Understanding Salicylic Acid - A Miraculous Ingredient in Skincare

December 5, 2023

Introduction to Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid, a chemical belonging to the β-hydroxy acid (BHA) family, is widely acclaimed for its exceptional skincare properties. Originating from willow tree bark, it's a key ingredient in numerous skincare products.

Skin Benefits of Salicylic Acid

  1. Exfoliating Effect:

    • Salicylic acid penetrates the skin's surface, dissolving dead skin cells and excess oil that clog pores.
    • It helps to smooth skin texture, reducing roughness.
  2. Combatting Acne:

    • As an oil-soluble ingredient, salicylic acid can deeply penetrate sebaceous glands, cleaning pores and effectively fighting blackheads and whiteheads.
    • It also has anti-inflammatory properties, reducing redness and pain caused by acne.
  3. Reducing Oil Secretion:

    • By regulating skin oil production, salicylic acid helps control shine in oily skin.
  4. Enhancing Absorption of Other Ingredients:

    • After removing surface dead skin, salicylic acid can enhance the penetration and absorption of other skincare ingredients.

How to Use Salicylic Acid

  1. Choosing the Right Product:

    • Salicylic acid is commonly found in cleansers, facial cleaners, toners, creams, and spot treatment products for acne.
    • Concentrations typically range from 0.5% to 2% in different products.
  2. Moderate Use:

    • New users should start with a low concentration and small quantity, gradually increasing frequency and amount.
    • Avoid overuse to prevent skin dryness and irritation.
  3. Monitoring Skin Reactions:

    • After using salicylic acid products, closely watch for skin reactions. If severe dryness, peeling, or irritation occurs, reduce usage frequency or discontinue use.
  4. Combining with Sun Protection:

    • Skin may become more sensitive when using salicylic acid. Therefore, use sunscreen during the day.


  1. Combination with Other Ingredients:

    • Avoid using salicylic acid with other strong exfoliating agents (like glycolic acid, lactic acid) to prevent over-irritating the skin.
    • Those with sensitive skin should consult a dermatologist before use.
  2. Special Considerations for Certain Groups:

    • Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult a doctor before using salicylic acid.


As a multifunctional skincare ingredient, salicylic acid is an indispensable choice, especially for oily and acne-prone skin. Correct use of salicylic acid can effectively combat acne and improve skin texture, making the skin clearer and healthier. However, it's important to choose and use products sensibly according to individual skin types and conditions.

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