Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), which is related to alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), but they differ by one carbon atom. That one carbon atom makes salicylic acid lipophilic—which means it is effective and can penetrate skin layers that have oilier lipid membranes and sebum as well.
In general, Hydroxyacids (AHA, BHA, PHA) are critical in skincare to help exfoliate and remove dead skin cells from the skin. Increasing skin cell turnover helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and give your skin a refreshed and renewed look. By also removing dead skin cells and exfoliating the pores in your skin helps prevent acne.
Salicylic acid is also a keratolytic acid—it removes keratinocytes, the uppermost layer of skin cells. As a lipophilic keratolytic acid, salicylic acid effectively penetrates pores and removes excess oil and sebum. Because it encourages exfoliation and reduces pore size, pores are less likely to become clogged with dead skin cells and excess oil, which is why it is an effective acne treatment.
Got acne in 30s? Salicylic acid can also be an effective spot acne treatment. In higher concentrations, salicylic acid can help to unclog pores that result in zits and pimples.
More than just an acne treatment
Salicylic acid is useful not only for acne, but also for all-over exfoliation. But what’s more, salicylic acid is a precursor of aspirin (acetyl-salicylic acid), so it has similar anti-inflammatory properties. These properties make salicylic acid a powerful agent of exfoliation because it can soothe the newly exposed new skin cells.
The exfoliation that salicylic acid fosters encourages more rapid cell renewal, which helps your skin maintain a glowing, youthful complexion. Some studies even show that this cell renewal leads to the diminishing of fine lines and wrinkles. Salicylic acid can also brighten and even skin tone by evening out pigmentation.
How to use Salicylic Acid Products
Whether in a Men’s Salicylic acid cleanser or a Mens nighttime moisturizer, salicylic can be important to incorporate on a daily basis. If you are concerned about sudden oily skin and breakouts, you might want more salicylic in your routine compared to somebody else. As we mentioned, salicylic is important for all skin types as well! So how and how often you use products containing salicylic acid will depend on your skin type. In most facial cleansers, salicylic acid may be used twice daily. However, if you encounter any drying of the skin, a moisturizer should follow, or you can reduce usage..
Salicylic Acid is Great!
The most important thing to keep in mind as you look for the best skincare regimen is that many ingredients like Salicylic acid can be beneficial for many skin types and purposes. While salicylic acid is powerful to control oil and reduce acne and breakouts, it also is important for non-oily skin to help promote skin turnover and reduce fine lines and wrinkles!