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Salicylic Acid: The Hero of Acne Treatment

Annelise Hillmann • Mar 23, 2023

Salicylic Acid is the secret weapon to beat breakouts with over-the-counter solutions. To put it simply, Salicylic Acid is acne's biggest enemy.  Looking for a spot treatment the minute you see a zit? Put this stuff on a blemish overnight and you might wake up in the morning to find your pimple is dried up and almost gone. Here's what you need to know about this amazing ingredient.

🧪 What is Salicylic Acid? ⁠

Salicylic Acid is a powerful spot treatment ingredient that helps the skin shed dead cells and decrease redness and inflammation. This decreases the number of pimples that form and speeds healing.⁠ The ultimate powerhouse of acne treatment.⁠ ⁠

Salicylic Acid is derived from willow bark and belongs to a class of ingredients called salicylates. 

When it comes to skincare products, there are two classes of acids you'll see often: beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid.

🧪 What does Salicylic Acid do for my skin?

Once it penetrates the skin, Salicylic Acid dissolves dead skin that clogs pores, calms inflammation, and helps zits and pustules go away faster.

It actually works so well that it breaks down the connections between skin cells,  dissolving some of the intracellular 'glue' that holds skin cells together. Don't worry, that sounds scary but it's actually quite gentle.

🧪 Salicylic Acid is also an exfoliant.

This breaking down of skin cells promotes exfoliation. Salicylic Acid is considered a keratolytic medication, which means that it's perfect for supreme exfoliation. Salicylic Acid aids in removing and loosening these skin cells and helps to dissolve the blackheads.

🧪 Salicylic Acid works best on blackheads and whiteheads.

Salicylic Acid works on a variety of acne types. It's ideal for treating blackheads and whiteheads because it can directly dissolve the skin blockages and regulate the skin cells. It's also effective against cystic acne due to its antibacterial properties.

🧪 Salicylic Acid vs. Benzoyl Peroxide

Salicylic Acid and benzoyl peroxide are both commonly used in skincare products to treat acne, but they work in different ways. Salicylic Acid is a beta-hydroxy acid that exfoliates the skin and unclogs pores by dissolving oil and dead skin cells. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce redness and irritation associated with acne.

On the other hand, benzoyl peroxide is an antibacterial agent that kills the bacteria that cause acne. It also helps to reduce inflammation and can prevent new acne breakouts from forming. However, benzoyl peroxide can be drying and irritating to the skin, while salicylic acid is generally gentler and better suited for people with sensitive skin. Benzoyl peroxide is also bleaching on towels and clothing.

🧪 Why did we pick Salicylic Acid for our Skintone Acne Treatment?

Salicylic acid is an effective treatment for acne that doesn’t have some of the drawbacks of benzoyl peroxide. If you've ever found your face towels stained or bleached, that could be from your benzoyl peroxide face wash. We've formulated our Fade Skintone Acne Treatment with dermatologists to have just enough Salicylic Acid to treat breakouts without irritating the skin.

🧪 Where do you find Salicylic Acid? ⁠

You can find Salicylic Acid as an active ingredient in some face washes, spot treatments, and in Skintone Acne Treatment, our acne fader that treats and covers acne at the same time.

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