Acne treatments — especially those that contain active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid — are drying and a bit harsh on your skin. If you use too many treatments at the same time, your skin may become irritated, and you may actually suffer more breakouts as a result.
Dr. Shah notes that the concentration of ingredients in your acne product doesn't always affect how well they work, but it can. If you're having continued issues with your skin, it's possible the concentration of an ingredient like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide could be contributing.
You can actually use too much salicylic acid. "The primary negative side effect of salicylic acid is its ability to irritate and dry skin in those who are very sensitive or those who overuse it," says Dr. Nazarian.
Retinoids such as Tretinoin, acids such as salicylic, and benzoyl peroxide are just a few of the products that cause purging. These products contain active ingredients that increase the skin cell turnover rate, therefore causing your skin to purge.
Is it okay to use salicylic acid every day? While it is okay to use salicylic acid every day, it could cause irritation. Many dermatologists, therefore, recommend using the acid in moderation, beginning by applying it three times a week and working up from there.
Use Salicylic Acid in the morning and Retinol at night. Those with more sensitive skin may need to use these products on alternate days, or reduce Salicylic Acid use to once a week or as and when needed.
Can I use salicylic acid every day? It is safe to use products with salicylic acid every day, unless it is specified otherwise on the product usage guidelines or by your health care professional. CeraVe's SA Smoothing Cream and SA Smoothing Cleanser are suitable for daily use.
The duration of skin purging can vary, but it should not last any longer than six weeks, says Michele Green, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist with a private practice. This is because after six weeks your skin should become used to the ingredients in the product that caused the purge.
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.
Skin purging typically looks like tiny red bumps on the skin that are painful to touch. They are often accompanied by whiteheads or blackheads. It can also cause your skin to become flaky. The flare ups caused by purging have a shorter lifespan than a breakout.
“The first side effect of overdoing it is skin irritation, in particular a stinging or burning sensation,” says Mitan. Your skin may appear red or flaky, or feel itchy, tight, or painful to the touch. “Your skin could also feel more dry than when you started,” says McKitty.
I Don't Have Acne. Should I Still Use Salicylic Acid? In a word, yes. It not only offers a whole slew of therapeutic benefits for treating skin conditions like warts and psoriasis, but it also helps with more superficial concerns, namely, signs of aging.
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.
Sudden acne breakouts can be because of numerous reasons, including hormonal changes or hormonal imbalance, an unhealthy diet including lots of deep fried and junk food, release of cortisol hormones because of excessive stress, excessive production of sebum and much more.
Do spot treat with the right products.
Like I mentioned earlier, salicylic acid and sulfur won't help cystic acne. It can make it even worse if it dries out or irritates your skin.
Generally speaking, dermatologists say purging should be over within four to six weeks of starting a new skin care regimen. If your purge lasts longer than six weeks, consult your dermatologist. It could be that you need to adjust the dosage and/or frequency of application.
Can I leave salicylic acid overnight? Yes, you can, but only once you have built the skin's tolerance. For those with a skin type that is oily and prone to acne and breakouts, salicylic acid is the best ingredient to use to combat any concerns.
If you have blackheads and whiteheads, salicylic acid alone should work well to clear out your pores. If your acne tends to be inflammatory, such as papules and pustules, opt for benzoyl peroxide to stop outbreaks at the source. For sensitive skin, start with salicylic acid, since it's less likely to cause irritation.
Purging is a sign that the product is working and you should continue with the treatment as prescribed. After a few weeks of purging, your skin and acne will have noticeably improved. Breaking out is when your skin is reacting because it is sensitive to something in the new product.
“Purging” is another term for breakouts, though there are some differences. Though some people do report experiencing irritation and breakouts after using the ingredient, niacinamide is unlikely to cause purging. That's because it doesn't affect the skin in a way that usually triggers purging.
A purge can last as long as two months, and you should start seeing an improvement by the six-week point, if not sooner. On the other side of a purge is cleaner, clearer skin!
Can niacinamide and salicylic acid be used together? The simple answer is yes. They complement each other well. Being oil soluble, salicylic acid can penetrate deeper into the skin layers, but it can also dehydrate and irritate skin.
Salicylic acid is an ingredient that can be used safely in the morning. You can use the cleanser twice a day, morning and night if that's what you want. Other ingredients you can use in the morning are vitamin C, Hyaluronic acid and Niacinamide. Hope this helps!