What is salicylic acid and how is it good for you
After the big red pimple that you spotted on your forehead this morning, you might think acne has some personal vendetta against you. But here’s a fact.
Most of us have dealt with acne at some point in our lives. It is true. Almost everyone has faced an embarrassing acne situation growing up. And as much as you hate them, pimples are mostly treatable (and avoidable).
In order to treat breakouts however, you must first know what causes them.
So, what is acne?
Acne is a benign skin condition where small bumps appear on the surface of your skin. Here’s how. The surface of your skin comprises tiny pores that are connected to the sebaceous glands. These glands are responsible for the release of an oily, waxy substance called sebum. It is your skin’s first line of defense and keeps it moisturized and protected.
When your skin produces excessive sebum (highest during puberty), it can clog your hair follicles. Add into the mix sweat, dead skin cells, dust particles or anything else that is present in the air around you. And that’s a cocktail of disasters. Your clogged pores become the hotspot for acne causing bacteria.
Acne can manifest itself in many forms - whitehead and blackheads, tiny little red bumps all over your face, pimples (with pus at their tips) or sometimes painful, pus-filled lumps just below the surface of your skin.
So, how do you go about treating acne?
Painful or not, acne is inconvenient and annoying. The good news is that acne is also treatable. Mild forms of acne can be treated by keeping your skin clean. That is by cleansing, keeping your pores unclogged, exfoliating and replenishing the lost moisture.
But more severe and persistent forms of acne may not heal on their own and worse. They may leave permanent scars on your skin. Many non-prescription and OTC acne treatments often contain ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, sulfur etc. These provide effective results. One such ingredient is salicylic acid.
But what is salicylic acid?
Salicylic acid is a BHA, short for beta hydroxy acid. Highly recommended by dermatologists globally, it is somewhat of a celebrity ingredient in acne treatment. It is a tried and tested ingredient that the skin care gurus swear by. That is why there are plenty of salicylic acid products in the market. Its users have often claimed that it has transformed their skin.
BHAs such as salicylic acid are oil-soluble. That means that they can penetrate deep into our skin and unclog the clogged pores. That is by breaking down the debris of old, dead skin cells to reveal newer, fresher and blemish free skin.
Additionally, salicylic acid products also possess anti-inflammatory properties. Those help in healing angry, red pimples faster. Plus, what salicylic acid is is an effective Keratolytic which removes dead skin cell and helps to open the pores.
Can salicylic acid help with acne?
Yes. Salicylic acid is a hero ingredient which can help with acne. OTC salicylic acid products can contain a concentration of anywhere between 0.2% to 2%.
You can incorporate a wash away skin care product such as a face wash into your skin care regime to see how your skin reacts to it. The CLEAN & CLEAR® Pimple Clearing Face Wash contains salicylic acid and neem extracts. They are both highly potent ingredients and is useful in fighting against pimples. The face wash has a gentle formula that deeply cleanses without irritating the skin. That makes it best suited for sensitive skin that breaks out often. In fact, you will likely that it works on pimples from the first use.
Are there any potential side effects of salicylic acid for skin?
Even though salicylic acid is a safe ingredient, higher concentrations of it can strip away too much oil. That may result in overly dry and irritated skin. In severe cases, it could even lead to skin peeling. It is therefore advisable to use active salicylic acid containing products under expert supervision rather than self-medicating.
Persistent acne can permanently damage your skin and leave ugly pits and scars in their wake. And even though acne is not a life-threatening condition, persistent acne can affect more than just your physical appearance. It can also lower your self-esteem and affect your confidence. So, it is best to start the treatment as soon as possible to prevent the condition from worsening.
If you want clear, blemish free skin, use salicylic acid products. Give them a shot and be patient with it. No acne treatment, no matter how powerful, can make your acne vanish overnight. If you are consistently using salicylic acid for skin, you should be able to see visible results in about four to six weeks. That, of course, also depends on the severity of your acne.
Most importantly, remember that no matter how tempting it is, avoid popping those pimples. Instead, look for good salicylic acid products that actually work and get rid of your pimple woes painlessly.
Disclaimer: The content in the articles are based on scientific literature and consumer interactions. .Individual skin conditions may vary and if condition persist the consumer should consult a dermatologist.