Salicylic Acid

What does it do?

Salicylic Acid is the most common and well-known Beta Hydroxy Acid (BHA). It exfoliates the skin, helping it to appear smoother and brighter by speeding up cell turnover. Its small molecular size allows it to penetrate deeper into the pores to decongest and target breakouts.

Where does it originate from?

Salicylic acid can be naturally derived from the willow tree bark or made synthetically.

When should I use it?

Best used as part of your evening routine, Salicylic Acid can be used daily. Those with sensitive skin should consider introducing it slowly to build up tolerance, as with any BHA ingredient!

What skin type is it best suited to?

Salicylic Acid is oil soluble, meaning it has added benefits for oily or combination skin as it has the ability to penetrate into the pore lining and exfoliate inside the pore. This makes it especially effective for reducing breakouts, including blackheads and whiteheads.

It's also a great choice if you experience rough, textured, or bumpy skin on your body.

What does it work well with?

Salicylic Acid works well Niacinamide to help minimize the appearance of pores. It also works well with White Willow Bark Extract and oat-based ingredients, like Colloidal Oat.

What should it not be used with?

Avoid using Salicylic Acid alongside AHAs like Glycolic or Lactic Acid or physical exfoliators like Jojoba Beads to prevent over-exfoliation and irritation.

What else do I need to know?

As Salicylic Acid promotes cell turnover, which brings dead skin cells, dirt and oils to the surface, it can increase breakouts in the short term. This is known as skin purging but should disappear when your skin adapts.

BHAs can increase the skin's risk of sunburn, so it's important to apply SPF daily and limit sun exposure when using this ingredient.

Which Q+A products feature Salicylic Acid?