The 9 Best Salicylic Acid Face Washes
Salicylic acid is a common remedy used in most acne treatments. But what exactly is it? Salicylic acid belongs to a group of drugs known as salicylates. Salicylic acid works by helping the skin shed off dead cells and reduce inflammation and redness. This helps reduce pimple breakouts as well as speed up the healing process.
When you are looking to treat whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples, consider getting a treatment that has salicylic acid. While most companies that make face wash integrate salicylic acid, its important to note that not all face wash is equal. To aid you in making a wise choice, we have reviewed some of the best salicylic acid face wash that you can find in the market today.
Can You Use Salicylic Acid Every Day
Salicylic acid-based products are safe to use daily if used as directed and tolerated by your skin, says Dr. Desai. “I personally have quite oily skin, and I find that salicylic acid daily on my skin type works totally fine,” he says. If your skin type is dry or sensitive, it’s more likely that salicylic acid could cause some irritation, so be sure to follow Desai’s advice as stated above and test the product on your skin every other day before committing to it on a daily basis.
Say Hello To Healthy Skin
You may know salicylic acid as a common ingredient in acne-treating products, but its different forms and uses arent discussed as widely. Whether you use a gel, cream, ointment, or pill, SA can help you get the smooth and healthy-looking skin youve been searching for.
Psoriasis is a condition that can truly benefit from this ingredient. And with Bodewell Psoriasis Calming Cream, you can kiss dry, flaky, irritated skin goodbye!
With just the right amount of salicylic acid, coconut oil, Vitamin E, Safflower seed oil, and a proprietary botanical blend, our cream will help your skin stay moisturized and soothed throughout the day.
Just remember to use it as prescribed, and if you have other underlying issues , consult your doctor about the best way to treat your skin.
Whether youre looking to clear those pores, exfoliate your skin, or find relief from psoriasis, salicylic acid is a great addition to almost every routine for better skin days!
- Skin Tips
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How Long Does It Take For Salicylic Acid To Work
Its not an overnight cure for acne and its not as fast-acting as benzoyl peroxide, which can be irritating to some peoples skin.
Salicylic acid is a keratolytic agent, meaning it helps remove dead skin cells from your pores.
Salicylic acid is also not a moisturizer it will dry out your skin if you use too much of it or use products containing salicylic acid too frequently.
If you have dry or sensitive skin, avoid using products with this ingredient altogether.
Salicylic acid should only be used on oily or combination skin because it does not have any anti-acne benefits for dry or sensitive skin types.
Cleans Excess Oil From Poresgreat For Oiliness
If you’re struggling with oily skin, salicylic acid is a key ingredient to clean up excess oil today and reduce oil levels moving forward. Salicylic acid is oil-soluble meaning it exfoliates your pore lining and decreases oil buildup. Why does this matter? Because salicylic acid can actually get underneath excess oil and dead skin deep inside your pores compared to other ingredients that only skim what they can off the top of your pores. Not only does salicylic acid give a good deep cleaning, but salicylic acid also suppresses sebocytes from producing excess oil .
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How To Use Salicylic Acid
It is commonly used in face cleansers and spot treatments. Salicylic acid as an ingredient is found in varied skin care formulations such as face exfoliators, overnight face masks, serums gel, moisturizers and facial essences too. Since it has an ability to tackle acne breakouts, blackheads and whiteheads, it is found in a lot of spot treatment products and is quite effective too. Just like any chemical exfoliant used in skincare it is also recommended to use salicylic acid once in a week as a beginner and then gradually step up when your skin can handle it. People with sensitive skin should use salicylic acid under the guidance of a skin expert.
Few things to keep in mind when using salicylic acid:
- Use products containing salicylic acid on alternate days, unless you have an acne breakout.
- DO NOT use Salicylic Acid or for that matter any acid with retinol or retinoid.
- Always moisturize your skin after using it.
- Use sunscreen especially over SPF 30. Since Salicylic Acid is a form of BHA and does exfoliate your skin, use a good sunscreen to protect your skin and regularly apply the same every 2 hours, also avoid exposing your skin to direct sunlight.
- If using a face mask containing salicylic acid, leave it on only for the time period as per the instructions.
Now that you know what this magic ingredient can do for your skin, add it to your skin regimen right away.
Focus On Your Problem Areas
Sometimes, only one area of your skin is giving you trouble. For example, you may have pimples on your forehead or psoriasis on your hands. In this case, it’s best to use salicylic acid as a spot treatment by focusing on the irritated area.
Using the spot-treatment method is a good strategy if youre applying a product with a high concentration of SA. If you use this type of formula all over your body, it might dry your skin out.
If youre after smooth, clear, and nourished skin, here are a few more tips to keep in mind:
- Shower daily, and wash your face at least twice a day. This will help ensure that you rid your skin of any dirt and bacteria you may come across during the day.
- Shower as soon as possible after sweating .
- Always use lukewarm water when showering or washing your face. Some people believe that hot water cleans better, but it doesnt do your skin any favors. Instead, avoid hot water whenever possible because it strips your skin of its natural oils and can lead to dryness and irritation.
- Avoid scrubbing your skin. Instead, use your fingertips and a face wash to gently cleanse your face.
- Avoid touching your face throughout the day, especially when you haven’t washed your hands.
- Always wear sunscreen with at least SPF 15, and keep reapplying it every two hours if you are out in the sun.
The above recommendations can help you on your healthy skin journey. However, always see your doctor if you suspect that you may have serious underlying problems.
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What The Experts Say
“Like with any routine, I always recommend a moisturizer that is non-comedogenic meaning it doesnt block pores and in the winter a daytime moisturizer with some SPF works well. If acne is more severe, prescription products like oral antibiotics or Retin-A are recommended because otherwise, you are just drying the skin without getting at the core of the acne below the skin.”Dr. Orit Markowtiz, Board-Certified Dermatologist and Founder of OptiSkin in New York City
What Exactly Is Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid that comes from bark willow, a natural substance, making it a natural ingredient, explains Dr. Cheryl Burgess, MD, FAAD and Board Certified dermatologist at the Center for Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery in Washington. It’s most commonly known “for helping clear pores of dirt, reducing acne-causing sebum production at the follicular level, and dissolving dead skin cells,” says Dr. Annie Chiu, MD, Board Certified Dermatologist and Founder of The Derm Institute in Manhattan Beach. Because it has anti-inflammatory properties, penetrates deep into the pores, and acts as a chemical exfoliant, it can greatly help reduce mild acne while working to prevent future breakouts, Chiu explains to Cosmo.
In dermatology or skincare, salicylic acid is most commonly used in a topical form. It is approved anywhere up to 2% by the FDA for over-the-counter sales and the mass market , making it readily available for purchase in many different forms. If you need a higher dosage for specific concerns, it can be prescribed by a doctor or dermatologist under their supervision and care.
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Rejuglow Glycolic & Salicylic Acid Face Wash
Rejuglow Face Wash is a gentle exfoliating face wash with Salicylic Acid and Glycolic Acid. The Salicylic Acid in it unclogs pores and helps to reduce blackheads. The face wash also noticeably reduces sebaceous filaments and whiteheads. Its a glow treatment product that lightens acne marks, removes tan, and rejuvenates the skin.
Wow Skin Science Anti Acne Face Wash Bottle
Whats better than a face wash that slays acne-causing microbes? A soothing face wash that fades blemishes of past acne. Meet: WOW Skin Science Anti Acne Face Wash Bottle. Replete with Tea Tree Essential Oil, Neem extracts, Mulberry, Liquorice, Hyaluronic Acid, and Vitamins B5 and E, this zit-zapping formula unclogs pores and refreshes skin. What makes it even better? Its free of toxins and makes it to the dermatologically tested list. Brb. Adding to cart.
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Kaya Acne Purifying Cleanser
Developed by dermatologists, the Kaya Purifying Cleanser is an excellent salicylic acid face wash for oily acne-prone skin. Its designed to control acne breakouts without drying out the skin too much.
Can Salicylic Acid Damage Skin
You can actually use too much salicylic acid. “The primary negative side effect of salicylic acid is its ability to irritate and dry skin in those who are very sensitive or those who overuse it,” says Dr. Nazarian.
“Depending on the concentration and the number of applications, some people may experience dryness, peeling, redness, and some skin irritation,” says Schueller. For this reason, those with skin that’s already severely dry or sensitive should consider avoiding SA altogether. It’s also not the best choice if you are pregnant or taking certain medications, including blood thinners.
Still, the concentration of most over-the-counter salicylic acid creams and cleansers often two percent is low. If used appropriately, it can be tolerated quite well, says Seemal Desai, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in Texas. When starting a new salicylic acid-based product, he advises his patients to begin slowly by using the product every other day , then working their way up to daily once they know how their skin reacts to the ingredient.
What can be serious: “Applying salicylic acid or any salicylate to very large portions of your body can lead to salicylate poisoning,” says Schueller. So just don’t apply a layer of it all over stick to only acne-prone areas.
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Cosrx Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser
When it comes to clearing acne, it helps to have a mild cleanser that wont strip your skin dry like the COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser. Fortified with skin purifying botanical ingredients and Salicylic Acid, it eliminates dead skin cells, excess oil, blackheads and whiteheads, whilst retaining moisture in skin. The creamy foam dissolves debris while controlling oil production to keep acne from seeing you often. Oh and did we tell you, its hypoallergenic. Cue to add to cart for sensitive skin peeps.
What Are The Uses Of Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid causes shedding of the upper layer of the skin. It is used in the treatment of acne prone skin, dandruff, psoriasis and to remove corns, calluses and warts.
It causes the skin to remove the top layer of the skin by increasing the amount of moisture and dissolving the cement between the cells. This softens the skin and removes the dryness and scaling.
With this, we can even remove the dead skin over the palms and soles of the foot. It is even best for blackheads, non-inflamed breakouts and whiteheads.
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If You Have Allergies
Allergic reactions to salicylic acid are very rare. However, if you use a product containing SA and have a reaction, it’s best to stop using it and seek medical attention immediately.
Sometimes, you may find that it’s not the salicylic acid specifically that’s the problem, but rather another ingredient used to formulate the product as a whole.
In this case, your doctor may be able to prescribe another skincare product with SA but without the element that you may be allergic to.
Best Salicylic Acid Face Wash Wipes: C’est Moi Clarify Blemish Clearing Wipes
Let’s face it: There are just some times where a full-on face wash just isn’t in the cards, which is when cleansing wipes prove to be invaluable. Plus, if you have oily skin, wipes can often degrease in a way that many cleansers can not, says Dr. Greenfield. She likes these hypoallergenic, salicylic acid face wipes, which contain a one percent concentration of salicylic acid, and no potentially-irritating ingredients, say says. The wipes themselves are biodegradable, a major win if you’re looking to minimize the impact your beauty routine has the environment.
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Why Is Cleansing Important
Cleansing forms the first step in any skincare routine. Primary function of a cleanser is to remove dirt, excess oil and makeup residue from the face. It also prepares your skin for the application of next set of products in your routine.
Cleansers contain cleansing agents called surfactants , which have a hydrophilic head and a hydrophobic tail.
While cleansing, the hydrophobic parts of the surfactant attach to the oil or grease and hydrophilic part get attached to the water and form structures called micelles. This is how they draw out the impurities from the face.
What Are The Benefits Of Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid is an acid exfoliant and works by softening and dissolving keratin. Keratin is a protein naturally found in the skin that can clog pores and block hair follicles. It is easy to penetrate into skin, and best suited for oily and acne-prone skin. It also works on fading dark spots, targeting uneven skin tone and if used in mild doses, will do wonders to your skin.
Some clear benefits of this hero ingredient are mentioned below:
It treats acne and other skin conditions
When topically applied, salicylic acid softens skin removing top layer, it dissolves dead skin and unclogs pores. The deep exfoliation process helps prevent acne and breakouts. The peeling effect removes all dry skin and gives you smoother complexion. In other words, it is all the pimple solution you need! Salicylic acid is also used in the treatment of skin conditions like dandruff, psoriasis and to remove corns, calluses and warts.
Offers deep exfoliation
Salicylic Acid is a keratolytic medication and is a super-effective exfoliant that encourages skin cell turnover and removes dead skin. In return revealing smoother, brighter and clearer looking skin. It can penetrate the lipid barrier of the skin and unclog the pores deeply thereby getting rid of oil, dirt, blackheads and improve pores.
Controls excess oiliness
Improves skin texture
Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
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How To Apply Salicylic Acid
Work up to it
Always patch test before applying to your entire face! Apply a small amount of the salicylic acid product in the evening to a small area on your forehead . If there’s no irritation after 24hrs, apply a thin layer of the salicylic acid product to your entire face – use product as directed . If there is irritation within 24 hrs , consider trying another salicylic acid product with a lower concentration or try an alternative acne fighting ingredient such as azelaic acid or differin.
Apply to entire face
Salicylic acid works best when applied to your entire face because it removes dead skin cells from your pores and cleans out excess oil from pores. This helps prevent future breakouts.
Less is more
Only use a pea sized amount or less for your entire face. Too much can cause irritation.
Don’t scrub face
Salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliant. It has the ability to loosen the dead skin cells on your skins surface without you having to scrub your skin to make it work . So don’t scrub! Let the product soak in and do its thing.
How To Use Salicylic Acid Cleanser
Cleansers that contain 1-2% Salicylic acid are safe to use twice daily. Follow the instructions mentioned on the product. Wash your face with water and take out a coin size SA cleanser on your palm. If consistency is too thick, mix 1-2 drops of water and gently rub your face in a circular motion for 1 minute to spread it. Wash out with cold water. Follow it up with 2% hyaluronic acid at night for plump, healthy skin.People with hypersensitive or compromised skin are not advised to use Salicylic acid-based products.
Sun Alert: Always wear a broad spectrum SPF 30 and above sunscreen while using Salicylic acid in your routine.
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Salicylic Acid Skin Care Benefits: All You Need To Know
Salicylic acid is an FDA approved skin care ingredient used for the topical treatment of acne, and it’s the only beta hydroxy acid used in skin care products. Perfect for oily skin, salicylic acid is best known for its ability to deep clean excess oil out of pores and reduce oil production moving forward. Because salicylic acid keeps pores clean and unclogged, it prevents future whiteheads and blackheads from developing. Salicylic acid also exfoliates dead skin, and its anti-inflammatory properties make it a prime ingredient for those with psoriasis. Salicylic acid naturally occurs in willow bark, sweet birch bark, and wintergreen leaves, but synthetic versions are also used in skin care products.
INGREDIENT CATEGORY: BHA, Chemical Exfoliant, Comedolytic, Desmolytic BEST FOR TREATING: Acne & Blemishes, OilinessSKIN TYPES FOR USE: Combination, Normal, and OilySAFETY: Salicylic acid is safe for topical use in concentrations of up to 2% in skin care products GHS TIP: It will take 6-8 weeks of consistent topical use before you begin to see results.