You’ve probably heard of or tried every trick in the book for getting rid of blemishes and clearing up your skin. There are so many tricks circulating around the internet that claim to be a miracle, overnight fix for all your blemishes, from cold spoons to toothpaste to pimple patches.
While promises of a miracle fix sound extremely tempting, that’s simply not how clearing blemishes works. Instead, you should work on establishing a daily skincare routine utilizing products with ingredients that prevent and heal blemishes. Although different treatments will have varying success for each individual, there are a few holy grail ingredients that tend to work quite well across the board. One of those ingredients is salicylic acid.
If you’ve never heard of salicylic acid before, here’s everything you need to know about it and why it may be a good ingredient to add to your skincare routine.
What is Salicylic Acid?
Salicylic acid is a beta-hydroxy acid (BHA) known for its ability to exfoliate the skin and clear bacteria. This naturally occurring organic compound is found in willow bark, fruits, and vegetables. Salicylic acid is so effective at clearing blemishes because of how it exfoliates the skin. Its oil-soluble nature allows the salicylic acid to sink into pores to unclog them of the oil, dirt, and debris that can cause acne.
Benefits of Salicylic Acid
The greatest benefit of using salicylic acid is that it can clear up your breakouts and acne, including those pesky blackheads. It does so by exfoliating the skin, breaking up the content of clogged pores, removing excess oil, and reducing inflammation. Not only does using salicylic acid help clear up already existing breakouts, but it can also help to prevent future breakouts.
Salicylic acid can work on any skin type; however, people with oily and acne-prone skin will likely see the most benefits from using this ingredient in the skincare routine. Keep in mind that it can take a few weeks to see the benefits of adding a new product to your skincare routine.
What Products Have Salicylic Acid?
Because salicylic acid is such a popular acne-fighting ingredient, it’s quite easy to get your hands on. Popular brands, like Skinceuticals in Canada and the U.S., will carry a wide range of products containing this powerful ingredient. Although all these products contain salicylic acid, they will each use it differently to target specific issues.
Salicylic acid can be incorporated into various steps of your skincare routine. Some products that can contain salicylic acid include:
- Spot treatments
Before adding a new product to your skincare routine, it’s always best to consult with your dermatologist to ensure you aren’t adding anything that could harm your skin. Because skincare isn’t one-size-fits-all, products will work differently on each person according to skin type. Depending on the type of product, you may also be instructed on how often to use it; some products can be used daily, whereas others should only be used a few times a week to avoid drying out the skin.