S-A-L-I-C-Y-L-I-C … oh what an intense name! But this very friendly acid has turned out to be an Archangel of acne and an amazing breakout cure. How awesome is that? And, there’s so much more to know about this good fellow, so let’s find out more…
Let’s begin with a few simple words, salicylic acid is basically acne’s biggest enemy! That’s right, every spot, pimple or acne treatment, salve or ointment that you have grabbed up till now, salicylic acid has been one of the core ingredients. It’s like salicylic acid has always loved you, and now it’s your turn to love back!
What is salicylic acid?
Going back to the basics, salicylic acid is derived from willow bark and it belongs to a class of ingredients called salicylates. The entire chemical structure is a little complicated, but if you learn why and how it works so well for you, you’re good to go.
Salicylic acid’s structure is such that it is oil-soluble and hence it can penetrate deep into the pores of the skin and repair from within. In general, oil soluble ingredients penetrate through the lipid layers between the skin cells more easily. In simple words, oil soluble ingredients penetrate deeper into our body than water soluble ingredients.
Salicylic acid also helps to loosen old and dead skin and repair from within, while bringing out fresh and healthy skin. It also helps in unclogging pores.
Why salicylic acid is your BFF?
Blackheads are small bumps that appear on your skin due to clogged hair follicles. Acne is a skin condition that occurs when hair follicles plug with oil and dead skin cells.
Salicylic acid penetrates deep into your skin to do its amazing job to deep clean excess oil out of pores and reduce oil production slowly & effectively with regular use. This super talent of salicylic acid makes it one of the hero ingredients in acne, blackheads and whiteheads combating products.
Once salicylic acid penetrates deep into your skin, it dissolves all the dirt that tend to clog pores. It also helps in soothing inflamed pimples and acne while reducing the redness. So, the next time you wake up with a nasty red pimple, you know who’s your BFF to look out!
Salicylic acid – the perfect exfoliant
Breaking down of skin cells generates exfoliation. Salicylic acid is considered to be a keratolytic medication, which means it is a perfect exfoliation agent. Salicylic acid loosens and breaks down desmosomes. Now what are desmosomes? Desmosomes are the attachments between cells in the outer layer of the skin. So, when salicylic acid breaks apart desmosomes, it encourages exfoliation of the skin and also helps in unclogging pores.
When we talk about exfoliation, it is super important to know that if the product would work against black heads and white heads. And, in this matter the answer is ‘absolutely yes.’ Salicylic acid helps in dissolving skin debris that tend to clog pores which causes acne. Hence, it is safe to say that salicylic acid is an ideal agent that fights against black heads and white heads.
But…it is an acid, is it safe?
That is true! Conclusion is, salicylic acid is an acid after all. So, how safe is it? Well, let’s just say that it is one the friendliest acids for your skin. But all things in excess are bad for you - that is true for salicylic acid for skin as well. Just in case if you have sensitive skin or end up using a lot of salicylic acid, it might dry your skin a bit with mild irritation. But the key note here would be, “too much of anything can never be good.” Same goes for salicylic acid, make sure you use it only when you need it. And, in case if you have extremely dry skin then just avoid using salicylic acid altogether.
If you have extremely oily and acne prone skin, then you might want to add a salicylic acid infused face wash or moisturizer to your daily skincare routine. Try this amazing gentle but highly effective exfoliating face wash from Iba. But using the acid on its own without an approved, fail safe formula is not recommended.
So, now you know what you need to do if you wake up with a funky zit a day before your most important function! Don’t stress out – breathe, smile & get your salicylic acid gun-ready!