Acne has been one of the most talked about skin problems. Millions of people are affected by it. Happening to teenagers and adults alike, Acne Vulgaris (scientific name for acne), is results in the formation of inflamed elevations (papules, pustules, nodules, and cysts), comedones (blackheads and whiteheads), and scars on the skin.
There are a number of acne-clearing products on the market, each with a long list of ingredients. However, one chemical in particular stands out: salicylic acid.
What is Salicylic acid?
First and foremost, let's see the source and science of Salicylic acid. It is extracted from willow bark, and it belongs to a class of ingredients called salicylates. It is the only beta hydroxy acid (BHA) used in skin care products, and it's an FDA-approved ingredient for the topical treatment of acne.
There are two types of acids that you'll notice in skin-care products: beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) and alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid,this means that the hydroxy half of the molecule is "Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid, which are oil soluble as opposed to AHA’s which are water soluble.
Are you still with us? Good, because this is where it gets fun. This is important because the structure is responsible for the oil solubility characteristic of salicylic acid.
Usually, oil-soluble ingredients penetrate through the lipid layers between the skin cells .Ingredients that are oil-soluble can penetrate the skin more deeply than those that are water-soluble.
Top 5 Salicylic Acid Skin Care Benefits
Prevents Future Acne-“KEEPS PORES CLEAN”
Salicylic acid works a miracle on mild acne (blackheads and whiteheads) and helps prevent future breakouts.
Weakens Acne Bacteria- “GREAT FOR ACNE & BLEMISHES”
The bacteria that causes acne does not like oxygen (the reason why it thrives under clogged pores where no fresh air blows). Fresh air enters into the skin as salicylic acid unclogs and exfoliates pores, creating a more oxygen-rich environment that is less favourable to acne bacteria.
Exfoliates Dead Skin Cells - “UNCLOGS PORES”
Salicylic acid is an oil soluble exfoliator unlike water soluble Alpha hydroxy acids that is ideal for surface exfoliation. As it is oil soluble, it can cut through oil and exfoliate deep within your pores.
Cleans Excess Oil from Pores- “GREAT FOR OILINESS”
Salicylic acid has the ability to penetrate deep into the skin and accomplish its function. This characteristic is what makes it such an effective acne treatment ingredient, particularly for blackheads and whiteheads.Salicylic acid not only cleans your skin deeply, but it also prevents sebocytes from producing too much oil (sebocytes are the cells that produce your skin's natural oil, sebum).
Soothes Inflammation- “GOOD FOR ACNE & PSORIASIS”
Salicylic acid dissolves skin debris that clogs pores, acts as an anti-inflammatory, and also helps red, inflamed pimples and pustules go away faster once it penetrates the skin.
How to use Salicylic Acid
Using formulations combining this acid with soothing and calming agents will balance out the dryness and irritation that it may cause.
Based on your skin type, there are different products you can choose to use that contain salicylic acid.If you have oily or acne-prone skin, choose a product that contains a higher concentration of the acid (2 %).
Suganda BHA exfoliating serum is an amazing salicylic acid formulation with a mix of Centella Asiatica ( moisturising and soothing )and green tea( anti- inflammatory and antioxidant) rich in hydration to compensate for the dryness caused by salicylic acid.