Salicylic Acid: Your Questions Answered!

Salicylic Acid: Your Questions Answered!

You asked, we have answered! Here is the low-down on Salicylic Acid - one of our most asked about ingredients!

What is Salicylic Acid and what does it actually do?

Salicylic Acid is a Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHA) which is widely regarded for its incredible blemish-fighting properties. It is derived from Willow Bark, which is why you may also see “Willow Bark Extract” listed on products designed to clear breakouts.

Salicylic Acid is the only exfoliating acid which can penetrate into the pore, meaning dead skin and sebum which are trapped inside can be quickly removed, leaving behind a happy, healthy pore. Salicylic Acid works most effectively on blackheads and whiteheads, however if you are struggling with cystic or hormonal acne, it can help ease the redness and inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

While it is fantastic to clear up existing breakouts, Salicylic Acid will also prevent future blemishes from forming, and will minimise the appearance of pores!

What skin type is it good for?

While Salicylic Acid can be beneficial for normal, combination or oily skin types which are experiencing breakouts, it is important to note that it is common to experience irritation and dryness due to its exfoliation properties and from its expert ability to remove oil from the skin. Therefore it is important to always conduct a patch test prior to use (behind the ear works well), or to avoid using for long periods of time.

What if I am already using acids like Glycolic or Lactic Acid - will it be too much on my skin?

We hear you! Layering your active ingredients can be a little daunting, especially when they have 'acid' in their name. Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA) like Glycolic Acid or Lactic Acid work in a different way to Salicylic Acid (a BHA). AHA's exfoliate the surface layers of skin, while BHA exfoliates inside the pore. As the ingredients have different benefits on the skin, they are safe to use together! 

The exact way you choose to combine them depends on your skin. Some can find they can layer a Salicylic product with a Glycolic product, while others can find this method is too harsh. When in doubt, the best way is to use Salicylic in your morning routine, and Glycolic at night. Always remember to use a sunscreen in the morning as these ingredients can make skin more sensitive to sunlight!

How long will it take to work?

Depending on the strength of Salicylic Acid and type of breakout you are experiencing, it can take several weeks of consistent use to see the full effect. 


You can find our line-up of Salicylic Acid skincare products here!

Be sure to reach out to us on Instagram @beautyconnectionsaus if you have questions, we are always happy to help! 

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