Salicylic Acid : What you need to know
What is Salicylic Acid?
Salicylic Acid is derived from willow bark, and is a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA), as opposed to Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) like Glycolic and Lactic Acids. Whereas AHAs are water-soluble, BHAs are oil-soluble, and can therefore penetrate deeper into the pores of the skin. This is why BHA is often used for targeted spot treatments - more of which we’ll dive into later.
What are the benefits of Salicylic Acid?
Salicylic is an expert in exfoliation, as well as unclogging pores. The ingredient works by loosening and removing blocked pores, and is thus brilliant at tackling blackheads, as well as whitehead spots.
The ingredient is also known to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits, making it a great all-rounder for skin that’s reactive. Because of this set of benefits, Salicylic Acid is excellent at targeting acne.
How to use Salicylic Acid
While it’s undeniably a beloved active ingredient with clear results, it is possible to use too much salicylic acid, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Reactive complexions or those who are particularly dry can respond badly to the ingredient if introduced wrongly, with dryness, redness, flakiness, or overall irritation.
To stop this from happening, introduce the ingredient slowly, and apply thin layers in lower concentrations to begin with. Everybody can use Salicylic Acid in theory; it’s just about making sure it’s brought into a routine with care.
The great thing about this ingredient is that it can be used in a multitude of formulations, from cleansers to masks. Here’s how we’d recommend trying Salicylic out:
A cleanser: Cleansers can be advantageous when starting out with stronger active ingredients, as they are washed off and therefore are a good way to test the waters early on. Salicylic Acid Cleanser is gentle enough to be used daily, and for all skin types. It has a non-drying formula that penetrates deep into the pores to target breakouts and excess oil.
A targeted treatment for spots: As mentioned, it can be best to give the ingredient a go on select areas rather than all over, especially if you have ultra-dry or sensitive skin. Because of its spot-fighting nature, salicylic acid lends itself well to spot treatments, such as our Succinic Acid Treatment, which harnesses the power of 2% Sulfur and 1% Salicylic Acid to tackle breakouts head on.
A mask: When skin is just not behaving how you’d like it to, a mask is usually the answer! And for breakout-prone skin, you can’t beat an overnight blemish-fighting mask, such as the C-50 Blemish Night Treatment, which contains a powerful blend of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, 2% Salicylic Acid, and Lotus Extract.
A treatment serum: If you want to try out Salicylic Acid but don’t know where to start, opt for Beta Hydroxy Acid Serum, which features 2% Salicylic Acid to unclog pores, fight blackheads and breakouts and reduce pore appearance. It is a great option for oily skin types before moisturiser, and also contains Hyaluronic Acid to keep things hydrated and balanced.
Want to know more about how to build Salicylic Acid into your skincare routine?You can chat to our #askINKEY team now who’ll be happy to help build you a personalized skincare recipe today!