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What Is Salicylic Acid & Its Benefits?

Salicylic acid has a much-lauded history in skincare and features prominently in a range of skincare products to address a variety of concerns. While the skin-refining reputation of salicylic acid is most notable in mild acne-prone skin and oily skin types, even dry and sensitive skin types can enjoy salicylic acid benefits. If you’re new to salicylic acid uses and how this hero ingredient can improve your skin texture, tone and appearance, La Roche-Posay experts have curated the below guide to debunk salicylic acid and address your leading questions.

SALICYLIC ACID

WHAT IS SALICYLIC ACID?

Commonly derived from willow bark and other plants, salicylic acid is a type of beta hydroxy acid (BHA) that functions as a chemical exfoliant for the skin. As a BHA exfoliant, salicylic acid is oil-soluble which allows it to penetrate the layers of the skin on a deeper level. You’ll find that many skincare products are formulated with BHA salicylic acid. This is due to its remarkable ability to loosen the bonds between dead skin cells and assist in the skin’s natural renewal cycle.

woman using salicylic acid

SALICYLIC ACID USES AND BENEFITS FOR SKIN

There are copious salicylic acid uses for people with oily skin, mild acne-prone skin, ageing concerns and even dryer or sensitive skin types. 

Since this popular ingredient is adept at unclogging pores that lead to excess sebum production, blemishes and breakouts, there are significant salicylic acid benefits for skin. This gentle BHA exfoliant helps to encourage skin cell turnover and bring healthier, more radiant skin to the surface, making it suitable for smoothening skin texture and evening out skin tone.

Keep reading for more in-depth knowledge about salicylic acid benefits and products you can incorporate into your skincare regime to see these advantages in action.

effaclar cleanser

ASSISTS IN REGULATING OIL PRODUCTION

People who experience oily skin struggle with overactive sebaceous glands which cause excess sebum production on the skin’s surface. If oil continues to build up on the skin, it can lead to blemishes or mild acne-prone skin. Salicylic acid benefits oily skin types because it helps to purify the skin by clearing blocked pores that contribute to excessive amounts of oil. A salicylic acid-based cleanser like the Effaclar Micro-Peeling Purifying Gel Cleanser will micro-exfoliate the skin and help to regulate sebum production. Follow this up with the targeted Effaclar Matte Anti-Shine Moisturiser to control shine and tighten pores.

salicylic acid serum

TARGETS BLEMISHES AND BREAKOUTS

The benefits of salicylic acid for mild acne-prone skin cannot be overstated. In addition to managing excess oil, BHA salicylic acid is non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t clog pores further. Oily skin types and those with mild acne-prone skin will be familiar with the appearance of blemishes. Shallow blemishes, in particular, form on the skin’s surface when a buildup of oil and dead skin cells accumulates in the pore or hair follicle. Salicylic acid penetrates deep into the pore, dissolving the bonds between such dead skin cells and bringing healthier, clearer skin to the surface. Normal, oily and mild acne-prone skin types will appreciate the gentle chemical exfoliation of the Effaclar Anti-Acne Salicylic Acid Serum to unclog pores and reduce the appearance of breakouts. Pair this with the Effaclar K (+) Anti-Blackhead Moisturiser for hydration..

salicylic acid for skin texture

HELPS TO IMPROVE SKIN TEXTURE

Because salicylic acid aids in skin renewal, it is popular among people with mild acne-prone skin as well as mature skin types. In addition to targeting the appearance of blemishes, salicylic acid helps to smoothen skin texture – a common concern for those experiencing the various effects of mild acne-prone skin. It also works to visibly diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and bring new skin cells to the skin’s most outer layer for a plumper appearance. Those with dry skin may also find that when used in moderation, BHA salicylic acid may help to exfoliate dry, rough patches and reveal softer, more supple skin. Since salicylic acid has drying properties, always follow up exfoliation with a hydrating moisturiser.

vitamin c serum

REDUCES THE APPEARANCE OF POST-BLEMISH MARKS 

Gentle chemical exfoliants like BHA salicylic acid can be used to help reduce the appearance of post-acne marks and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Healthy skin cell turnover means that the skin can heal itself faster and salicylic acid works to give your skin that extra boost of radiance by clearing away old, dead skin cells. Suitable for sensitive skin, La Roche-Posay’s Vitamin C10 Brightening Serum combines the power of salicylic acid and vitamin C to brighten your complexion and even out your skin tone and texture for visibly healthier-looking skin.

anthelios

POSSESSES SKIN COMFORTING PROPERTIES

Having mild acne-prone skin also means dealing with skin prone to redness. Thankfully, in addition to the numerous salicylic acid benefits for mild acne-prone skin, it also has skin comforting qualities to help skin prone to redness or breakouts. While salicylic acid is quite a potent ingredient, lower concentrations (as in the aforementioned Effaclar Anti-Acne Salicylic Acid Serum) can help to manage any redness associated with mild acne-prone skin. However, it’s important to remember that chemical exfoliants do bring newer skin cells to the surface, so broad spectrum SPF is especially important. Opt for a non-greasy formula like our Anthelios Invisible Fluid Facial Sunscreen SPF 50+ to keep your skin well-protected during the day.

ALWAYS READ THE LABEL. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS FOR USE.

Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure. Sunscreen is only one part of sun protection so wear protective clothing and seek shade. Avoid prolonged sun exposure. Reapply every 2 hours and after swimming, towelling and perspiring in accordance with directions.

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