Breaking Down Salicylic Acid: Benefits and How to Use It
Salicylic acid is a powerful chemical exfoliator that can address various skin concerns. However, it is crucial to know how to use salicylic acid effectively to reap its multiple benefits.
In one's search for a way to combat breakouts, an ingredient that will likely come up is salicylic acid (SA). Salicylic acid is a powerful chemical exfoliator that can address various skin concerns such as acne, oily skin, clogged pores, and more.
What are the benefits? How can you properly incorporate it into your routine? Read this article to learn some key salicylic acid benefits and how to use salicylic acid effectively to reap its many benefits.
Breaking Down Salicylic Acid: Benefits and How to Use It
Recognized for its multiple benefits, salicylic acid is ideal for those with oily and acne-prone skin. It is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) type of acid, making it an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredient that can deeply clean your pores and efficiently minimize blemishes.
The Key Benefits of Salicylic Acid
- Excellent for exfoliation
Salicylic acid is best known for its ability to unclog pores, accelerate skin renewal, and exfoliate dead skin cells. SA is a gentler exfoliant compared to other skincare products on the market.
- Helps combat acne
Acne progresses from whiteheads and blackheads. By keeping your pores clean, salicylic acid can prevent these impurities from worsening and consequently combat acne.
- Regulates sebum production
The ingredient is soluble in oil, allowing it to reach the deep layers of your skin and suppressing sebocytes from creating excess oil. Thus, while other products merely skim the skin, salicylic acid effectively exfoliates pore linings and decreases your build-up of sebum.
- Softens clogged pores
The product can penetrate your pores' ends and eliminate superficial acne such as blackheads and whiteheads.
- Weakens bacteria
The bacteria that lead to acne survive under clogged pores due to their low oxygen content. Salicylic acid thus prevents these from worsening by unclogging pores and allowing your skin to absorb oxygen.
- Soothes inflammation
Salicylic acid contains salicin, a chemical naturally found in willow bark. This has properties similar to aspirin, reducing inflammation, redness, puffiness, and soreness.
- Rejuvenates skin
The acid is used as a mild chemical peel, enabling you to achieve a brighter, youthful glow.
- Astringent properties
Besides getting into the surface of the skin and unblocking pores, the effects of salicylic acid are long-lasting as well due to its astringency. These long-lasting effects include tightening the skin, reducing the appearance of pores and blemishes, and giving the skin a smoother and more youthful appearance.
- Reduces blemishes
Salicylic acid can reduce blemishes as it tightens the skin, reduces hyperpigmentation, minimizes pores, prevents discoloration, and promotes the overall smoothness of your skin.
- Lightens dark spots
Salicylic acid is keratolytic, which means it can break down the keratin in your skin and help lighten dark spots.
How to Properly Use Salicylic Acid
- Salicylic acid is best incorporated into cleansers
Given all these, SA efficiently breaks down your dead skin cells and dissolves impurities that may build up. The ingredient is better off rinsed than left on the skin, which makes it more ideal when integrated into cleansers. As a cleanser, it can mitigate irritation and promote skin hydration. Garnier’s Anti-Acne Cleanser is perfect for this, as it can also get rid of excess oil and bacteria, all while having a gentle formula.
- Use moderately and increase frequency as tolerated
Remember that the ingredient should be used moderately and gradually. Begin by testing the product in patches. If you don't experience any adverse side effects, start with a pea-sized amount. Gradually increase the concentration as your skin adjusts to it.
- Don't scrub it in
Salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliant that soaks your pores. Thus, there is no need to scrub the product onto your skin.
- Follow it up with a moisturizer
To balance out the possible drying effects of salicylic acid, follow it up with a moisturizer such as a shine free cream.
- Don't forget the sunscreen
With the exfoliation of dead skin cells and the shedding of the outer layer of your skin, you may need more protection against UV rays. Don't forget to apply sunscreen always to repair your skin's barrier and prevent sunburn, wrinkles, and discoloration.
- Work with your dermatologist
When incorporating the product into your skincare routine, remember to work with your dermatologist to improve your regimen. Salicylic acid does not fit all skin types, skincare ingredients, and situations.
- Be wary of oils and hydrators
Salicylic acid works best with calming products like green tea or aloe vera. However, if coupled with a hydrator like ceramides or oil-based ingredients, SA can be trapped in your skin, leading to irritation and breakouts.
- Compliment with AHAs
While you should be wary of oils and hydrators, combining salicylic acid with other exfoliators, primarily Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) such as lactic or glycolic acid, can optimize the product's efficiency.
- Choose the most compatible salicylic acid
Salicylic acid comes in many forms and concentrations. The best product that will work for you depends on your skin type and needs.
Flawless, Glowing Skin!
The list of salicylic acid benefits goes on and on. It diminishes your blemishes and helps you combat acne and hyperpigmentation. However, when applying the ingredient, you should first know how to use salicylic acid properly and which skincare products would complement it.
To optimize your skincare routine, check out Garnier’s Anti-Acne Cleanser and the Garnier shop, where a wide range of skincare products are available to address every skin concern.