Salicylic acid. The name might give you chills, but don’t let it fool you. This “acid” is one of the most common ingredients found in skin care products. This ubiquity of salicylic acid in skin care products ensured that it has a long, well-documented history of use. Which in turn, means that we are pretty well informed about both the positive, and negative effects of salicylic acid on the skin. If you wanted to know all there is to know about this wonderful ally in the quest for getting clear, healthy, and younger looking skin, you’ve come to the right place.
The real name of this precious ingredient is beta-hydroxy acid, or BHA in short. Vegans should sleep easy because BHA, or salicylic acid, is derived entirely from plants. A plant-based hormone of sorts, its specific molecular structure (separated by two atoms of carbon) is what gets the job done. The molecule of salicylic acid (C7H6O3) is shaped just the right way for it to cause oil solubility, enabling it to enter skin pores easily and clean them.
For the exceptionally curious among you, you’ll want to know that salicylic acid is mainly derived from the bark of the willow tree (incidentally, the same material that enables us to extract aspirin). However, that’s not the only source of BHA. Other sources of salicylic acid include olives, tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms, radishes, chicory and so on.
In skin care products and other related treatments, salicylic acid is usually used in its liquid form. Most commonly, salicylic acid is used to treat:
Just because it has a scary name it doesn’t mean that it is actually scary. The short answer is that, yes, you can buy salicylic acid over the counter. But the long answer is a bit more complicated. You can buy products that contain salicylic acid, but getting your hands on pure, 100% concentrated BHA is pretty hard. Even products that boast to contain pure, undiluted salicylic acid will state that their concentration is around 99%.
That being said, most salicylic acid products sold over the counter contain between 2% and 5% of BHA, which is just enough for what you need - taking care of your skin. So, yes, while you can buy salicylic acid over the counter, most options offer a very diluted formula. If you really want a batch of highly concentrated, pure salicylic acid, you can have that too. However, you will have to be super careful about it, because you will have to dilute it on your own.
Salicylic acid is one of the most powerful allies in the If you open up the encyclopedia entry on salicylic acid, you will see the following three attributes next to it: lipolytic, keratolytic, and comedolytic.
The first one, lipolytic, means that salicylic acid is good for dissolving oils and fats. That’s one of the properties that make this compound so useful in skin care treatments. This ability is especially suited for people with oily skin, who tend to have a higher rate of clogged pores. Salicylic acid is therefore widely used in anti-acne products since it helps with infiltrating every tiny microscopic corner of the skin and ridding it of dirt.
Keratolytic refers to the ability of a given substance to dissolve dead skin cells, which usually form calluses, warts, and other anomalies of the surface layer of the skin. The surface layer of the skin is called epidermis, and salicylic acid, being a keratolytic, helps in the deconstruction of dead skin cells found on the epidermis. These can be especially present during, or after, an acne inflammation, as pimples go through their life cycles and leave tons of dead skin cells behind. But apply some salicylic acid, and it will make short work of all the dead skin cells, helping the body hasten its natural exfoliation process.
Both of the aforementioned properties amount to making salicylic acid comedolytic as well. Comedolytic denotes the ability of a substance (product, or medication) that prevents the formation of comedones. Comedones are basically skin pores clogged with dirt and oil, and salicylic acid’s comedolytic properties are just what you need when faced with this problem. By dissolving the oil and the dead skin cells found all over your skin, salicylic acid prevents the formation of comedones. But not only that, but it’s also capable of penetrating fully formed comedones and dissolving the oil and dead skin cells inside it.
And comedones are basically baby-acne. By dealing with comedones, it’s easy to see why using salicylic acid for acne is one of the best things you can do for your skin.
This is why salicylic acid is so widely used in skin care products - it offers an all-round solution to a wide variety of skin related problems. It should be noted that, in order for BHA to be fully functional and actually exude the properties described above, it has to possess a pH level of 4 or above. Higher pH levels severely degrade salicylic acid’s ability to exfoliate and clean the skin, so always check a product’s label for its pH value before buying. If it’s above 4, the salicylic acid in the product will be useless and your money will be better spent elsewhere.
Thanks to the combined powers of the lipolytic, keratolytic and comedolytic properties, salicylic acid makes for one powerful cleanser and exfoliator for your skin. Additionally, using salicylic acid for acne is one of the most common applications of this ingredient, and for good reasons. Using salicylic acid can produce the following effects:
Salicylic acid acts as an exfoliator by softening, and even dissolving keratin, a protein that acts as a building block in the skin’s structure. While other compounds can be exfoliating as well, it is much more difficult to clean the skin from all the dead skin cells if keratin remains unaffected.
But by softening up keratin, which acts as some sort of skin glue, salicylic acid makes exfoliation much more easy and effective. This also helps with the reduction of wrinkles and discoloration, since restoring the epidermis makes the skin produce more collagen to regenerate itself.
As we mentioned above, when a skin pore or a hair follicle becomes clogged by dirt, dead skin cells, or sebum (skin oil), it becomes bulgy and discolored and is called a comedone. There are very good reasons why salicylic acid is one of the best ways to get rid of comedones. But oftentimes, if neglected, comedones can become the main reason for acne inflammation too. A comedone can remain covered by the epidermis which makes it closed (forming a whitehead) or become clogged so much that the clogging material is in open contact with the air (which makes it a blackhead).
Either of these can lead to the formation of acne or a large pimple. If complications arise, such as a bacterial inflammation or hormonal changes, blackheads and whiteheads can gradually become transformed into cysts, which are the most severe type of acne. This is why it’s beneficial - and important - to use salicylic acid products in your skincare routine. The BHA enters the pores, dissolves all the excess sebum and dead skin cells, amounting to an all-around, anti-acne spring cleaning.
One can overdo it, though. Apply too much salicylic acid, or too frequently, and you can see your skin become dry, flaky and even reddish and sore. Due to its lipolytic and keratolytic properties, salicylic acid must be used in moderation, lest it saps all the oil from your skin, making it lose its moisture and natural elasticity. To counter this, make sure you have a quality moisturizer handy.
Being a cousin of medicines such as aspirin, you can probably see the connection. But instead of playing the crazy scientist and experimenting with prescription medicines on your face, why not go for something more appropriate? Salicylic acid has many of the same anti-inflammatory compounds as aspirin, but aspirin isn’t meant for topical use - while BHA is.
Salicylic acid doesn’t just dissolve sebum and oil, or remove dead skin cells - it can also reduce inflammation. Swelling and redness can become reduced after applying some salicylic acid topically, making for a more balanced, pleasant skin tone. And not to mention the reduced pain and discomfort… Oh, man. That’s a feeling you don’t wanna miss.
There are a number of ways in which you can use salicylic acid for treating acne, or just as an occasional addition to your skincare routine. It comes in a variety of products, coming in the shapes of gels, creams, cleansers, toners, moisturizers, sunscreens, and even salicylic body washes. Per the instruction that each product comes with, you can put salicylic acid to use either daily, weekly, or even monthly.
Always make sure that you are taking your needs into account, and try not to deviate too much from the instructions for the product. If you have any reservations about using salicylic acid, or experience any adverse effects, you should visit your doctor or dermatologist immediately.
Most products that contain salicylic acid are, by far, spot treatments, or so-called topical treatments. Being widely available, these salicylic acid products can be bought over the counter. As we mentioned above, these products are usually in the form of creams, gels, solutions, tinctures and so on. Spot treatments are especially suitable for treating areas of your face, neck, cheeks, nose, chin, hairline, and so on. In other words, spot treatments are intended for areas where subtlety and precision are needed.
As the name will tell you, these treatments are meant for application on the affected “spot” only. Like on this teddy bear here. X marks the spot for the salicylic acid spot treatment!
So if you’re treating a pimple, or several pimples, or an area affected by acne - try to apply the salicylic acid product as precisely as possible to the phenomenon in question. When applied properly, the salicylic acid will help reduce the color, size, and inflammation in the affected area.
Generally, spot treatments contain a higher concentration of a given ingredient, which means that you should use them with care. Putting too much of the product on a spot can have adverse effects. Don’t smear or pour spot treatments on an area of healthy skin, since it can cause irritation, redness, dryness and even pain. Always follow the instructions, and remember - it’s not called spot treatment for nothing.
Salicylic acid can be bought over the counter, and this applies to products that employ it as an exfoliant as well. Depending on your needs and the product in question, exfoliators that contain salicylic acid can be used either every day or once a week. You probably know this by now, but before you apply any exfoliators on your skin, you need to wash it and leave it somewhat moist. While many exfoliating products contain tiny grains that require you to massage your face, this is not the case with BHA.
When it comes to salicylic acid, it’s better to apply it to the desired area of the skin and wait around 30 seconds. This will allow the salicylic acid to begin using its lipolytic and keratolytic properties, and get inside the pores and surface level of the skin. After it becomes absorbed, you can wash your face with mild water. After applying salicylic acid in this way, you should soon see your skin become brighter and smoother. Additional uses will continue to clean your pores and help you get younger looking skin.
Besides using BHA as a spot treatment, or exfoliator, you can also use it preventively. This means using salicylic acid as a face wash, which will, understandably, cover a wider area of skin with the substance. However, since salicylic acid can be irritating, it is best to dilute it before applying it to your face. You can do so at home, or grab one of the many salicylic acid cleansers on the market.
Of course, you will have to follow the instructions. Most of these products use formulas of low intensity, making sure that washing your face with salicylic acid won’t dry your skin or lead to other adverse effects. After washing your face with salicylic acid, take care not to rub your face in order to avoid harming your skin. If you need to dry it, dab your skin gently since salicylic acid can make your skin fragile. Rubbing or pressing your skin after using salicylic acid as a face wash can cause discoloration, blemishes, and even damage.
Salicylic acid peels are some of the most effective peels out there, but due to the abrasive nature of the compound, they should not be used too often. Having a salicylic acid peel once every two weeks seems to be ideal, because salicylic acid can damage your skin if used in this way. Most peeling products employing salicylic acid as their main ingredient boast fairly high concentrations of the acid - around 30%. This means that in case you decide to try out a salicylic acid peel, you should really, and I mean really, stick to the instructions.
A good way to test this is to pour some of the product containing salicylic acid on an empty patch of skin and see how you will react. If there are no adverse effects, such as redness, irritation or pain, you’re good to go. But if you have a reaction, be sure to dilute it before applying. Remember though, products that contain salicylic acid with a pH level of 4 and above are not as effective, so be careful before you make a purchase.
If this discourages you and you’re not seeing results, don’t worry. Our bodies being what they are, meaning live, adaptable organisms, they can increase their tolerance with time. With repeated uses, your skin should adapt to slightly higher doses of salicylic acid peels, but you should always start small. Use low doses at first, then gradually increase the concentrations until you see improvement. If used properly, peels based on salicylic acid can be remarkably effective in cleaning clogged pores and smoothening out swollen pimples.
Your skin type plays a major role in how a certain treatment or even a medication will interact with you. Some skin types are better suited to exploit the benefits of salicylic acid and encourage its amazing properties. But other skin types make it more difficult, calling for more caution when using this ingredient. There are five skin types: normal skin, oily skin, dry skin, combination skin, and sensitive skin. Read on to learn how each skin type interacts with salicylic acid and the products that contain it.
Pop a bottle of champagne, because you’ve won the skin lottery! Normal skin means that your skin is neither too dry nor too oily, and that it’s not prone to rashes or acne breakouts. If this is the case with you, then salicylic acid is generally considered safe - but of course, everything in moderation. Using excessive amounts, or applying salicylic acid too often may still create irritations or imbalances even for normal skin. So, make sure that you follow the instructions and always try to use these products sensibly.
Oily skin is the skin type that’s most prone to developing acne-breakouts. The excess oil and sebum that oily skin produces is basically free food for all the acne-causing bacteria. However, this is somewhat a blessing in disguise, since, with oily skin, salicylic acid can really be put to the maximum effect. Oily skin goes through faster cycles of creating new skin cells and gluing them together, and salicylic acid possesses the ability to counter this.
This type of skin, the oily one, is also very good at producing comedones, which then become blackheads and whiteheads. Salicylic acid disrupts this process by dissolving the sebum (skin oil) that clogs up the pores, thus breaking the chain of acne formation. Additionally, by removing all the dead skin cells, salicylic acid helps shrink enlarged pores, since these are often clogged by such debris. Any way you turn it, salicylic acid is perfect for oily skin.
While salicylic acid is beneficial for all skin types, since it targets very specific processes on the skin, people with dry skin should be cautious. This is because dry skin, as the name might give it out, has a moisture deficiency. But what is moisture, exactly, when we refer to the skin? Is it merely the contents of water molecules in the surface layers of the skin? Or some microscopic, invisible film of water over the skin’s surface layer?
Well, it’s neither of those. What we experience as moisture, or moist skin, is actually the presence of lipid molecules that, in turn, retain water molecules. And lipids are basically fats and oils. So when salicylic acid comes into contact with dry skin, which is already deficient in these lipid molecules, it removes the rest of them. Understandably this runs the risk of getting your skin too dry, rough, itchy, patchy and so on. Which is the opposite of what you would like to achieve. That’s why people with dry skin should use salicylic acid very carefully, or choose products that contain lower concentrations. This will help dry skin maintain its oil balance, but if that doesn’t help, applying some moisturizer will definitely help too.
While the name may make it sound complicated, in reality, combination skin refers to having a mixture of oily and dry skin in different areas. One can even have areas of sensitive skin and normal skin. Basically, take all the other 4 skin types, put them in a bag and shake well. What you end up with is the so-called combination skin type. So, a person can have sensitive skin on their chin, but have an oily forehead and dry cheeks. Or, they could have dry cheeks and forehead, but an oily nose area, and so on. It really depends on your subjective genetics and personal makeup.
So what should you do, if you’re a person with combination skin? Well, in this case, knowledge is power. You should begin by studying your face a bit and decide which areas on your face fall under which skin type. Then, apply products containing salicylic acid depending on the skin type of the affected area you are treating. For example, if you need to treat your nose, and your nose is oily, then use more of the salicylic acid product. But if your cheeks are dry, you should use less salicylic acid, and so on. As always, start small and see how your body will react to the product. If things go bad, or you’re seeing extreme reactions, you should give your doctor or dermatologist a call.
Well, well well. If having normal skin was like winning the lottery, then finding yourself in a body with a sensitive skin type is basically the opposite of that. Most of the times, people with sensitive skin have trouble discovering what their skin is actually reacting to. You apply some hand cream, and half your hand ends up looking like boiled chicken. You wash your hands and the reaction subsides, but that hand cream had like 20 ingredients. Which one has caused the reaction? You’ll have to do some detective work, a lot of reading, and a lot of research until you get your answers. Not to mention all the money you’ll spend on books that try to shed some light on this sensitive subject.
But take heart, my friends. Just because you happen to have sensitive skin doesn’t mean that you’ll have problems with salicylic acid. Caution is advised, however, and you should never apply skin care products carelessly on your body if your skin is sensitive. You should always try it out first. Put a small amount of the product (or substance, or whatever it is) on your skin, and see if there are any reactions. It pays to wait for a while too, since some ingredients need a little time until they make our skin angry.
If you see no reactions, then go ahead and apply some more of the product. Chances are that it is safe for you to use. If you have a reaction, though, I don’t need to tell you what you should do, right? People with sensitive skin are at a greater risk of side effects, irritation, inflammation, and other allergic reactions to skin care products. So, I’d advise you to go the “better safe than sorry,” route, and have a chat with your doctor and dermatologist to figure out which products you can and cannot use.
But wait, some people don’t even fall under the five skin types, but have actual skin conditions instead. This is why in some cases, doctors would recommend using salicylic acid as a treatment for dermatitis, psoriasis, eczema, keratosis pilaris, seborrheic dermatitis and so on. Those are actual, serious skin conditions, which are nonetheless responsive to the powerful keratolytic, lipolytic and comedolytic properties of salicylic acid.
The specific benefit here, when it comes to treating skin conditions, is the keratolytic property of salicylic acid. Remember, if an ingredient is keratolytic, it means that it helps normalize the natural process of shedding dead skin cells. The skin conditions mentioned above involve a disruption of the normal keratinization process, making for unsightly, scaly plaques on the skin. That is where salicylic acid enters the picture - it assists the body in breaking down those skin formations and normalizing the skin shedding process.
So far, so good. But besides the occasional dryness, are there any other adverse effects that can occur after using salicylic acid? The short answer is, yes. Even though it is considered very safe, salicylic acid has several side effects. These include dryness, peeling, photosensitivity, and irritation. This is despite the fact that salicylic acid is often referred to as one of the safest and most predictable of acids. Everyone’s skin is different, though, and people with sensitive skin can experience adverse reactions to salicylic acid.
While fairly expected at first, prolonged and excessive peeling shouldn’t be considered normal. As we mentioned above, salicylic acid can be used for peeling, which is its intended effect in certain scenarios. However, if you’re using salicylic acid as a wash, or a spot treatment, or even a peel, but your skin can’t stop peeling off and flaking, you’re experiencing a side effect. If your skin starts peeling off more than usual, or longer than usual, you should immediately wash your face and stop using the product.
No, this doesn’t mean that you will suddenly become sensitive to taking selfies, or other kinds of photographs. It doesn’t mean that your skin will become burned by camera flashes either. In ancient Latin, “photo” referred to light, be it from the Sun or other sources. In modern day, being photosensitive, or experiencing photosensitivity simply means that you are being sensitive to the Sun.
Which, in the context of skin care, means that your skin can react to light after applying a product that contains salicylic acid. There is simply no way around this. All BHAs, which includes salicylic acid, increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. And while most people won’t notice much of a change, some people may experience intense photosensitivity. This usually manifests as being more easily sunburned during the summer, or every time you encounter UV light. So, if you’re using salicylic acid, you have two options to prevent your skin from becoming photosensitive and getting damaged. You should either apply more sunscreen every time you use a salicylic acid product, or alternatively, simply avoid the Sun, UV lamps and tanning beds.
What do you think of when you think of an acid? Something that burns and causes pain, right? You’re not wrong. All acids have caustic properties, and with it, the potential to cause damage and irritation to live tissues. The same applies to salicylic acid, of course. However, you shouldn’t make the mistake of equating salicylic acid to other, much more caustic acids out there. Salicylic acid sits pretty low on the acidic harmfulness ladder, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t cause redness or irritation if you apply too much.
As we suggested before, one way to avoid this unpleasant scenario is to first test the chosen product that contains salicylic acid. Just apply some, very little, on a patch of skin, and give it some time for your skin to react. The longer you leave it on, the more certain you will be how your skin will react. If you’re not seeing any side effects, increase the dosage, but if you do - it’s best to stop using that product immediately. If you experience intense discomfort, redness, irritation, and pain, however, please visit your doctor and dermatologist.
So far, it would have become clear to you that salicylic acid is one of the most ubiquitous ingredients present in skin care products. The BHA is found in a variety of products, coming in the forms of creams, cleansers, toners, gels, exfoliants and so on. The great usefulness of salicylic acid makes it necessary in the treatment of acne, skin inflammations, and a number of skin disorders.
All of this means that the BHA is practically everywhere and that you probably have salicylic acid at home. Topical (surface, skin) use hasn’t been researched so far, but the case is different for oral use. Talking to PopSugar, Dr. Mark Gray, a Harvard-trained pathologist, dermatologist and the founder of Ao Skincare, strongly advised against it:
“Oral salicylic acid is a definite no," Dr. Gray said, "It's part of the aspirin family, and it can cause bleeding and complications."
You can’t get any more straightforward than that. But let’s be honest - most people don’t use oral supplements of BHA. We do, however, smear it liberally over our skin. About that one, another expert, Dr. David Lortscher, the founder and CEO of Curology, said the following to PopSugar:
"The FDA has rated salicylic acid as Pregnancy Category C, which means that its risk cannot be ruled out.” Dr. Lortscher continued: "Low concentrations and small amounts of salicylic acid found in skincare — no more than 2 percent for toners and washes — are generally considered safe. However, there is a concern when salicylic acid is used in higher concentrations such as in peels or over large areas of the body. To take the most cautious approach, avoid salicylic acid throughout your pregnancy."
So, while salicylic acid is fairly safe, frequent topical use can lead to ingestion of small doses (for example, through kissing or finger licking). The acid also shows very little absorption through the skin, so occasional application of small doses is considered fairly safe. But why experiment on yourself and your unborn child? Better be safe than sorry, so if you’re pregnant, the wisest choice is to avoid using salicylic acid products entirely.
In short, can you mix it with other stuff? Or do you risk getting some third-degree burns if you apply it over some other creams, or foods or something? No one likes turning into Freddy Krueger overnight, so I totally get your reservations.
Well, I suspect that you won’t like the answers.
For example, drinking alcohol while using salicylic acid, or products that contain it, can lead to some unusual side effects. It can also affect your daily routines, and the more medicines you combine, the more unpredictable the effects can become. For example, the Mayo Clinic urges people not to take Ketorolac and salicylic acid together, because it can lead to severe skin dehydration. I can’t really tell you which combination can lead to what effects exactly because your personal genetic makeup and medical history will play a role too. So, your best bet is to talk to your doctor and dermatologist about this.
Everyone’s skin is different, and salicylic acid will interact with each person’s skin type slightly differently. Aspirin, which is actually acetylsalicylic acid, can stimulate circulation for example. The same goes for salicylic acid as well, with the difference being that BHA can “circulate” oil out of the epidermis and the skin pores.
But not every skin type will allow for the same amount of this salicylic acid-induced circulation. Besides the conventional skin types that we mentioned above (oily skin, dry skin, normal skin, combination skin, and sensitive skin), medical professionals use a different classification. It’s called the Fitzpatrick Scale of Skin Types, and salicylic acid interacts less than perfectly with some types on the scale. Dermatologists urge caution when using salicylic acid for people with the following Fitzpatrick skin types:
But all right, why is this a problem when it comes to salicylic acid? Well, you probably know that darker skin types contain more pigment called melanin. Melanin is basically your skin’s way to limit inflammations over its area. It is an antioxidant as well, so it performs several functions.
However, due to its acidic nature, salicylic acid induces some mild skin inflammation, which can, in turn, provoke your skin to produce a greater amount of melanin. This is especially problematic for people who fall under the types IV, V, and VI, and have acne. Naturally, people would then begin applying skin care products that contain salicylic acid to treat the acne. But, since in their case salicylic acid is applied over the acne themselves, this can increase the production of melanin in exactly those areas. Which, due to the increased melanin, often results in replacing these people’s acne with dark spots.
This is pretty difficult to reverse and remove. But this is not just the case with salicylic acid; every other treatment that can cause the skin to be a bit inflamed will produce the same effects. And yes, the same applies to even skin lightening agents. Ironic, right? Well, that’s the reality for us. The key takeaway here is that if you have beige, brown, or black skin, you should be more careful than usual when using products that contain salicylic acid. Or at the very least, you should consult with your doctor and dermatologist before it. I’ll make a bold assumption and guess that you don’t want to end up with dark spots where your acne once were. So, again: better safe than sorry.
Salicylic acid is rightfully one of the best, most effective and generally safest substances when it comes to skin care and treating acne. That is because salicylic acid possesses powerful keratolytic, lipolytic, and comedolytic properties. In other words, BHA dissolves skin oil, thereby preventing the buildup of sebum and the clogging of pores. Paired with its keratolytic property of dissolving dead skin cells, salicylic acid is also very efficient at opening up and cleaning pores.
These properties make a powerful combination when it comes to the prevention and treatment of acne. In short, salicylic acid removes the conditions that set acne inflammation in motion. No excess skin oil and piled up dead skin cells - no acne.
As we attempted to explain throughout this guide, salicylic acid has a number of beneficial applications in treating acne and general skin care. From being used as a cleanser, to a powerful exfoliator, anti-acne treatment, and a face and body wash, salicylic acid comes in tons of skin care products. And yes, you can buy salicylic acid over the counter, both in its undiluted, and its many diluted forms.
However, not everything is rosy in BHA land. While people with normal and oily skin will see the most benefits from using salicylic acid, people with dry, dark, or sensitive skin can experience a number of side effects. These range from irritation to extreme dryness and even, in the case of people with darker skin who have acne, to instances of permanent discoloration. It is also recommended that you avoid using salicylic acid products during pregnancy. While topical use of salicylic acid shouldn’t be a problem, it is its ingestion that can cause a series of pregnancy complications and birth defects. So, better safe than sorry!
But all of these side effects can be countered very easily. First, even if you are sure that you have oily, or normal skin, you should always perform an experiment before proceeding to use a product. Just apply a small amount of the salicylic acid product on your skin, and wait and see if there are any adverse reactions. If it’s all good, you’re good to go, and you can gradually increase the dose until you begin experiencing irritation.
But if your skin reacts aggressively to a product containing salicylic acid, I am sorry, friend. But it’s the best for you that you try using some other skin care substance, or try out products that have lower concentrations of salicylic acid. It should be remembered that if a product has a pH value of 4 and above, the effects of BHA are practically negated. So, if you want to put salicylic acid to good use, you should always go for products that have lower pH values.
Finally, regardless of how safe and ubiquitous salicylic acid is, seeking the opinion of a medical professional can only help. Each of us is different, and everybody has a slightly different skin type, and sometimes vastly different personal medical histories. It is for this reason that you should always consult with your doctor and dermatologist before using a new skin care product.
This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances, and its goal is to offer a general view of the subject. In case you are suffering from a severe case of acne, you should consult with a dermatologist or a certified medical professional.