What is salicylic acid for and why should you use it if you have acne?

Salicylic acid is known worldwide as one of the products that best fights acne, blackheads, and comedones.

Learn about all the benefits and properties of salicylic acid, the magical ingredient for a complete and regenerative exfoliation of skin cells.

If you look carefully at the labels of exfoliating products or those specially indicated for acne-prone skin, you will see that most of them have one thing in common: salicylic acid.

This active ingredient is one of those that works best on skin blemishes, acne inflammation or pimples. Although, it has also been shown to be effective for other skin problems such as psoriasis, dandruff, calluses, and skin warts.

Learn in detail everything you should know about salicylic acid, the main ingredient in facial cleansers, creams and serums.

What is salicylic acid?

In beauty, when the word “acid” is used, it should be understood that it is a chemical product, that is, a cosmetic product with acids.

At the moment in which we live, natural, cruelty free or 100% vegan cosmetics begin to gain strength, many times there is the mistaken perception that this type of non-natural products implies more harm than good for the skin.

The truth, at this point, is that the cosmetics industry has put a lot of effort into creating products that are infallible as well as safe for the skin. This is the case of vitamin C , ascorbic acid, which has become a success in caring for and pampering the skin.

Now, as we indicated before, salicylic acid is a chemical compound that comes from the ABHAs (beta-hydroxy acid) family, which means that part of the molecule is separated and therefore can be immersed in the pores.

What is salicylic acid used for?

This is the most important point to take into account, since salicylic acid is indicated – to a greater extent – for oily and acne-prone skin .

Thus, salicylic acid is used to :

  • 1. Deeply cleanse and exfoliate the pores.
  • 2. Regulate sebum production in very oily or oily skin.
  • 3. Reduces blackheads and comedones.
  • 4. Deflames those skin eruptions that contain fat.
  • 5. Promotes antibacterial activity.

Salicylic Acid Benefits

Thus, among its main benefits for the skin, it stands out that it is more recommended for two types of skin in particular: oily skin and combination skin , which tend to generate a lot of sebum. Remember that this type of skin is prone to comedones or pimples.

Its exfoliating effect helps to keep the sebaceous filaments clean. That is why it is highly recommended for skin with mild or moderate acne, as it creates a deep cleansing, preventing the skin from becoming infected.

On the other hand, salicylic acid also helps regenerate skin cells, that is, it has a renewing effect on the skin. As its ability to break adhesions in the cells of the outer layers of the face allow it to penetrate the pores, clean them and stimulate skin regeneration .

Patches for pimples, the perfect solution to treat sporadic acne.


This acid is trading higher, but it is not suitable for sensitive or dry skin. These skins are characterized by being more delicate and susceptible to irritation when a product of these characteristics is applied.

If you don’t know exactly what your skin type is, it’s best to consult a dermatologist about how you should care for it. Remember, your face is your cover letter. If you have dry or sensitive skin, here we explain how to take care of it and which products are the most recommended.

Dry skin of the face, how to take care of it and avoid the appearance of wrinkles.

How to use silicic acid

Salicylic acid is found in countless cosmetics , especially those intended for facial cleansing and exfoliation (creams, lotions, and gels). Although, it can also be seen in moisturizers and facial serums.

Those that are available to the user without a prescription usually have a concentration of 0.5 to 2% salicylic acid . In fact, the best-selling and best-rated soap on Amazon is an active soap that is made up of… Guess what? Yes! by salicylic acid.

The only thing you have to do, depending on the product you have in hand, is apply the amount recommended by the manufacturer and let it act. For example, if it is a soap with salicylic acid, after applying the product, rub with your fingertips, avoiding the eye area. After having distributed the product, remove with plenty of lukewarm water and dry with some tissues.

Apply your facial tonic to close the pores and the rest of the products that you apply in your skincare routine .

Everything in excess is always bad

Remember this phrase. Salicylic acid is a magic product, but you shouldn’t use it every day. Never! Normal, oily or combination skin is advisable to exfoliate at least once a week to remove impurities from the skin. On the other hand, sensitive or dry skin should only exfoliate once every fortnight, for example.

Excessive use of any type of exfoliant on the face could end up drying it out, making it red or irritated.

Salicylic acid is very popular to prevent acne breakouts and pimples on the face.

Never mix salicylic acid with…

According to the Institute of Health in the United States, it is advisable not to mix this product with cleansers that contain alcohols or skin medications such as benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol and tretonoin (prescription cosmetics).

Frequently Asked Questions About Salicylic Acid

 Can I use it every day?

The answer is no. And it is that, as the specialists indicate, normal, oily or combination skin should exfoliate at least once a week and sensitive or dry skin should only exfoliate once every fortnight, for example.

What can’t salicylic acid mix with?

According to the Institute of Health in the United States, it is advisable not to mix salicylic acid with cleansers that contain alcohols or skin medications such as benzoyl peroxide, resorcinol and tretonoin (prescription cosmetics). 

Can I use it on any area of ​​the face?

Salicylic acid can be applied all over the face but the eye area should be avoided, as it is a very delicate area and can be damaged. 

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