Salicylic acid is by no means the best line of defense against acne. If we make a direct comparison to active agents such as benzoyl peroxide, it would probably lack a few important anti-bacterial characteristics.
However, it’s believed that this particular active ingredient can help the skin absorb other active ingredients. If you wish, you may use it as a complement to other topical treatments for acne.
Scientifically, it is a BHA or beta-hydroxy acid. These natural acids are normally found in fruits and other plant matter. Since they’re naturally occurring, it probably won’t hurt to try.
Salicylic Acid and Skin
Salicylic acid is primarily an exfoliating agent. Imagine the skin as a tapestry of loose fabrics bound by strong chemical forces. It acts upon these chemical bindings to let the outermost dead layers to drop off the skin, painlessly.
This allows for the skin to restore itself naturally, without making use of harsh chemicals. Since the problem with acne lies beneath the outer surface of the skin, the peeling mechanism allows for careful renewal of the skin.
Many chemicals have positive effects on the skin. However, the treatment of acne requires specific mechanisms. That’s why dermatologists and estheticians judge over-the-counter topical treatments based on their effectiveness on treating acne and not on their effectiveness in making the skin healthier, etc.
Does salicylic acid affect the production of the oily substance on the skin? The answer is unfortunately, no. It has no effects whatsoever on the production itself. What it can do is to remove the oil. It’s a cleansing agent, not a chemical agent that affects the natural processes of the skin.
Salicylic Acid-Based Cleanser for Acne
Most concoctions that had been designed to treat acne vulgaris make use of all possible chemicals that won’t counter-act each other if mixed. Since salicylic acid doesn’t contradict chemicals like benzoyl peroxide, it can be found in the following preparations:
b. Clean and Clear
e. Other generic OTC topical creams & gels
The degree of concentration of this chemical in products is uniform. The lowest concentration is 0.5%. The highest concentration is 2%. These concentrations may be found in the following types of products:
In addition, the formulations often make use of sulfur. Sulfur is a powerful cleansing agent; however, its effectiveness in clearing acne has not been established.
Salicylic Acid Side Effects on Acne
Salicylic acid would never be the miracle acne treatment you had been looking for. If you wish to use it, use it for avoiding the incidence of even more lesions. However, it will do very little for the most inflamed lesions and pustules you have.
One of the most commonly documented side effects is dryness of skin. If the dryness becomes too severe, make use moisturizers.
Moisturizers don’t have to be boring; there are a lot of moisturizing products on the market today. Apart from lotions, there are also moisturizing soaps and facial washes.