Salicylic Acid: Brilliant For Spot-Zapping And So Much More

Salicylic Acid: Brilliant For Spot-Zapping And So Much More
Matteo Valle
Intro Deck: 

We promise it's not as scary as it sounds

If you head to your bathroom cabinet, you'd be surprised at just how many of your products include salicylic acid in their ingredients list. Although the word 'acid' calls to mind red, shiny skin from a chemical peel gone wrong, you definitely have nothing to fear from this acid that's potent, but will only ever make up 2% of any product at most. A small dose will gently exfoliate, but 2% will zap and then heal blemishes.

Need a serum to banish blemishes? Look no further than this quiz

We all get spots. Squeezing them successfully = undeniably satisfying. Having a lingering spot, however = a royal pain in the backside. So while we’re as mesmerised as anyone by the spot-popping YouTube phenomenon (there is actually a woman called Dr. Pimple Popper. Seriously.), we’d prefer to avoid having the blighters in the first place - or at least kill them off before they get too big and juicy. 

That's where salicylic comes in. Derived from willow bark, this Beta Hydroxy Acid is more oil-soluble than most other varieties, so it has the ability to penetrate deeply into the pores and break the 'glue' of your skin that's binding the sebum and dead skins cells that make up blackheads and whiteheads apart. 

RELATED: Those Little Red Bumps On Your Arms And Legs Are Called Keratosis Pilaris. This Is What You Can Do To Get Rid Of Them

On a more day-to-day basis, salicylic acid exfoliates wonderfully without damaging the skin’s barrier as it’ll slough off dead skin and break apart excess sebum that may lead to clogs.Two things to note before you buy everything in our edit: 1) do a patch test - salicylic acid may not get on well with sensitive and dry skin, and 2) though it may help to keep hormonal or cystic acne at bay, it is not a complete solution - as always, consider your diet, lifestyle and stress levels when looking at causes of break outs.

If we've piqued your interest, and you feel like you and good old salicylic could become best pals, then read on for our top picks of products that do all the heavy work for you.

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