Salicylic acid is an exfoliating agent that will remove acne causing bacteria and even slough of dark spots along with other dead skin cells. Tip: Use a salicylic acid face cleanser and then a spot treatment infused with the ingredient for best results.
“You'll likely see results in four to six weeks,” says Dr. Nazarian, “after which you should continue to use it for long-term effects.” That means you shouldn't expect any miracles overnight—good skin requires patience, y'all.
One chemical exfoliant that Dr. Pierre recommends for dark spots is glycolic acid, which is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that helps dissolve and shed the "glue" between dead, discolored skin cells, leaving you with a clearer, brighter, all-around glowier face.
Salicylic acid peel has effectiveness for both of acne and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation that are common in patients with skin of color.
Precautions for Salicylic Acid Use
Also, because salicylic acid does affect pigmentations, darker skin types may want to avoid salicylic acid, particularly in high concentrations, to prevent unnatural-looking hypopigmentation.
No, salicylic acid is not a skin lightening (as in whitening) agent and therefore, it cannot lighten your skin. However, since salicylic acid has the ability to exfoliate your skin's surface and remove dead skin cells, it can help give your skin a brighter more even complexion.
"If salicylic acid is an ingredient in your cleanser, it is fine to use it every day." However, if you are using an exfoliant that salicylic acid in the formula, Dr. Hu advises only using the product three times per week, to avoid over-exfoliating the skin and drying it out.
When using salicylic acid or other acne treatments, it may take 6-8 weeks to start noticing results. Anyone who does not see an improvement in their acne after this time may wish to contact a doctor or dermatologist for advice on alternative treatment options.
Salicylic acid may be used morning and night. Because it's so gentle, it may also be applied as a midday spot treatment.
While Green says that retin-a (tretinoin) or retinoids are best, retinol is the next best bet without a prescription. “Retinol is a weaker over-the-counter formula of retinoids and can provide similar benefits in reducing the appearance of dark spots, although it will typically take much longer,” Green explains.
Signs it's not working: Your acne isn't going away and your skin is damaged. Why it might not be working: Not all acne is created equal — and if your acne is severe, salicylic might not be strong enough for you. “Cystic acne will need something stronger than salicylic acid,” says NYC-based dermatologist Debra Jaliman.
which will wash away overnight treatments and any oil or bacteria. After cleansing, follow with our Salicylic Acid 2% Daily Treatment. You'll be amazed as you leave it on for a few minutes as you can actually watch your pores get lighter and tighter – it's awesome. After 1-3 minutes, rinse face with cool water.
Although salicylic acid is considered safe overall, it may cause skin irritation when first starting. It may also remove too much oil, resulting in dryness and potential irritation. Other potential side effects include: skin tingling or stinging.
How often should you use salicylic acid? You are able to use salicylic acid twice daily, but only after your skin has built its tolerance. Oily and acne prone skin will benefit from frequent application, however precautionary actions should always be followed when using this potent ingredient.
Salicylic acid and vitamin C are both effective products on their own but, when combined, they can be even more beneficial. Whether you're looking to brighten your skin, reduce the likelihood of blemishes or just help slow down the skin's natural aging process, these ingredients may be just what you're looking for.
Salicylic acid creams that are only 1% or 2% in strength, you can leave it overnight on the skin and rinse it off in the morning. Remember to use a good broad spectrum sunscreen because salicylic acid can make your skin sensitive.
Salicylic acid belongs to a class of drugs known as salicylates. When applied to the skin, salicylic acid may work by helping the skin to shed dead cells from the top layer and by decreasing redness and swelling (inflammation). This decreases the number of pimples that form and speeds healing.
Can I apply moisturizer after using salicylic acid? Yes. Moisturizers can help hydrate and repair skin, making it a good step to do after using an exfoliating treatment with salicylic acid.
Salicylic acid clears pores, reduces swelling and redness, and exfoliates the skin when applied topically. It's considered to be one of the best treatments for acne scars. You can add products with salicylic acid into your daily routine, or your skin care specialist may use it for less frequent chemical peels.
The primary negative side effect of salicylic acid is its ability to irritate and dry skin in those that are very sensitive or those who overuse it. So, it's recommended to use it once or twice a week. Salicylic acid can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight and cause sunburn easily.