Any Final Words Of Precaution When Using A Salicylic Acid Face Wash
This acid has similar properties to aspirin, so if you have an aspirin allergy, you should probably look into other proven acne-fighting options . Doctors also advise skipping salicylic acid during pregnancy or breastfeeding, as trace amounts of the ingredient can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Another thing to be mindful of is the rest of your skin-care routine. When using a strong exfoliant like sal acid, you should scale back on using other exfoliants , as over-exfoliation can damage your skin barrier, which will cause further inflammation.
How Much Salicylic Acid Is Safe
The amount of salicylic acid thats safe for an individual user depends strongly on your age and any skin conditions you have. Below are some of the most common salicylic acid applications and quantities:
Although salicylic acid products are safe for most skin types, your reaction to over-the-counter salicylic acid products can differ greatly from your reaction to prescription medications. Take care to introduce salicylic acid products to your personal care regimen slowly and monitor your skin closely for side effects and reactions.
First Up Salicylic Acid Basics
Salicylic acid is a member of the beta-hydroxy acid group, often referred to as BHAs. BHAs are organic, carbon-based compounds that can be found naturally in plants, fruits and vegetables.
As opposed to the water-soluble alpha-hydroxy acid group , BHAs are fat-soluble due to their extra carbon molecule. This fat solubility is the key to their effectiveness and the specific benefits they can provide for the skin.
Salicylic acid comes from the same category of drugs as aspirin, a class called salicylates. It is found in willow bark. When it is applied to the skin, it is able to use its fat-soluble status to penetrate deeper into the pores than many other topical products.
Thats where the acid portion of being a beta-hydroxy acid comes in. The acid dissolves the protein bonds between dead skin cells, making it easier for them to be cleared away from the skin. This is what makes salicylic acid such an effective exfoliant.
Typical benefits of salicylic acid include:
- Can reduce the likelihood and frequency of breakouts
- Reduces pore size
- Can help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation
Although salicylic acid is often talked about in regards to people with blemish-prone skin, it is just as beneficial for people without those issues. However, because it is an exfoliant, it also has the potential to cause irritation to the skin especially if youre never used an AHA or BHA before. For this reason, its important to start slow.
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Learning How To Safely And Effectively Combine Ingredients In Your Skin Care Routine Can Help You Identify The Right Combinations For Your Uniquely Beautiful Skin
The opposite is also true the knowledge of which elements dont go well together is also incredibly beneficial.
For those of you looking for a routine that helps your skin appear brighter and more evenly toned, two of the possible stars of the show are salicylic acid and vitamin C.
Well walk you through what each ingredient can do for your skin and how you can use them together for even more impressive results. From the pros at Skin Pharm, heres how you can incorporate them into your skin care routine.
What Precautions Should You Take Before Using Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid isn’t a substance to take lightly. As a BHA that works on the surface of the skin, this substance can easily break down basic components like fats. Take care to limit your application of this substance to prevent chemical burns, which can occur with overuse.
Whenever you begin using a new topical medication or cosmetic product, test your reaction first. You can do this test by applying a small amount of the medication to a less visible part of your skin. Check for a noticeable reaction a few minutes, a few hours, and a day after application to confirm whether youre sensitive to the topical product in question. If you are sensitive, try the same testing process with another product instead.
If you suffer from several external and internal health issues, you should consult with a doctor before using salicylic acid. If you have diabetes, for instance, using salicylic acid may cause extreme redness in your skin. If you have kidney disease or liver disease, taking salicylic acid can worsen some of your symptoms.
Also, before you start using salicylic acid, make sure you understand its proper application. If you plan to use a topical treatment, for instance, be certain not to ingest the solution or allow it to touch sensitive organs like eyes or noses. Understand whether the product can be washed away immediately or if you should leave it on your skin for hours or even days.
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How To Use Salicylic Acid Cleanser For Skin
Salicylic acid acts as a defense against blackheads, whiteheads and minor acne. It can be used like any other face cleanser. Heres how to use salicylic acid cleanser:
- Wet your face before applying cleanser
- Massage the cleanser onto your skin using circular motions
- Rinse thoroughly to make sure you dont leave behind any residue
What Is Salicylic Acid
In the world of exfoliants, you’ve got more than a few options to choose from based on what your skin needs. Salicylic acid, an ingredient extracted from willow tree bark, is one type of chemical exfoliant called beta-hydroxy acid . Before explaining exactly how salicylic works, here’s a quick refresher on how breakouts form: when bacteria, debris, sebum, and dead skin cells mix together, a clog forms inside your pores. Unlike the chemical exfoliants called alpha-hydroxy acids , which are water-soluble and ideal for surface exfoliation, salicylic is oil-soluble, which makes it capable of cutting through oil and exfoliating deep within your pores to remove blockages.
You might be most familiar with salicylic acid as an acne spot treatment, but the ingredient is also found in many other forms, like cleansers, toners, serums, and peels, which can all be beneficial to the skin in their own right. “Each vehicle uses salicylic acid in its own special way and is targeted for certain use in specific people, depending on their skin issues,” Marmur explains. The caveat is that some cleansers, peels, and toners can be too harsh, according to Marmur, and should be avoided.
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Should I Use A Cleanser With Salicylic Acid
Yes and no, this is very much dependant on the skin type you have. Those who have an oily or blemish-prone skin type will find that they are able to introduce salicylic acid in their routine with little to no sign of irritation. For the most effective formulation of face wash and cleanser should include percentage varying between 0.5% up to 2%. This active level of salicylic acid will penetrate the lower layers of the skin, deep into the pores and unclog them of any build-up of excess sebum, impurities, dirt, and bacteria.
The beauty of using a cleanser contain salicylic acid is the fact it is rinsed off the skin, this prevents the potent acid remaining on the skin with the potential side effects of causing dryness and irritation.
What Should Not Be Used With Salicylic Acid
BEWARE: Retinol + Salicylic Acid You do not want to use two potent ingredients that have the same effect on your skin. For example, retinol and salicylic acid can each cause skin irritation when used on its own, Dr. Yu says. Combining these items might make your skin feel dry and sensitive, especially to light.
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Is It Okay To Use Salicylic Acid Every Day
Yes, you can use salicylic acid in mild concentrations and combined with other soothing ingredients every day, however, your skin doesnt need that much exfoliation.
The mature cells that sit tightly packed on the surface of your skin are a part of whats called NMFs or natural moisturizing factors, therefore, they play an important role in helping your skin retain moisture.
Exfoliating daily, and thus constantly removing these mature cells may potentially damage your skin barrier and lead to irritation, sensitivity, and all sorts of skin problems.
Therefore, be mindful about exfoliation as this is a practice that happens regularly in a good skincare routine, but exfoliating daily is just excessive and your skin doesnt need it.
Paulas Choice Bha Liquid Exfoliant
This is the best exfoliating solution if you have oily/combo or even dry skin but you can still see those pesky little blackheads or occasional pimples every now and again.
It has a slightly thick and oily texture that will not dry out your skin, but since its also an exfoliator, it also wont contribute to excess oil production that can potentially clog your pores and create more acne breakouts.
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Should You Moisturize After Salicylic Acid
You should always moisturize after using salicylic acid as this particular ingredient can also balance out the sebum production, making the skin feel a little dry.
Salicylic acid is most useful when it comes in the form of a toner, exfoliating solution, or serum, and should always be followed up with occlusive moisture to help create a nice and thick barrier to help the skin retain moisture.
I Always Apply Moisturiser And Sunscreen
Skincare acids, even if they dont burn, are harsh on the skin. Applying a soothing and hydrating moisturiser is key if youre using any acids, salicylic or otherwise. I also ensure that I always have sunscreen on so that the fresh skin that salicylic acid products give me is fortified against UV rays, and not sunburnt red and raw!
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Loosens Dead Skin Cells
Salicylic acid is an exfoliant that can remove dead skin cells by chemically exfoliating the top layer of skin and accelerate skin cell renewal. Furthermore, salicylic acid is a desmolytic, which loosens the bonds between corneocytes . As a desmolytic, salicylic is a milder exfoliant than azelaic acid and benzoyl peroxide, both of which are keratolytic agents. Keratolytic can provide deeper exfoliation but may be more irritating to sensitive skin. All three ingredients are comedolytic, meaning they unclog pores and prevent future whiteheads and blackheads from developing.
Which One Is Better For Acne
If you have acne, both ingredients can have a beneficial effect on your skin. But in general, salicylic acid is the better choice.
Unlike glycolic acid, salicylic acid decreases sebum in the skin. This is important because sebum can clog pores, which increases your risk of an acne breakout. Excess sebum also promotes the growth of bacteria that can cause acne.
The exfoliating, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial effects of salicylic acid are also beneficial for acne-prone skin.
If youd like to try a product that contains salicylic acid, you may want to consider the following, which can all be found online:
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What Is Benzoyl Peroxide
Benzoyl peroxide is an acne-clearing ingredient notable for diminishing bacteria and absorbing excess sebum. “It’s a topical compound used to treat acne since 1934,” explains Dr. Kim. “It’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, keratolyticit breaks up the top layer of dead skin cellsand comedolytic, which means it dissolves blackheads and whiteheads.”
What Does Benzoyl Peroxide Do To Your Skin
“After application, benzoyl peroxide degrades and releases oxygen which is lethal to cutibacterium acnes, a bacteria that plays a role in acne formation,” Dr. Kim says. “Because it kills the bacteria and does not just slow down its growth , benzoyl peroxide does not contribute to bacterial resistance.”
And while it can improve acne when used by itself, says Dr. Kim, its efficacy is enhanced when combined with topical antibiotics and retinoids.
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Best For Sensitive Skin: Paula’s Choice Clear Pore Normalizing Cleanser
Gentle enough for sensitive skin
Panthenol calms skin
Low concentration of salicylic acid
Can have a drying effect
People with sensitive skin usually dont tolerate high concentrations of salicylic acid very well, but they still want to keep their complexions clear and breakouts to a minimum. Enter this gentle-yet-effective cleanser from Paulas Choice. It contains 0.5% of salicylic acid, which is just enough to provide the cleansing and exfoliating benefits you want without the dryness and agitation you dont.
The fragrance-free gel is also infused with panthenol to moisturize, calm, and refresh the skin. Reviewers love the lather it creates, as well as the soft, fresh-faced feeling it leaves behind.
Active Ingredients: Salicylic acid | Uses: Cleansing face, treating acne | Fragrance: None
Although salicylic acid can be helpful for breakouts, it is important to know that it can also be irritating, particularly for those with sensitive skin. As a result, it is important to not overdo it and be sure to find one that is good for your skin type. Those with more oily skin may prefer more of a gel based cleanser or a higher concentration of salicylic acid, while those with more sensitive skin may require a cleanser that is also hydrating and more gentle on the skin. ., board-certified dermatologist
May be irritating and drying
Active Ingredients: Salicylic acid | Uses: Cleansing face, treating acne, preventing breakouts | Fragrance: Yes
Salicylic Acid For Acne
As its oil-soluble, salicylic acid can penetrate down into pores and dissolve excess sebum and debris, making it ideal for oily and acne-prone skin, explains Dr Zamani. It also regulates oil production.
An anti-inflammatory effect can help skin to look less red and inflamed, she continues. The general exfoliating effect will help the skin look brighter and smoother and allow other skincare products to penetrate the skin more effectively.
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Can I Use Niacinamide After Salicylic Acid
While it’s safe to use salicylic acid and niacinamide together, Leung advises that it’s best not to combine BHAs with other exfoliants or retinol. Niacinamide is relatively non-irritating when paired with actives, but when we apply ingredients like AHA or BHAs, we need to give the skin the opportunity to use them.
How To Use It
The recommended concentration of a salicylic acid product varies from person to person and should be discussed with your dermatologist, and the same applies to how often you use a salicylic acid treatment. In general, Marmur says to use salicylic acid in moderation until you know your skin can tolerate it. Start off applying it every few days, and take note of how your skin reacts after each application. “The key is to listen to your skin,” Mudgil advises. “If it’s getting irritated, you’ll need to take a day or two off and perhaps be a bit more vigilant with moisturizing.” As far as the amount used, Marmur stresses the importance of following the direction of your doctor. “Dont do more or less, and dont use it for longer than recommended,” Marmur says. “Apply just enough salicylic acid to cover the affected area and rub it into the skin gently.”
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How Often Should You Use Products Containing Salicylic Acid
“How often you use salicylic acid depends on what kind of product you are using,” explains the doctor. “If salicylic acid is an ingredient in your cleanser, it is fine to use it every day.”
However, if you are using an exfoliant that salicylic acid in the formula, Dr. Hu advises only using the product three times per week, to avoid over-exfoliating the skin and drying it out.
Paulas Choice Regular Strength 2% Salicylic Acid Exfoliator
This one is perfect for oily skin types that deal with moderate acne breakouts. It has a nice and light texture, isnt heavy on the skin, and many people tolerate it pretty well.
One thing I have to say about it is that it can sting a little for the first several uses, especially if your skin is also a little dehydrated, however, once your skin gets used to it, you will be good to go.
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How Should I Use Benzoyl Peroxide And Salicylic Acid
Both benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid come in various forms, which makes them both very versatile. “Benzoyl peroxide is an active ingredient in cleansers, gels, creams, lotions, and foams. Salicylic acid can be found in cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and even concealers,” says Dr. Kim.
It’s essential not to use too many products that have active ingredients all at the same time. That’s a recipe for disasterit may cause irritation and a case of dermatitis. “I usually recommend choosing just one product that has benzoyl peroxide and one that has salicylic acid,” says Dr. Kim. “Start slowly in the beginning, alternating days until your skin gets used to with no signs of peeling, redness, or irritation.”
You can incorporate either product in your morning or nighttime skincare routine. Then, once you build a tolerance, you can try applying both daily. “If your dermatologist adds prescription products , you may need to your use of benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid,” says Dr. Kim. “Be careful not to apply these active ingredients near the delicate skin around the eyes. Acne treatments are best used in a thin layer on the affected areas of your face and bodynot just on your existing acne spots.” The idea is to get ahead of your acne and prevent the development of future breakouts.
Best For Dry Skin: Skyn Iceland Glacial Face Wash: Creamy Foaming Cleanser
Cream formula is soothing and gentle for sensitive skin
Contains salicylic acid derived from willow bark
Additional ingredients help detoxify and repair the skins barrier function
People with dry or sensitive skin will love this gentle cream cleanser. It removes impurities from your skin with oat- and amino acid-based surfactants while salicylic acid derived from white willow bark purifies pores and reduces irritation to prevent breakouts.
The formula also includes Icelandic kelp. While scientists don’t know the exact mechanism of action, Icelandic kelp is thought to work by detoxifying the skin and soothing inflammation, while cylindrica seed oil is thought to help repair the lipid barrier to prevent dryness.
Reviewers swear by this face wash, noting that a little bit goes a long way for a luxurious lather.
Active Ingredients: Salicylic acid from willow bark | Uses: Cleansing face, treating acne | Fragrance: Yes
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