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Ingredient Spotlight: Salicylic Acid for Adult Acne

Struggling with persistent breakouts or hormonal acne that won’t go away? Adding Salicylic Acid into your skincare regime might be what you need. Our skin experts break down Salicylic Acid, what it is, and how it combats adult acne.

The benefits:

  • Encourages the shedding of dead skin cells from within the follicle, which prevents clogged pores
  • Stimulates cell turnover and clears away dead skin cells, which helps break down blackheads and whiteheads
  • Anti-inflammatory properties help reduce redness and calm pigmentation, making it a preferred ingredient for adult acne.

What is it?

Derived from willow tree bark, Salicylic Acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid with a slightly different atomic structure from an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) involving an extra carbon atom.  BHA’s are oil-soluble and thus highly efficient at unclogging pores and exfoliating acne-prone skin. It works on both the surface and deeper inside the pore, dissolving the trapped debris and excess sebum that leads to breakouts.

How does it work?

It reduces the skin’s pH and increases hydration and desquamation (the shedding of dead skin cells). It can also directly dissolve keratin plugs (known as keratosis pilaris) and regulate skin cells to fight acne and blemishes. 

What type of pimples does it work best on

Salicylic acid works best on blackheads and whiteheads, but it does have some benefits is cysts as well. Cystic acne is often caused by internal sources such as hormones and genetic makeups, so topical treatments are not always enough to treat this condition.

Who shouldn’t use it?

Do not use Salicylic acid if you have a compromised skin barrier, have open wounds, irritated skin, or infected. If you are already using retinol, tretinoin, adapalene, and benzoyl peroxide, do not use Salicylic Acid as these ingredients also exfoliate the skin. Too much exfoliation can cause redness and irritation.

Recommend Product: 

Aesthetics Rx Ultimate Serum Formulated specially to exfoliate & brighten, this serum contains a potent blend of niacinamide, AHA’s and salicylic acid to heal and repair blemishes and breakouts while protecting from environmental stress.

Active ingredients:
  • Niacinamide
  • White Mulberry, Hibiscus and Cucumber extracts
    Lactic and Citric acids
  • Salicylic Acid

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