5 Of The Best Salicylic Acid Products You Need To Know About

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In the over-the-counter battle against breakouts, there are a few key players you should know about, and salicylic acid is at the top of that list.

The idea of putting acid on your face sounds quite frightening, but please don’t let the word put you off, because there’s a whole world of benefits that the right kinds of acids, like salicylic, can provide – and you definitely want to know about them!

Salicylic acid works best for mild acne (blackheads and whiteheads). It can also help prevent future breakouts.

Salicylic acid penetrates into your skin and works to dissolve the dead skin cells clogging your pores. It can take several weeks of use for you to see its full effect.

close up of salicylic acid dropper
Salicylic acid works on a molecular level.

Cosmetic chemist Randy Schueller says “Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid. That means the hydroxy part of the molecule is separated from the acid part by two carbon atoms, as opposed to an alpha hydroxy acid where they’re separated by one carbon atom. This structure is important because it makes salicylic acid more oil-soluble so it can penetrate into the pores of the skin.”

Although salicylic acid is considered safe overall for anyone, it may cause skin irritation when first starting so it’s always best to check with your dermatologist first.

A word of caution: acids can cause sensitivity to sunlight, so make sure you include a good SPF in your morning skincare routine if you’re using salicylic or any other acids.

5 Of The Best Salicylic Acid Products You Need To Know About

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Ultra Concentrated Serum RRP: $50.99

There’s always been something so prestigious and romantic about French beauty brands and their products. This concentrated serum features salicylic acid, LHA and glycolic acid – meaning that it combats breakouts, exfoliates and brightens. Although it comes in a medical looking bottle, the product smells floral and fruity. This magical serum works overnight to micro-exfoliate the skin and flush out dead skin cells.

Black and white bottle of bha liquid

Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant RRP: $38.01

This is a unique leave-on formula that’s gentle enough for daily use on all skin types. It exfoliates dead skin cells while clearing pores for a more even, radiant tone, plus visibly reduces fine lines and wrinkles to reveal remarkably smoother, younger-looking skin. This exfoliant is distinctive in its application – it is applied with a cotton pad over the entire face and neck and left on, no rinsing!

White tube bottle with red label and salicylic acid

COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser RRP: $18

If you like your beauty routine to be as simple as possible, an all-in-one salicylic acid and gentle cleanser is a winner. This salicylic acid cream cleanser works to decongest blocked pores without stripping skin of its natural moisture. I felt that it didn’t leave my skin feeling dry after washing it off, my face felt clean, but not stripped. Combining tea tree and willow bark into their formula means this product can purify and provide moisture to your skin.

Scientific bottle of salicylic acid and dropper

SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Defense RRP: $119

Common stereotypes portray acne as the bane of the teenager: oily, blemished skin, exacerbated by overactive sebaceous glands, adolescent hormones, and less-than-ideal skincare routines. When in reality, acne and breakouts persist into adulthood with 25% of adult men and 50% of adult women affected. This is an oil-free face serum that reduces the formation of adult acne, and improves visible signs of aging. It is renowned for inhibiting sebum production, minimising current blemishes, and helping reduce post-acne hyperpigmentation.

White tube bottle with blue lid - salicylic acid

Kiehls Blue Herbal Blemish Cleanser Treatment RRP: $47

This nature inspired scientific formula is an oil free product that does not dry out the skin.It was inspired by Kiehl’s original blue astringent herbal lotion created in 1964 to heal pimples and contains salicylic acid, frankincense and ginger root. This foaming cleanser feels like it deeply cleanses the skin and carries a fresh ginger fragrance that is pleasant. After 2 weeks of use twice daily acne skin is significantly clearer.

Click here for ten brilliant acne products with one starting at just $5.99.

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Claudia Remedios

CONTRIBUTOR

If Claudia isn't working one of her three jobs, you can find her lifting weights, practicing yoga, or getting experimental in the kitchen. With an interest in media and film and all things foreign, Claudia hopes to find herself in a production role overseas in the not too distant future - New York, London, Los Angeles...who knows.

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