Benefits of using Salicylic acid in Skincare : Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA)


When it comes to acne salicylic acid is at the top of the list. It is easily available and helps in drying out that zit effectively as you see it invading your face. Let’s know why salicylic acid is a popular choice among acne-prone skin concerns.

What Is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic acid is a Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA) that has been known for its beneficial effects in treating clogged pores and acne. Salicylic acid acts as an exfoliator that helps in dissolving the dead skin layer and keeps the pores clear. It has been used widely in the skincare industry and works very good on mild acne, blackheads and whiteheads. They also help in preventing future breakouts by clearing out the pores and dissolving dead skin and oil debris. People often confuse BHA’S with AHA’s but alpha hydroxy acids are totally different groups of agents and have different sets of actions. Popular AHA’s are glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid.

Salicylic can be derived from willow bark extracts, the structure is important as it makes salicylic acid more oil soluble so it can penetrate into the pores of the skin and results in active cleaning. BHA’s are oil soluble exfoliants hence it penetrates through the lipid layers between the skin more readily. It is anti-inflammatory in nature which results treating the red inflamed pimples at a much faster rate.

There are hair follicles all over our body. Now when these hair follicles get plugged with dead skin cells and oils it leads to the appearance of white heads, blackheads or pimples. Salicylic acid helps penetrates deep into the skin to dissolve these debris and unclogs the pores. Like any other skincare ingredient it might take several weeks of usage to see any visible results. It totally depends on your skin condition that your dermatologist will prescribe the concentration of salicylic acid for your skin. The recommended dosage and duration of treatment will also depend on your condition. Firstly the product is only applied to the affected area to see whether it is working or not. For more severe acne other recommendations such as benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin, adapalene gel can be prescribed by your dermatologist.

There are different forms in which salicylic acid can be prescribed into your skincare such as gels, lotions pads, soap, ointments, lotions, serums etc.

It can also be used as a peeling agent for reducing acne scars, acne marks, age spots and melasma.

Other peeling agents which can be used are glycolic acid, mandelic acid lactic acid for giving a smoother and radiant complexion.

Usually it’s safe to use salicylic acid in the skincare regimen but some people might experience purging or irritation during its usage. There are some side effects that are linked to the usage of salicylic acid such as tingling sensation, redness, irritation, drying out the skin, and peeling.

Although salicylic acid is available as an over the counter product and can be purchased from your local stores it is very important to consult with your dermatologist before using it. Always do a patch test before using any product on a larger surface area of the body.

Note- Pregnant and lactating women must consult with their gynecologist and dermatologist before adding salicylic acid into your skincare.

                Hope you found this article helpful.

Take care

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