Even if acne has cleared from the face, it is important to continue use of Salicylic Acid to maintain clear skin. Treating skin with Salicylic Acid can cause skin to be dry, so it is important to moisturize daily to counteract this problem. Salicylic Acid should not be applied to irritated, sunburned, or broken skin.
How does Salicylic Acid differ from other acne treatments?
Although Salicylic Acid, Benzoyl Peroxide, Sulfur, and Alpha Hydroxy Acids all remove dead skin cells that can clog pores, they work differently for different types of skin. Salicylic Acid is milder on skin than other treatments, such as Benzoyl Peroxide. For this reason, Salicylic Acid is ideal for sensitive skin. Benzoyl Peroxide is very strong, but can cause skin irritation. Sulfur dries out skin, so it peels off more easily. This drying of the skin is particularly helpful for those with oily skin, but Sulfur has the disadvantage of an unpleasant odor. As mentioned before, Alpha Hydroxy Acids are good for those with dry skin. They combat aging while exfoliating the skin. Salicylic Acid (Beta Hydroxy Acid) can; however, be combined with Alpha Hydroxy Acids for an added benefit of surface exfoliation t and deep pore cleansing.