What is Salicylic Acid?
Salicylic acid is a phenolic phytohormone naturally found in some plants that has a significant role in the growth and development of the plant itself.
Often referred as beta hydroxy acid, salicylic acid is generally safe for both internal consumption and topical application. It is the main ingredient of aspirin. Due to its significant medicinal properties, World Health Organisation (WHO) lists salicylic acid as one of the most important medications required for a basic health system.
Salicylic Acid Prevents and Reduces Acne
Salicylic acid unclogs congested pores and reduces acne inflammation. A clinical study showed the efficacy of salicylic acid for the treatment of acne vulgaris. At concentration between 0.5% and 2%, salicylic acid reduced the number and severity of acne lessions. This study also suggested that salicylic acid works better than benzoyl peroxide in clearing up acne.
Salicylic Acid Peels Dead Skin Cells
As part of its mechanism in clearing up the pores, salicylic acid peels dead skin cells, hence, it helps prevent blocked pores. In addition to it, salicylic acid smoothes the skin, evens out the complexion and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and lines.
Salicylic Acid Preserves Foods
Due to its anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties, salicylic acid is also used as a preservative in food and beauty industry.
The Cosmetic and Skincare Uses of Salicylic Acid
Salicylic acid has been used for the treatment of various skin disorders for more than 2,000 years. Due to its excellent safety and efficacy record, salicylic acid has been regarded as one of the most effective skincare ingredients to reduce and prevent acne.
Salicylic acid is milder than Alpha Hydroxy Acids such glycolic acid, lactic acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid and mandelic acid. Therefore, it is less likely to cause skin irritation than other acids. It can be used effectively for the treatment of warts, dandruff, acne, ringworm and dry scaly skin.
If you suffer from acne, apply Blemish Clearing Serum to spots few times a day. Formulated with 2% salicylic acid to clear up congested pores, reduce inflammation and redness. The allantoin content in this oil-free serum speeds up the skin cell regeneration to help repair damage and prevent post-acne scars.
If you have blemish-prone skin like mine, Melt Away Triple Action Cleansing Cream is a must have item in your daily skincare routine. This 3-in-1 detoxifying cleanser/makeup remover, gentle exfoliator and deep-cleansing mask helps prevent acne and blackhead. It is suitable for all skin types except hyper-sensitive skin. I use it every morning to get rid of any built-up impurities during the night. In the evening, I use it as a detoxifying mask while brushing my teeth. It helps keep pores clean and boosts skin radiance.
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Scientific Sources: WHO Model List of Essential Medicines, World Health Organisation (WHO), 18th list - April 2013 (Final Amendments – October 2013); Treatment of acne vulgaris with salicylic acid pads, Clinical Therapeutics, 1992 Mar-Apr: 14(2): 247-53; Salicylic acid as a peeling agent: a comprehensive review, 2015: 8: 455–461.