Ah, hello, hello! I’m guessing you came across this page because (a) you would do anything to cure your acne, and (b) there’s a good chance you’ve fucked your face while trying to do so in the past. . Hey, I’m not here to judge. I hear you – oh boy do I hear you. Because, surprise: I also hate acne! But do you know the acne enemy of all enemies? Guesses? No? Well my friends let me introduce you to salicylic acid – the legendary active ingredient whose goal is to destroy those pesky little pimples. And please say a warm hello, because, my dear, the enemy of an enemy is a friend.
If you’re no stranger to the horrors of those facial bumps and bumps, you’ve probably heard of salicylic acid (i.e. serums, masks, creams, gels, toners), but today , we’re going to focus on one: the cleanser. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that you shouldn’t start dropping your hard-earned pennies on salicylic acid cleansers just yet. You will need to know what it is, how it works and, most importantly, if it is right for you. So without further ado, people ~ acne ~ everywhere, let’s get back to Chemistry 101. (With the help of a few pros, of course.)
What exactly is salicylic acid ?!
Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) that comes from willow bark, a natural substance, which makes it a natural ingredient, says Dr. Cheryl Burgess, MD, FAAD and Certified Dermatologist at the Center for Dermatology and Dermatological Surgery in Washington. It is best known “to help cleanse the pores of dirt, reduce sebum production at the follicular level, and dissolve dead skin cells,” says Dr. Annie Chiu, MD, 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 rashes, Chiu explains to Cosmos.
In dermatology or skin care, salicylic acid is most often used topically. It’s approved up to 2% by the FDA for over-the-counter and mass market (AKA, you) sales, making it readily available for purchase in many different forms. If you need a higher dosage for specific problems, it can be prescribed by a doctor or dermatologist under their supervision and care.
The bottom line …
K. So basically Salicylic Acid is a natural BHA that works to kick ass from acne by penetrating deep into the skin, unclogging the pores and therefore renewing your skin. And you can buy it at a concentration of up to 2% at virtually any drugstore or cosmetic store near you ?! Yes, you would be right, my friend.
What else is he doing ?!
So we know salicylic acid is great for treating acne, but did I mention that it has a ton of other crazy benefits as well?
They include, but are not limited to –
- Removal of warts / calluses
- Anti-aging treatments
- Scar treatments
- Anti-dandruff treatments
- Treatments for skin disorders (such as psoriasis and ichthyosis)
Pretty impressive, right ?! If that leaves you curious about more, we literally fall apart all you might still be wondering about salicylic acid and the science behind it here.
… back to the good stuff – what kind of salicylic acid cleanser is right for me and how do I use it?
According to Dr. Chiu, the cleanser you choose should depend on your skin type, age, and main skin problem. A salicylic acid cleanser comes in two formats: 1) with a soapy and foamy consistency, which is best for oily skin, and 2) with a soap-free preparation, which is best for dry skin. says Dr. Burgess. Then, depending on your skin type, she continues, you can usually choose between a concentration of salicylic acid of 0.5%, 1% or 2%.
While many of us are used to applying, lathering and immediately rinsing off a cleanser, Dr. Burgess has a better recommendation for getting the full effect of the salicylic acid cleanser. “You want to lather it up, put it on the skin and let it sit for maybe a minute or two. By doing this extra step, the top layer of the skin is softened and the active ingredient can penetrate a little more. You will eventually see more responses than just washing your face and then rinsing yourself off, ”she says.
“You want to lather it up, put it on the skin and let it sit for maybe a minute or two.” – Dr Cheryl Burgess
When using a salicylic acid cleanser, it’s important to let your skin be the guidesays Dr. Loren Krueger, MD, dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at Emory University. “I would recommend starting to use a salicylic acid cleanser every other morning or every morning,” says Krueger. Using the cleanser too frequently at the start of your treatment can potentially lead to irritation. “If you tolerate it well once a day but your skin can still be improved, you can bounce it up to twice a day,” she says.
Warnings when using salicylic acid …
Unfortunately, as with everything in life, nothing can be perfect. Aaaaand which includes some of the side effects that you may experience while using SA. “Everyone’s skin can react differently,” says Dr. Lucy Chen, board-certified dermatologist of Riverchase Dermatology in Miami, “common side effects include burning, peeling, dry, scaly skin, and inflammation, especially at the start of treatment. If any of these effects worsen or persist, be sure to see your doctor. Sometimes all you may need to change is the amount of the medicine or how often you use it, ”she says. If you experience dryness, apply a mild, fragrance-free moisturizer after cleansing.
It’s important to note that the higher the concentration of salicylic acid in the cleanser, the more drying it can be, so keep this in mind when choosing your cleanser. And before adding a salicylic acid cleanser to your routine, make sure that the other products in your skin care regimen do not contain retinol or glycolic acid. Combing either with salicylic acid can cause redness and irritation.
And for the last, and possibly the most important, tip when it comes to using a salicylic acid cleanser: If you have any questions or concerns before, during, or after using the product, the best thing to do is speak up. with. a. doctor (!!) Everyone’s skin is different, so one diet may not be right for everyone.
The best salicylic acid cleansers …
OK, OK, OK, I get it – that was a ton of information. So, before I lose you all to an information-overloaded headache (sry), get excited, because here are the 15 Best Salicylic Acid Cleansers On The Market RN – Approved By The Pros.