If you’ve got oily or acne-prone skin, salicylic acid is your best friend.
The anti-inflammatory found in aspirin, salicylic acid in liquid form breaks up dead skin cells to unclog blackheads and whiteheads. It also reduces oil production and fades discoloration and redness.
How much salicylic acid should you use?
When you first begin using salicylic acid, limit yourself to every other day or night. This will let you see how your skin reacts.
Most over-the-counter treatments are between 0.5% and 2% salicylic acid, so they’re generally safe to use on a regular basis. If you haven’t experienced any irritation after two weeks of using a salicylic acid product every other day, you can assume that it’s safe for your skin.
If you’re allergic to aspirin or have rosacea, you should steer clear of products contain salicylic acid.
The right care combo for acne-prone skin
You just can’t use any old cleanser and moisturizer; acne-prone skin can be tricky to care for, so need to find the right combination. Not everyone who has acne has oily skin. Your skin can be dry or sensitive and yet still experience breakouts.
Pro care tips for acne prone skin
• Wash your face with a cleanser that contains salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide
This will help to dry up pimples.
• Don’t scrub or rub your skin while washing your face
This will irritate your skin and increase oil production.
• Use an oil-free moisturizer
Oil-free moisturizers won’t clog pores.
• Choose cosmetics that are oil-free
Matte finishes in
• Avoid touching your skin throughout the day
Bacteria can easily go from your fingers to your face.
• Avoid tanning and tanning beds
Acne treatments cause your skin to become extra sensitive to ultraviolet rays.
• Stay away from refined grains, sugars, and processed foods
They send your blood sugar skyrocketing, which can cause pimples to form
Over-the-counter acne treatments work for
Nonprescription acne treatments
Certain cleansers are specifically designed for acne. They usually contain salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, or sulfur.
Salicylic acid helps to correct
Prescription acne treatments
Antibiotics are an effective acne treatment. They work by clearing the skin of bacteria and reducing inflammation. Antibiotics are available in oral and topical forms.
Derived from vitamin A, retinoids clear up moderate to severe acne. They normalize the way your skin grows and sheds. And they’re often used in conjunction with oral antibiotics.
Oral contraceptives can be highly effective in treating acne if it’s caused by a hormonal imbalance. The maximum benefit of oral contraceptives on acne occurs in three to four months.
The best products containing salicylic acid
A lot of dermatologists prefer products containing salicylic acid over those containing benzoyl peroxide because they’re less harsh and irritating. A wide range of skincare products
Here’s our list of some of the best products to look out for:
• Ambi Even & Clear Foaming Cleanser
This cleanser helps to keep skin even in tone and it even fades dark spots left from pimples.
• Aveeno Clear Complexion Cream Cleanser
This cleanser, which contains 2% salicylic acid, also has very small scrubbing beads that help to exfoliate skin, leaving your skin nice and smooth.
• LaserAway Green Tea Cleanser
Formulated for sensitive and normal skin types, LaserAway Green Tea Cleanser gently and effectively removes dirt, makeup, and pollutants. It also reduces inflammation, improves skin texture, and tones your skin.
• Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash
This affordable cleanser contains 2% salicylic acid. It foams nicely and rinses away clean.
• Olay Total Effects Daily Cleanser Plus Blemish Control
This cleanser is both anti-aging and anti-blemish. It’s formulated for women with adult acne.
• Bioré Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser
Great if you have super oily skin, this cleanser leaves your skin feeling deeply cleansed but not too dry.
• Aveeno Clear Complexion Daily Moisturizer
Formulated for acne-prone skin, this moisturizer balances and evens your tone, and it treats blemishes.
• Burt’s Bees Natural Acne Solutions Moisturizing Lotion
This lightweight lotion helps control oil and protects against blemishes without irritating your skin.
• Clean and Clear Dual Action Moisturizer
This moisturizer delivers the goodness of a moisturizer and a medicated acne control agent, providing optimum hydration to dry skin.
• LaserAway Restorative Moisturizer
Formulated for mature skin, LaserAway Restorative Moisturizer restores moisture as it nourishes and softens.
• LaserAway Ultra Moisturizer
Formulated for all skin types, LaserAway Ultra Moisturizer contains a unique, potent combination of antioxidants, moisture-rich lipids, and skin conditioners to help replenish dry, dehydrated skin, significantly improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
• Yes to Tomatoes Repairing Acne Lotion
This moisturizing lotion contains all-natural salicylic acid that penetrates pores to clear up blemishes and urge your skin to heal.
• Bioré Pore Unclogging Scrub
This oil-free scrub fights dirt, oil residue, and blackheads, leaving your skin clear and supple.
• Clean and Clear Morning Burst Facial Scrub
This vitamin-enriched scrub makes your skin feel refreshed, energized, and clean.
• Ives Blemish Control Apricot Scrub
This gentle scrub helps to prevent blemishes, cure redness, and eliminate blackheads.
• Yes to Tomatoes Acne Daily Pore Scrub
This acne-fighting scrub is powerful enough to combat blackheads and
• Zum Face Sugar Facial Scrub
Enriched with the natural exfoliants lemongrass and natural cane sugar, this scrub helps to improve skin texture and clarity.
Bontanica Acnedote Invisible Treatment Gel
This all-natural gel treats and helps to prevent breakouts.
• Clearasil Rapid Action Treatment Gel
This salicylic acid gel works instantly to visibly reduce spot size and redness in just four hours.
• Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Clearing Gel
This gel contains a four-in-one clearing complex with salicylic acid. It clears up blemishes instantly and helps to prevent new ones from forming.
• LaserAway Vitamin C Day Cream
A must for everyone wanting the benefits of SPF in a moisturizer, LaserAway Vitamin C Day Cream is light, versatile, and rich in antioxidants.
• Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Eliminating Spot Gel
This medicated gel contains salicylic acid. It reduces pimples and scars, and it reverses new breakouts before they become visible.
- "Here's Exactly What Salicylic Acid Does to Your Skin," Allure, July 13, 2016.
- "Salicylic Acid vs. Benzoyl Peroxide: Find Which Acne Treatment Is Right For You," Teen Vogue, October 13, 2016.
- "The Effects of Salicylic Acid on the Skin," Livestrong, August 16, 2013.
- "What the Heck Is Salicylic Acid, And Why Is It in Your Skincare?," The Huffington Post, October 3, 2014.