What is Salicylic Acid and How Will it Benefit My Skin?

What is Salicylic Acid and How Will it Benefit My Skin?

Long gone are the days when a skincare routine consisted of soap and water with a generous dollop of Pond’s Cold Cream (if you’re unsure what this is, ask your grandmother, it would’ve no doubt been her go-to stalwart of her bathroom cabinet).

When it comes to looking after our skin, we’ve come a long way since then. If we ignore the blip that are facewipes (which should only ever be used to remove makeup in emergency circumstances!) we now have all manner of innovative skincare ingredients at our fingertips.

Whether we want to brighten, tighten, soothe, tone, plump or smooth our skin, there’s a product for it. Or rather, there’s an ingredient for it. Because the wonder that is skincare science means that we can use products that contain specialised ingredients designed to address specific skincare issues.

Salicylic acid is one such ingredient that’s changing the face, quite literally, of skincare. So, what is salicylic acid? What does salicylic acid do? How does salicylic acid work?

Here’s the lowdown…

What is Salicylic Acid?

Salicylic acid is a type of beta hydroxy acid, or BHA (similar to AHAs or alpha hydroxy acids). It’s extracted from nature, the bark of the willow tree to be exact, and is a chemical exfoliant.

Don’t be put off by the word ‘chemical’ though. This is a term used to describe anything that’s derived from, ahem, chemicals. It doesn’t necessarily have to mean it’s bad. Water is technically a chemical, since it’s made of hydrogen and oxygen, both chemical elements.

Salicylic acid is oil soluble, allowing it to penetrate sebum and get deeper into the pores helping to remove dirt, dead skin cells and excess sebum.

Salicylic acid is an, often gentler, alternative to mechanical skin exfoliants, such as loofahs and skin brushes or exfoliants that contain rough beads of, for example, peach stones.

What Does Salicylic Acid Do?

So how is salicylic acid good for the skin? Well, since it’s an exfoliant, it helps to clear the pores of all the dirt and debris that can block them and lead to spots, breakouts and dullness. This includes general dirt, stale makeup, environmental toxins and pollutants, sweat and grease…

How Does Salicylic Acid Work?

Salicylic acid works by cutting its way through this grease, or sebum, to give it it’s proper name. Sebum is the natural wax-like oil that’s secreted by the skin. It acts as a layer of protection, defending the skin against external damage as well as helping to keep it supple and hydrated. But too much, or if we don’t remove old sebum, and we run into problems as it can block the pores.

Salicylic acid is oil soluble, allowing it to penetrate sebum and get deeper into the pores helping to remove dirt, dead skin cells and excess sebum.

This is unlike products that contain AHAs, such as glycolic acid derived from sugar cane. AHAs still exfoliate the skin, but since they’re water soluble, they cannot cut through oil. Instead, they peel away the top layers of skin, helping to smooth and tone, rather than acting on a deeper skin level.

Is Salicylic Acid Good for Acne?

One of the main causes of acne is a hormonal imbalance, such as when we go through puberty, periods and the menopause. This can lead to an excess of sebum on the skin, leading to oily, shiny skin. Not only that, excess sebum can build up in the pores, causing blockages, trapping dirt and skin bacteria. This will then lead to spots and acne breakouts.

Therefore, using products containing salicylic acid is good for acne for two reasons. Firstly, they’ll cut through excess oil and secondly, they’ll help to clear the pores, leading to fewer blockages and spots.

Is Salicylic Acid Good for the Skin and Safe?

The main benefit of salicylic acid is that in deeply cleansing the pores, it results in clean, clear, smooth skin that glows and is less likely to experience spots and breakouts. It’s completely safe as it exfoliates and loosens and clears the oily dirt that can build up in the pores.

As well as this, it helps to keep oil under control when used regularly, leading to less shine as well as smooth skin and fewer spots.

Other benefits of salicylic acid include reducing redness and inflammation as it belongs to the same family of medicines as aspirin, an anti-inflammatory agent.

The main benefit of salicylic acid is that in deeply cleansing the pores, it results in clean, clear, smooth skin that glows and is less likely to experience spots and breakouts.

Most skin types can tolerate salicylic acid, but as it helps to mattify and dry the skin, the dry and sensitive skinned among us will need to use it less regularly to begin with. (Once a week generally, as opposed to twice a week.) It may also make the skin more sensitive to sunlight, so extra care should be taken.

How to Use Salicylic Acid Infused Vice Reversa Microneedle Pimple Patches

So, what is salicylic acid? The answer is, your skin’s best friend! And the good news is, if you have acne prone skin or you’re experiencing a spot or two, there’s no need to apply salicylic acid to your entire face. With Vice Reversa Microneedle Pimple Patches , you get all the benefit of pore clearing salicylic acid, on the exact areas you need it!

With over 550 dissolvable microneedles that penetrate the skin painlessly, our Pimple Patches deliver targeted ingredients including salicylic acid directly to the problem area. They purge the pores of dirt and debris and help to sooth redness and swelling.

Make sure you have some on hand so that next time you feel a pimple forming, you can nip it in the bud straight away!

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