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Salicylic Acid is one of the most commonly mentioned skin care ingredient and bet some of you have pretty much heard a lot about this. Your go to dermatologist or maybe your all-time favorite blogger must’ve mentioned this skincare ingredient a lot. But have you taken some time checking in what makes this ingredient commonly recommended? Together, let us explore what exactly salicylic acid does to your skin. Acne breakout considers no age nor gender – everyone is capable of having one, and we know you would agree that having unnecessary breakouts really does affect someone’s self-esteem. But with continuous research and product development comes the debut of many as in m-a-n-y skin care products that claims their efficacy especially in treating your acne. And what skin care ingredient they do all have in common? Salicylic Acid. First off, let us establish what salicylic acid is. Salicylic acid is beta hydroxyl acid (BHA), a type of carbon-based organic compound that naturally occurs in willow bark, fruits and vegetables. According to a chemist Danusia Wnek, BHAs are lipid/fat soluble and can penetrate into pores to unclog blackheads. According to New Your City based Dermatologist, Sejal Shah, oil soluble ingredients penetrate through the lipid layers between skin cells more readily – implying that oil soluble ingredients can penetrate the skin at a deeper level than their water-soluble counterparts. Let us get to know more about Salicylic acid and how our skin primarily benefits from it and what makes it as potent ingredient in combating acne.


Salicylic acid as acne treatment

Of course, you pretty much know the culprit behind your breakouts – oils. According to  Hadley Kind, MD board-certified dermatologist in New York City, Salicylic acid is an excellent pore-clearing ingredient because it exfoliates the surface of the skin and penetrates into pores in order to remove oil. Once it has penetrated the skin, the acid part of the molecule can dissolve some of the intracellular ‘glue’ that holds skin cells together – dissolves skin debris that clogs pores and acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps red inflamed pimples and pustules go away faster. Salicylic acid as exfoliant

On the other side, Salicylic acid is also considered a keratolytic medication, don’t gent confused because Dr. Rachel Nazarian, a board certified dermatologists from New York City got you. According to her, Keratolytic medications cause softening and sloughing of the top layers of skin cells. Thus primarily implies that the breaking down of skin cells not only just combat the appearance of redness, inflammation and acne because as salicylic acid loosens and breaks apart outer layer of the skin, it encourages exfoliation and unclogging of pores. After hearing all these, you might be eager to head to your nearest drug store and add this ingredient to your usual regimen. But calm yourself up. You might want to consider advice from the experts before making a big switch.

Frequency of use 

Per the advice of the experts, it is suggested to start at least once or twice per week, then increase the frequency depending on how your skin tolerated the ingredient. Check on your skin especially when you are trying out new skin care product with variety of ingredient. Decrease the frequency of use or better yet stop if you notice skin abnormalities. At the end of the day, the best advice you could ever have is receiving it from the experts. Be sure to seek medical consultation if needed.

Who is salicylic acid best for?

Raise your hands up oily and acne prone skin because this skin care ingredient might save you a lot from all your dilemmas.  At higher concentration, it can be used to treat cystic acne but of course with advice from a medical professional. For those who have dry and sensitive skin, take extra caution as this ingredient can further dry out and irritate skin.

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