You may notice those pesky zits on your face despite having a good skincare routine. Pimples just find a way to enter our life, eventhough they are unwelcome. Trust us when we say, that we gave tried every trick in the book, and while some have worked in zapping the zits, others have made matters worse. So take a leaf out of our terrorised tale of skin woes, to find ways of shunning acne. Lucky for you, our skin experiments have helped us decipher the acne-fighter of the highest order and that is salicylic acid. Yes it is an acid, but a skin-friendly one, so don’t fret and read on to find the benefits of this beta hydroxy acid.
Salicylic acid is a skincare ingredient that is widely talked about that can help with skin clarity. An essential for oily skin, this beta-hydroxy acid can unclog pores, retexturise skin and do much more. This article will take a deep dive into salicylic acid and its skincare benefits, how to use it, and the frequency of usage.
What Is Salicylic Acid?
Let's begin by defining salicylic acid. This might sound a bit science-y, but we request you to put on your geeky glass and pay attention. The exact structure of salicylic acid is crucial in explaining why IT works on acne-prone skin. The acids we use in skincare products are broadly divided into 2 categories: beta hydroxy acids (BHA) and alpha hydroxy acids (AHA). Salicyclic acid falls under the former category.
The hydroxy part is separated from the acid part by 2 carbon atoms, as compared to alpha-hydroxy acid, which is separated from the acid by one carbon atom. As per our skincare expert, due to this structure, salicylic acid is more oil-soluble and can easily penetrate the skin's pores. Moreover, alpha hydroxy acid is water-soluble, whereas beta hydroxy acid is oil soluble.
Our skincare expert explains that oil-soluble products penetrate the lipid layers of the skin and can reach deeper into the layers of the skin. For this reason, salicylic acid easily penetrates deeper in the dermal layers and unclogs the pores. It is widely used in acne-control skincare products. Salicylic acid face wash, salicylic acid creams and salicylic acid ointments are available in the market for controlling acne.
What Does Salicylic Acid Do To Your Skin?
The ability of salicylic acid to penetrate deep into the skin and clear pores is what makes it an effective acne treatment ingredient. Salicyclic acid targets acne by effectively unclogging the pores, dissolving debris from the pores and gently exfoliating the skin surface. Its anti-inflammatory property soothes the inflamed skin, making acne and pimples disappear faster.
Benefits Of Salicylic Of Acid
Salicylic acid easily penetrates the skin, unclogs the pores, exfoliates the skin, and soothes imfammation. These properties together make this glow-rious liquid an excellent remedy for acne, pimples, blackheads and whiteheads. Let’s get deeper into the skincare benefits of salicylic acid.
1. Effectively Exfoliates Your Skin
Salicylic acid is a pro at exfoliating your skin gently. Considered a keratolytic medication, it sloughs of dirt, grime and debris from the skin, making your skin visibly soft and smooth.
2. Deeply Cleanses Your Skin
This BHA cleanses your skin by loosening and destroying desmosomes (an adhesive protein complex found at the junctions of cells). By this action, the keratin of the skin is peeled off, effectively unclogging the pores. Since salicylic acid is lipophilic, it penetrates oily skin, unclogs pores, and has a deep cleaning effect.
3. Controls Acne
Salicyclic acid has a 3-way action on acne. It dissolves the clogged debris in the pores, reduces sebum secretion, and its anti-inflammatory property has a soothing action of inflamed acne. Thus it acts as an expert in controlling acne and pimples.
4. Reduces Blackheads And Whiteheads
It dissolves keratin plugs that remain clogged in the pores, regulates the skin cells and its anti-bacterial action is beneficial in eliminating comedones from the skin surface.
Salicylic acid is different from other acids as it is lipophilic and readily dissolves oil and debris, which gets clogged inside the pores. Thus, it is considered very effective in treating acne, pimple, and comedones. For on spot acne treatment, salicylic acid ointments are best.
Who Should Avoid Salicylic Acid?
Luckily it is generally considered to be safe for all skin types. However, people with very dry and sensitive skin can avoid salicylic acid as it can irritate the skin. People with acne-prone and oily skin benefit most from it. Experts warn against overusing this treatment as it can damage the skin's protective barrier when used in excess.
How To Use Salicylic Acid In Skincare?
You can include salicylic acid face wash and salicylic acid cream in your morning and evening skincare routine. But experts advise introducing acid-based products slowly in your skincare routine. You can start by using it in the form of facial wipes or face wash. Make sure that you use acid products in moderation otherwise, you might end up irritating your skin.
Whenever you are using a salicylic acid-based facewash, remember to apply a moisturizer and sunscreen. This BHA can be used in combination with AHAs such as glycolic acid and lactic acid. This power-packed combination has proven to be very effective in combatting acne. The addition of hyaluronic acid and ceramides can also increase the efficacy of the product formula.
What Should Be The Frequency Of Usage?
Experts recommend using salicylic acid in moderation because moisturizers can dry out your skin and disrupt the skin’s natural protective barrier when used in excess. When using it for the first time, you are unaware of how your skin reacts to salicylic acid. Initially, apply twice a week and gradually increase frequency based on your skin's need.
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