Struggling with annoying acne that keeps breaking out? It might be time to add salicylic acid to your skincare routine. It’s an effective exfoliant that helps eliminate impurities from the facial skin and offers many proven skincare benefits. The key is knowing how to use or mix it with other skincare products for a topical application.


What is Salicylic Acid?

Acids are usually considered harmful chemicals and most of them indeed are. But when some of them are used adequately and correctly, they may do wonders for the skin. These mild organic acids with low concentrations can fight acne, lighten age spots, and fade hyperpigmentation marks, wrinkles, and skin tone. Unlike their physical counterparts, they gently exfoliate skin and yet keep your skin clean and smooth.

One such time-tested ingredient used in skin care is salicylic acid. It is also called Beta Hydroxy Acid or BHA because it is extracted from willow bark. This anti-acne ingredient is becoming a staple in most regimens for acne-prone skin. Cleansers, face toners, moisturizers, creams, and gels made of salicylic acid can help treat many common skin care issues. 

Dermatologists vouch for its ability to fight stubborn skin woes, especially acne and its marks. Unlike AHA or Alpha Hydroxy Acid, this beneficial acid is soluble in oil. As a result, it effectively penetrates the skin and dissolves the intercellular connection between skin cells and impurities. It thus gently unclogs the skin pores and tackles whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. 

Its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties make it a super effective ingredient for oily and sensitive skin. Although it takes several weeks for you to see the effects, if it is irritating, bring down the concentration to a lower percentage. Usually, skin care experts suggest a concentration between 2% and 5%, for it is both effective and safe. 

4 Benefits of Salicylic Acid in Skin Care

Acne, whiteheads, and blackheads usually happen with an overproduction of sebum. The latter blocks the skin pores and traps dust and pollutants. Salicylic acid helps cleanse the pores and is thus very effective for people with oily skin. You can use this BHA to purify pores and remove acne and marks. It thus acts like a well-rounded skincare ingredient for most skin types and concerns. 

Recommended Product

Leaves of Clarity Essence Serum

Reccomendation: Give a try to our vitamin C face wash to eliminate excess oil from your face and get natural glowing skin.

Let’s sum up the benefits of salicylic acid for facial skin through the following pointers:

  1. Prevents acne

Salicylic acid is non-comedogenic. Thus it prevents pores from tapping the dust. In addition, this gentle face exfoliator prevents excess oil from forming and dead skin cells from accumulating underneath. For this reason, it is mostly used in anti-acne skin treatment to eliminate skin blemishes. 

  1. Works as a gentle cleansing agent

Among many other uses of salicylic acid, the cleansing property of this BHA is worth consideration. It helps tighten enlarged pores and clears remnants of makeup and other products you apply to your skin. It also helps remove excess oil from the skin and promote even skin tone. 

  1. Removes dead skin cells

Salicylic acid also has hemolytic properties. When used in adequate amounts, it turns out to be the most common chemical peel. It helps with desquamation by penetrating the skin’s dermal layers, dissolving dead and dried skin cells, and revealing the young cells underneath. Through its exfoliating properties, it also boosts cell turnover rate with regular usage.

  1. Anti-inflammatory agent

The anti-inflammatory properties of this oil-soluble compound also help soothe inflammation and acne. In addition, it has natural soothing properties, and it works well for sensitive skin too. Many skincare experts advise using salicylic acid on the face through face washes or face creams. You can try retinol products for anti aging skin problems.

  1. Brightens tone

Continuous exposure to environmental irritants can ruin the skin’s health. The skin appears dull and lifeless when dead skin cells and grime build up over time in the skin. Exfoliation is necessary to reveal younger and healthier skin cells beneath. And that is what this BHA does. 

  1. Decongests pores

Do you know how blackheads appear on the skin? Over time, the skin pores get built up with immature skin cells and sebum. These clogged pores may burst as whiteheads, blackheads, and acne. While AHAs help improve skin texture, brighten tone, and reveal fresher skin, BHAs penetrate deeper and dissolve dead skin cells.

salicylic acid face wash benefits

Pro Tip: Use Scrub Face Wash to removing the dirt, impurities and dead skin cell from skin.

Have you tried our Toxin-Free, Salicylic Acid-Enriched Products?

Salicylic acid has been used in the skincare industry for a long time. Though it is a chemical, it is safe and gentle if used in low concentrations. Thus, bringing the goodness of salicylic acid, we have formulated different ranges to treat issues related to oily and sensitive skin types exclusively. 

Here are some of our favorite ways to incorporate this wonderful ingredient into the skin care regimen:

  1. Tea Tree Foaming Face Wash with Tea Tree and Salicylic Acid

Acne-prone and sensitive skin needs extra attention. Our Salicylic Acid Face Wash has some of the best skin care ingredients to nourish the skin without causing any damage. This gentle and effective face wash comes with an in-built silicone brush for easy massaging. Gently rubbing your skin with it boosts blood circulation and restores the natural defenses of your tone. 

Recommended Product

Tea Tree Foaming Face Wash

This face wash blends Tea Tree, Salicylic Acid, and Neem that effectively clear out skin pores, fight bacteria and control excess sebum without disrupting the skin’s natural pH. Just pump, massage, and your skin are all prepped to fight environmental aggressors. Dermatologically tested, this foaming face cleanser has no harmful chemicals and is free of Toxins, Parabens, and Mineral Oils.

  1. Tea Tree Face Mask with Tea Tree and Salicylic Acid

Struggling with dull skin? This face mask gets you rid of dull and dehydrated skin with the goodness of nourishing ingredients. It has BHA, Chamomile Reticulata, Aloe Vera, and Tea-Tree, so there’s no way you will ever go wrong with this face mask. This treatment soothes inflammation, reduces enlarged pores, and heals and delivers intensive moisture to the skin. 

Chamomile has excellent anti-inflammatory properties, leaving your skin soft and soothed. This facial mask also helps ward off acne-causing bacteria, clears congestion, controls excess oil production, and replenishes lost moisture. And because it is a refreshing mask, you can relax while benefiting from your self-care routine. 

  1. Tea Tree Spot Gel Face Cream with Tea Tree and Salicylic Acid

This ultra-nourishing face gel uses Licorice Extract, Tea Tree, and BHA to purify the pores. This blend of Licorice extract helps soothe compromised complexion and reduce post-acne hyperpigmentation. Salicylic acid is great for dry skin, so it helps treat uneven spots while delivering intense moisturization to the skin.  

Recommended Product

Tea Tree Spot Gel Face Cream

Tea tree oil’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties disinfect skin pores, reduce the appearance of marks, and soothe swelling and redness. It is exceptionally lightweight, gets quickly absorbed, and regulates sebum production. This anti-acne gel from our tea tree skin products is an effective remedy for active acne and breakouts, giving you clear skin.

  1. Leaves of Clarity Essence Serum with Neem & Salicylic Acid 

Serums are highly potent skin care products because they’re highly concentrated and easy to use. So, keeping in mind how they work, we have launched Leaves of Clarity Essence Serum with active ingredients Neem, Salicylic Acid, Japanese Cherry, and Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic Acid is a humectant that helps retain the skin’s moisture and keep it plump.

Salicylic Acid Serum improves the cell turnover rate, thus giving you smoother and ageless skin. In addition, the antioxidative properties of Japanese Cherry target pigmentation and brightens the skin. This night serum should be used in your night skincare regimen to restore hydration and allow the rest of the products to work more efficiently all night. 

  1. Tea Tree Oil-Free Face Moisturizer

Oily or acne-prone skin should be slathered with oil-free or non-greasy moisturizer. Our Tea Tree Oil-Free Moisturizer is specially formulated to care for acne and pimple-sensitive skin. It deeply nourishes the deepest layers of the skin without actually allowing the overproduction of sebum. Along with Tea Tree and Salicylic Acid, it has Black Oats Extract and Vitamin E.

Too much sebum can block the pores and creates a favorable condition for the bacteria, dust, and grime to get trapped inside. But thankfully, this moisturizer regulates excess oil and reduces acne. This antioxidant-enriched moisturizer also ensures your skin remains protected from environmental stressors. Plus, it is dermatologically tested and works equally well for all skin types.

Check Out also Ubtan face serum for skin brightening and removes grime and dust from the skin’s deepest layers

How to use Salicylic Acid in your Skin Care?

This BHA or Beta Hydroxy Acid is available in many potent skin care products. Though mild, it should still be used only once a day. You can use it in your day or night skincare regimen, but it’s better if used in a PM regimen. This is because salicylic acid is an exfoliator that helps clear pores and removes dead skin cells layer from the skin. And since the newer layer of the skin is susceptible to sun damage, it’s better to avoid using it in the daytime. 

Salicylic acid will unblock pores, so you need to hydrate your skin with a layer of moisturizer. Thus, it is suggested to use moisturizing or hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid. It will leave your skin feeling fresh and smooth. However, it takes 8-10 weeks to show visible results on the skin. 

Besides, chemical exfoliators revive the younger skin cells beneath the older ones, which are more prone to photodamage. Hence, it is recommended to use a broad spectrum-based sunscreen afterward to protect your skin. SPF 30 is usually recommended by most skin care experts for maximum protection against sun damage. 

Wrapping Up!

Salicylic acid is an oil-soluble exfoliating BHA. It works well for sensitive or acne-prone skin types if used in the right concentration or dosage. It helps unclog pores, clears up acne, slough dead skin, and fights pesky signs of skin aging. However, be careful about its usage because using it improperly may cause dryness or itchiness on the skin. 

You can also opt for the Mamaearth non-harmful skincare range to have the benefits of salicylic acid in your beauty regimen. We are Asia’s first brand to get the MadeSafe Certification for our amazing range. We make a wide range of skincare products without using any toxic additives like sulfates, parabens, or mineral oils. You can try out our rice water products, Ubtan products range, best skin hydration products range for skin which are totally toxin free and suitable for all skin types.

  1. Can I directly apply salicylic acid to my face?

    Salicylic acid can be applied in different formulations, such as face cleansers, gels, creams, moisturizers, serums, scrubs, etc. Since it is a chemical exfoliator, you should only look for low dosages or concentrations- 0.5 to 5%. 
    You can also try Mamaearth’s salicylic acid-enriched skin care that features face cleansers, spot gel face cream, facial masks, serums, and oil-free moisturizers. Dermatologically tested, our products are suitable for every skin type, which means no artificial dyes, silicones, parabens, mineral oils, or dyes. 

  2. How long should I keep salicylic acid on my face?

    The formulation you intend to use will determine how long you should leave salicylic acid on your face. For instance, salicylic acid-enriched face cleanser will require you to lather gently for up to 1 minute, while serums require an overnight application for best results. 

  3. Can I put salicylic acid on my face overnight?

    Yes, you can, but only if you have used salicylic acid before and your skin has a tolerance for it. But if you have extremely dry skin that suffers a lot from changes in your skin care regimen, you should avoid leaving it on your face overnight. It would then be better to consult a skincare expert first. 
    As for serums and moisturizers, you will find that most products contain only a limited concentration of 1 to 2%. So you can leave them on the skin and rinse them off, as usual, the next morning. Avoid any formulations with a higher concentration of 15% as they may be formulated for dedicated skin care regimens such as severe acne or pigmented skin.  

  4. How do you know if salicylic acid is working?

    Once you add salicylic to your skin care regimen, the skin texture will enhance. Consistent usage makes the pores shrink, and the exfoliation process makes your skin appear smooth, soft, and supple. The frequency of acne outbursts will also decrease, but all it takes is time and consistency. Being regular with your skin care regimen is the key.

Popular Search Termsbest cream for faceface mask for menface serum for dry skinface tonerdark spot removal creambest moisturizersheet maskbest facial kithand creamnight creamsalicylic acid creamacne creampimple creampigmentation creamdark circle creamretinol serumoil free moisturizeranti aging creamhyaluronic acid serumstretch marks creamtan removal creamcleansing milksunscreen lotionlumi creamvitamin c creamunder eye cream