All About Salicylic Acid and Why You Need It

All About Salicylic Acid and Why You Need It


Salicylic acid products have always been talked about whenever someone asks how to treat severe acne or how to treat cystic acne. 

Acne is not something that has one simple cause that you can treat with the click of a button. People have, unfortunately, spent years trying to treat it with products that promise baby-soft skin but end up severely disappointed with the actual results, because they are often treating the symptoms and not the cause. 

A quick dry-out with toothpaste on a pimple or a physical exfoliation scrub might look like a short-term solution, but it’s not one that does anything long-term. 

Instead, there may be a couple of root causes that you have to identify and solve– not instantly but over a period of time. 

Salicylic acid is touted to be a miracle ingredient for those plagued with acne issues. But how exactly does it work and does it really work? 

Let’s take a look. 

What is Salicylic Acid? 

Being a beta-hydroxy acid, salicylic acid is derived from salicylates, found naturally in willow plants. It helps strip away the outer layers of the skin, especially the dead skin cells, to reveal the fresher skin below. Essentially, this is exfoliation but of a very gentle kind. 

Furthermore, used as an anti-inflammatory substance, salicylates are also good for calming down redness and swelling. 

When formulated as salicylic acid, they are easy to be absorbed by the skin as well as to be used for general skin health. It is recommended by dermatologists to be used daily as well as, at the end of a long, tiring day for your skin, there is a build up, which gets broken down by salicylic acid, especially when it comes to dead skin. The best part is that, unlike alpha-hydroxy acids, salicylic acid is very gentle on the skin and will not cause oversensitivity when used every day. 

Now, the best kind of salicylic acid formulations for optimum absorption would be salicylic acid serum and salicylic acid face wash. 

How to Use Salicylic Acid as someone with Oily Skin

People with oily skin are, unfortunately, often plagued by various acne-related issues like pimples on the cheeks, swelling, redness and hyperpigmentation. 

In order to use salicylic acid as a treatment to these issues, the right formulation must first be picked. 

Salicylic Acid Serum 

When used in serum form, salicylic acid is much stronger as it stays on the skin for a longer period of time. This is because a serum is something that gets absorbed by the skin once it is sealed by another substance like a moisturiser or sunscreen. 

Once it is absorbed, it is easy for your skin to use it to break down the outer layer and exfoliate. When an individual has oily skin, it is even more important to use salicylic acid for exfoliation as it is often a base to trap dirt and clog pores. 

Clogged pores often lead to acne, and salicylic acid helps clear sebum, which is what at the end of the day helps a ton with clear skin. 

We recommend the DermDoc 2% Salicylic Acid Face Serum if you are looking for a good salicylic acid serum. This is one of Purplle’s best selling products and it helps regularise the production of oil on the skin. It doesn’t contain any harmful silicones or parabens either. 

Salicylic Acid Face Wash 

In a wash-off form, salicylic acid has completely different benefits. This highlights more of the exfoliation function of the acid, in which it helps refresh skin and, if used every day, lends a rejuvenated look to the face. 

The best part is that there is no harm in using salicylic acid every day, as it is relatively mild and safe for the skin, especially for sensitive skin that is more prone to acne. 

If you are looking for a good salicylic acid face wash, the DermDoc 2% Salicylic Acid Face Wash is one of the best on the market in terms of bang for buck. It offers the perfect formulation of salicylic acid and moisturisation, which makes sure that your skin is not left feeling too dry after usage. 

It is common for those with oily skin to crave that “squeaky clean” feeling that comes with what they feel is a good wash. But it’s actually a sign of dehydrated skin! This is important to note, as some cleansers just strip the skin of natural oils and leave it completely dry. This dryness is a signifier of dehydration. 

With dehydration follows the tell-tale sign of what people consider “oily” skin but is actually the epidermis’ very natural reaction to the lack of moisture– overproduction of sebum. 

Sebum is the oil naturally produced by the oil glands present on your face, for the moisturisation and general hydration of your skin. When there is very little sebum left on the skin due to a habitual and repetitive stripping of natural oils, then it is completely justified for the glands to go into overdrive and produce too much sebum, leading to what is often known as “oily” skin, prone to trapping dirt and clogging pores. 

This is why a salicylic acid face wash that doesn’t strip your skin of all of its natural goodness is so rare– and so important to find if you suffer from pimples on cheeks!

Moisturiser for Oily Skin 

When you are using salicylic acid, it’s important to make sure that your face is well hydrated and moisturised. This is because, as a substance, salicylic acid tends to dry out your skin, as we already spoke about before. 

With all the benefits salicylic acid has to offer, it is important to keep in mind the little bit of extra TLC that your skin might need while reaping all the goodness. 

A good moisturiser with salicylic acid formulated into it would be the DermDoc 2% Salicylic Acid Anti Acne Face Gel. It offers the right amount of hydration to balance out the dryness that salicylic acid may sometimes cause to the skin. At the same time, it is light and makes oily skin happy! 

Hopefully you learned a little more about salicylic acid today, and if you are someone with oily skin, you may find some good tips to take care of it without smothering it during the coming winter here! 

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